Captivated

I rambled back to a favourite haunt of mine on Sunday: the National Botanic Gardens, in Dublin.

The place was humming with people. All sorts of folk who had turned up for all sorts of reasons.

Two little fair haired boys played a raucous game of catch among the flower beds. A little old ladies clutched pilfered seed pods and eyed a nearby flower bed with an avaricious gleam in her eye. Perhaps her too large handbag would serve a good purpose? A photographic club, meanwhile, fanned out under the trees and up over the hill towards the pond, on a hunt of another sort.

And I had a mission too: I was off to capture the end of rose bloom season.

I know nothing of roses. Not that such ignorance ever stopped me having an opinion on any topic, roses included. I had decided a long not to like the cultivated roses, while a wild rose tumbling through a roadside hedge is an entirely welcome sight.

Well, I was wrong-about the cultivated sort, I mean. Peering through the lens of a camera concentrates the eye so that suddenly, with my gaze drawn fully into the intense burst of colour, and careful pattern of petals and stamens, the angle of each exquisite flower head, I am captivated.

I planted three rose bushes in my garden this year none of which amounted to anything, beyond peering hopelessly and flowerlessly behind the too long grass. Neglect doesn’t seem to work too well with these plants.

The Botanical gardens, of course, have wonderfully maintained beds. In addition,each set of roses is carefully labelled, adding to the enjoyment. Want a rose called after you? Alan Titchmarsh has. Or name a rose after your favourite place? Rosa Oranges and Lemons got its name for its wonderfully variegated petals. But who was Sexy Rexy?

And rambled on to see the sculpture exhibition, and further on, to find long gone heroes in Glasnevin cemetery. But, for the rest of the day, my heart was captivated by sight and scent of roses.

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Beautiful Berries


It was a day for the garden in this neck of the woods. Nothing too strenous, mind. Just plucking pounds and pounds of berries.

Yes, the Chook House garden has the most amazing crop of blackcurrants, redcurrants and gooseberries, this year. The elderflower isn’t such an odd fellow in the whole mix as I tied up a bunch of them in muslin and cooked them up with the blackcurrants.

There’s a mighty good bunch of blooms on the elder tree too, so I’m thinking that this might be the year that I finally get around to making elderberry wine. Teen Son is very keen to help…

Pots of blackcurrant and gooseberry jam are stowed away now, ready to unleash their plump sweetness in the depths of winter. Redcurrant jam or jelly to follow.

Meanwhile, I am high on vitamins having stuffed myself with berries today. And high on a parkrun time which saw me, by dint of clever planning and race strategy, beating last week’s time….by twenty five seconds!

Hmmmm, maybe I should just stick to gardening and jam making….

Juneathon 28 Mileage: 3.2
Juneathon Total:82.02

The Regency Garden, Bunratty Folk Park

The bad news? I have fallen off the Juneathon bandwagon. The good news? I landed in Limerick.

Oh, and I have a plan for catching up with the rest of the Juneathon field.

Yes, I am still in Limerick for the purposes of this post. Or actually, just outside of the city in Co. Clare and I am back in  the superb Bunratty Folk Park.

This time, I am looking at some of the fantastic floral displays in the place, particularly in the Regency Garden there. It really is a breathtaking spot. A warm breeze was sweeping through there when we visited last Thursday, carrying the heavenly scents of jasmine and roses.

It was an invitation to look and linger, which we gladly accepted.

When I think of Regency, I am always reminded of Jane Austen. Assuming the planting of this garden is faithful to 1820s Britain, it is easy to imagine Austen’s cotery of characters rambling around this beautiful walled garden.

Three of the plants came from outside the garden-that’s the striped rose, the fushcia and the deep pink rose. They’re all from other parts of the folk park. Though I expect the foxglove and deep pink rose are typical of 1820s Britain, I am not sure about the candy striped rose. It was too beautiful to leave out, however.

There were no labels with these plants and so, I am at a loss for names. I yield to the greater expertise of my readers on this one. I’ve numbered them instead, and  be thrilled if you could name any of them for me.

Juneathon mileage in Bunratty Folk Park? I have no idea. I didn’t run around it though. It was more of a slow amble to savour the whole place.

But I did run on Wednesday. Just three miles.  And I had another nice amble around Limerick city yesterday, of which, more anon.

Juneathon Mileage Wednesday: Three miles

Juneathon Mileage to Date:55.14miles

Plans to catch up: On my Bike

Edited 22nd June: With Thanks to Hedwiga and Katie for helping identify the plants. And to Paige for trying!

Now, can anyone help name those plants, please?

Juneathon Blueathon

A full on day at work, followed by weeding the flower bed and mowing the half acre, left me with neither the time or energy for a run. Well, that’s my excuse anyway.

The flower bed at least brought some colour and joy, although I am perhaps, rather too fond of blue.

Today’s Juneathon Mileage: Nil

Juneathon Mileage to date: 38.14 miles