Mount Usher is a beautiful garden to visit at any time but there are two moments we try to catch each year. The first is the when the gardens are under a flood of blue Scilla biflora and the second is when the trees take on their autumn colours and the vistas along the river are simply spectacular.
After such a miserable winter it was a treat to see the gardens looking so pretty. By the way, I’ve been told to stop using that word, “miserable”, as it has come to describe my state of being this past while but a garden visit, a nice day out, a bite to eat in the restaurant brightens the spirits wonderfully.
I wonder when these scillas were first planted and how many for their increase has been quite phenomenal with whole areas of the garden completely covered in their light blue interspersed in some areas with the native wood anemone, Anemone nemerosa, the white flowers a very pleasing contrast to the light blue; a perfect combination.
The river always catches the eye and draws the visitor but yesterday was not the best. So many trees and shrubs have had their foliage burned or scorched by storm, frost and snow that there is a dullness about the colour of the place as new spring growth has yet to burst through. It won’t be long!
The other “blue” was the blue of sadness. When you enter the gardens and reach the large Magnolia grandiflora with the mill stone in front of it the double herbaceous borders are to your right and to the left is a quite area, mainly grass, with a magnificent specimen of Evodia daniellii, the Bee Bee Tree, on the left. We always stop to look at this tree, mainly because we have a young tree in our own garden which we grew from seed about twenty years ago, and also because it is so beautiful and the only other place we see a mature tree is in Mount Congreve, in Waterford. (You may see this plant listed as “Euodia” or “Tetradium” also.) It gives a beautiful display of off-white flowers in early summer – greatly appreciated by the bees and so its common name – and it will have masses of small red berries in autumn. The specimen at Mount Usher is/was truly magnificent, a thing of great beauty. Unfortunately, a very large branch fell from a nearby Southern Beech, Nothofagus, in the storms of early March of this year and smashed the crown of the Evodia. The tree surgeons have cut out the damaged and broken branches and all that can be done for now is to wait and hope that it will reshoot from old wood. It will never be the magnificent specimen it has been for so many years but it is alive and where there is life there is hope!
However, there was much to enjoy in the garden – as there always is and here is a selection of images: