Posts Tagged ‘GreensideUp’

That folks was the name (hashtag) that took over our lives when we had the bloggers here on a recent weekend trip.  I’d had a little bit of a rant about the organising of the trip, but ultimately I believe it went well.

This blog post is really going to be about ‘thank you’.  Thank you to all who were involved in one way or another.  It could not have happened without your support.

Thank you to Alfie who thought the idea of a bloggers’ tour was a good one, and who persisted with me in convincing Mid Ireland Tourism to go for it.  We love the area we live in, and want to help in any way we can to promote it and generate a better income for all others who live here.



Thank you to the bloggers who agreed to travel (at their own expense) and give of their time and expertise to promote the area.

Accommodation Providers:

I struggled a bit organising the accommodation but in the end “it all worked out on the night”.  Thank you to


Perhaps I should have tried to visit less places – there were times when we were a bit rushed – but I was so enthusiastic to show off as much as possible!  I just wanted to give everyone a taste of what is on offer – and, secretly, hoped it would tempt everyone to come back and visit again!

Goody Bags and Tastings:

I really did ‘step outside the box’ for this, and major thanks must go to all the local producers who I asked and who without fail came up trumps.

A special ‘thank you’ to Ron Wise who came to my rescue and made a delicious birthday cake for Regula who was celebrating her birthday that weekend.

And lastly, but definitely not least, mega thanks to Siobhan and David at Le Bouchon Restaurant in Portumna who stepped into the breech and produced the most delicious picnic lunch for us to take on the mini-cruise on Sunday.

That’s it folks…. I will, of course, be sharing blog posts as others write them…. for more detail on what we did and how the weekend went check out

Of course, if you are in the midlands, and on social media…. we’d love to see you using the #MagicalMidlands hashtag…. let’s keep the momentum going 🙂


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This past weekend has been all about Bloom 2013.  Bloom is Ireland’s biggest gardening and food festival.

We’ve gone to Bloom every year since it started, 7 years ago.  This year we were extremely grateful to recieve a gift of tickets to go on Friday.  We’ve found in past years Thursday or Friday were the best days to go…. as the further it goes into the weekend the bigger the crowds.

So early start and off we headed to Dublin.

Thursday had been a scorcher of a day, so we armed ourselves with sunscreen…. needn’t have bothered the sun never shone on Friday but it didn’t deter us.  In fact it probably made it more pleasant to wander about.

This was as close as we got to sun 🙂


I love the Victorian Walled Garden.  It is such a lovely area.  The affect the weather has had on the growing season was really evident in the Walled Garden – so little flowers compared to last year.  I always use the vegetables in the walled garden as a barometer for how my plants should be!  This year we are all at about the same stage….. the courgettes up there are probably just a little ahead of mine.

Next up it was a visit to the show gardens.  I have to say we were both rather disappointed with the show gardens this year.  Maybe it is a sign of the times?  There seemed to be less gardens.  Woodies had a good display of 3 or 4 suburban gardens.  And, yes, of course there were some lovely elements too.

herbs and lettuce growing on pallet


Loved the use of old pallets…. and the perfume from all those herbs was amazing.

We loved the colour of this garden wall.  Should we paint our yard wall?  Or should we go with the lichen look?

Red wall

Or a lichen covered wall

Maybe I am becoming a more ‘experienced’ gardener, but one thing that struck me was that a lot of the gardens had plantings that were either out of season or would most definitely not grow outdoors in Ireland.  I know, I know it is all about concept…. but come on we need inspiration to be a little real and achievable.

Chillies & Kumquats growing in garden

Chillies & Kumquats

Kumquats and chillies growing outdoors in Ireland?????

I loved this water fountain…. but his nibs says you’d need some water pump to run it…. but I can dream can’t I?  I think it would be a lovely feature in the back yard 🙂

Water fountain

For us the postcard gardens were so much more interesting.  There were some lovely achievable ideas there.

Dee and Sandra

A lovely photo of Dee and Sandra from the Community Garden Network.

The highlights of the day for us….. catching up with friends, lounging on the Elephant seats and chatting with Dee from Greensideup (who was there with the Community Garden Network… look at their yarn wrap garden), and John and Colette from As Seen by C.  Meeting the ‘real’ people behind some twitter names – Peter from Donegan Landscaping and David from Beyond the Wild Garden.

The lowlights…. everything seemed to be crammed in this year.  I don’t know was there more exhibitors or less space.  It was so difficult to find things.

And the PARKING!  We wanted to park in the ‘red’ carpark as research beforehand had indicated it was closest to Entrance 1.  So silly us followed the ‘red’ carparking signs, to only discover that all the carparking signs were red and we had parked in the ‘yellow’ carpark!!! (By the way, there was nothing to indicate that we parked in the ‘yellow’ carpark – it was just a sensible car attendant informed us as such).  We weren’t the only people to be fooled by this… we met others who couldn’t find their car after the event as they too thought they had parked in the ‘red’ carpark!  Dear organisers – it would be simple to use the colour coding on the signage too!


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I had heard of this ‘award’ last year and tried to find out more about it…. but ran into a dead end.

Liebster Award

Did the same this year, and no matter how deep you dig – it is impossible to find out where it originates from, or how it started.  So, my conclusion is that it is just a chain mail type of thing, that started somewhere and has just continued to go round and round since!  Sounds sinister in one sense.

However, when you stop and get over yourself on the ‘sinister’ bit.  What’s the harm?  It is all about being nice to 5 other bloggers.  That’s all!  Just sharing the love!

So the lovely lady who often joins me in some rants on twitter – Maggie at Foodborn and Bred – was kind enough to nominate me for the award which was really rather nice.  Thank you so much.

So now she has set me the challenge to pick 5 other bloggers to nominate.

There are rules – there are always rules – and yes, you could take the attitude that rules are made to be broken!  But I will try to be good.  There aren’t that many rules – only 5.

  1. You thank the person who gave you the award
  2. Then link back to that person’s blog
  3. Copy and paste the Liebster award to your own profile
  4. Pick 5 blogs who you feel deserve to be noticed (they have to have under 200 followers)
  5. Then finally blog it and leave a comment to let your 5 choices know they have been chosen.

The bit I find the most challenging…. and I hope I don’t insult, or embarrass anyone here.  How do I know how many followers people have?  I may well just be plain thick and there is an obvious answer to this.  But in the interim forgive me – no insult is meant.

Here, in no particular order, are my five nominations.  (Should have drum roll now – this is just like the Oscars!)

  1. Dee at GreensideUp for her great gardening advice and handy growing vegetable tips – which reminds me I need to go get my tomatoes and chillis planted for this year!
  2. Karen at FollowTheFoodLink for the insightful pieces she writes about Irish food. And she makes some damn nice bread too!
  3. Gillian at Chocolate Here who is taking a little break from blogging at the moment so she can enjoy her new LittleButton, but will be back… and Gillian also makes the nicest chocolate things ever!
  4. Fiona at Hunterslodge Living who shares our love of pigs, hens and growing vegetables.
  5. Sharon at Foodie Fancies who wrote a lovely piece about us for the Irish Examiner, and who is also soon to open up her own cafe in Dingle… best of luck Sharon!

So there are my five nominees.

It is difficult to single out just 5 of the many blogs I read some of which have lots of followers – I have deduced this from the amount of comments they get.  Is this how you judge these things?  Maybe someone will give me an inspiring answer!


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