Posts Tagged ‘Bord na Mona’

Between Christmas and New Year – that time of year when we all make resolutions of some sort or other – we managed to get out for a couple of walks.  Despite the best efforts of the weather to spoil the opportunities!

We are lucky here in Redwood to have some lovely walks within a short distance from us, and one of my favourite winter places is Lough Boora Parklands.  It is a stark, bleak place which is especially beautiful on a cold, crisp, winters day.

However the day we visited recently it rained.  What’s new?  But the rain did ease very very slightly for some of the photos.  (It really is a challenge to take photographs when all about you is GREY!)

Lakes at Lough Boora

Lough Boora Parklands are managed by Bord na Mona who for years harvested the peat, but now are trying to give the area a new lease of life.

Dis-used Railway Tracks at Lough Boora

Can you imagine how busy this place must have been at one point?

There is an amazing diversity of birds to be seen in the area – and some wonderful bird watching stations.

Geese and ducks at Lough Boora

This guy was very very curious…. and followed me all along the way looking for food!

Once when we were there we were also amazed and mesmerized watching people with their model airplanes – now that’s a hobby I think I’d love!

But what Lough Boora really excels at are the sculptures!  I think it is every second year an artist from somewhere around the world is invited to come and create.  The only stipulation is that they use materials that are available within the area and reflect its history.  Over the years there have been some terrific pieces created from stone, old railway sleepers and even the old rails themselves.

The Pyramid at Lough Boora

'Trees' at Lough Boora

Sky Train at Lough Boora

The Sky Train is my favourite – there is something really surreal about it, isn’t there? I am sure this is not the correct name – but the ‘triangles’ are wonderful too – especially when the light is right and the sun catches them.

I was disappointed to note that the Willow Sculpture which is only a few years old has been allowed to deteriorate so much – it was built almost like a willow maze and was a beautiful piece.

Deteriorated Willow Sculpture at Lough Boora Parklands

But don’t let that deter you – if you are in the area stop by, it is a really wonderful place to walk and enjoy the peace and quiet – the noisiest thing there are the birds!

What’s your favourite spot of all to enjoy peace and quiet?

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You’d probably have to be half dead not to know that Bloom was on in The Phoenix Park this weekend.  Farmer Alfie and I have spent a day at Bloom each year since it opened.  This is it’s 5th year, and it has just got better and better each year.

This year I was doubly lucky.  Farmer Alfie and I were scheduled to go yesterday (Saturday), but then Yvonne at Hey Pesto! won two tickets to attend on Thursday and invited me to join her.  How could I resist?  So while Farmer Alfie tiled Yvonne’s hallway for her, the girls headed off to Bloom for a very civilised day out!

Hey Pesto! reporting from Bloom

Yvonne has reported on the food people we met, but I was blown away by some of the gardens!  Oh, to have such green fingers!

Since we’ve been here in Redwood, I have concentrated on growing vegetables and it is only in the past week that I have started a ‘flower’ garden!  When I lived in Donabate it was the other way around, all flowers and a few vegetables.  It was interesting to note that so many of the Show Gardens this year had incorporated vegetables extremely cleverly in their spaces.  Here are some of my favourite gardens….

RTE Super Garden winner

This was an urban garden that included a substantial vegetable plot and even a duck pond and 4 ducks!

More like my space!

This, I think, was the garden sponsored by Bord na Mona.  It was completely populated with wild flowers – foxglove, aquilegia, cow parsley… it was delightful!

An aspiration!

Could we have a water feature like this!

An end of the day space?

Now wouldn’t it be nice to have a space like this to chill out in at the end of a day in the garden?

Farmer Alfie and I were scheduled to head off to Bloom again on Saturday, but he wasn’t feeling well enough to travel so I headed off on my own and joined my brother, Seamus and his family at the show for my second visit!

Definitely going on a weekday is better if you really want to see the gardens. Saturday was busy.

But then it was a different day out as my two nieces were along (aged 6 and 8). They wanted to do different things – Daisy had daisies (of course!) painted on her arm.  Juliet had remembered operating the pottery wheel last year, so had brought along her snowman made of playdoh to show the pottery lady!  The pottery lady was very impressed and showed both girls how to make turtles which they were able to bring home with them!

On both visits the sun blazed down and we were able to have picnics on the lawn.

I resisted the temptation to purchase any plants at all on both visits…. but I did buy these silly ‘flower’ things that you attach to a hose.  One for here to water my vegetables while I go feed hens, ducks, etc. (Although, Farmer Alfie is suggesting it would be great to keep pigs cool on a hot day!)  And one for the girls – which they thoroughly enjoyed and had hooked up to the hose within 5 minutes of getting home!

Definitely two days out to be recommended.

Thank you to Yvonne, Seamus, Patricia, Daisy and Juliet!

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