Will You Look at the Limelight!

So she said as we sat drinking our breakfast coffee while watching the morning news on television. At that hour of the day “limelight” was a word that left my poor not-so-fast-early-in-the-morning brain puzzled; it certainly wasn’t clear to me what Mary had in mind. She’s used to that vacant, lost look on my face and quickly rescued me from my fear of sudden-onset dementia with “the hydrangea…Hydrangea ‘Limelight’. Look at how the flowers are gleaming in the sunshine!”

Hydrangea paniculata 'Limelight' (2)
Hydrangea paniculata ‘Limelight’, glistening in the morning sunshine

Hydrangea paniculata 'Limelight'Hydrangea paniculata 'Limelight' (1)

Indeed, they were gleaming as the early morning sunshine lit them up, peeping over a yew hedge. I’m a man of action – hey, even old men can dream! – and I went for my camera to capture the moment, Carpe momentum at least if not the entire diem. One wouldn’t wish to overdo it so early in the morning!

Garden view early morning (24)
Early morning light and views in the garden – a very pleasant time to walk around.

Acer cappadoceum Aureum Garden view (2)Acer negundo 'Kelly's Gold' and Garden view (1)

Even before leaving the house another such moment presented itself – a momentous morning, so to speak. The resident small family of pheasants were immediately outside the kitchen window, tummies full after the breakfast I had served half an hour earlier and now taking their ease, a little grooming, a little stretching, a peck here and there, relaxing.

After breakfast, which I provide every day, the pheasants pick a spot to do their preening. 
Three chicks from this year, now nearly as big as their parents.
A teenager admiring the flowers!

With camera in hand and two moments already presented to me I took a quick walk around the garden in search of others for, oftentimes, moments of beauty and interest go unnoticed because we don’t look for them. It was a quick walk for the morning was cool, the dew on the grass very heavy – I was still in pyjamas and dressing gown – and the camera battery didn’t last very long. Nonetheless, there were more such moments and I captured them!


Betula utilis 'Jacquemontii' evening sun view John's house
Evening light showing Betula utilis ‘Jacquemontii’ to good effect
Sorbus 'Autumn Spire' Garden View
A young specimen of Sorbus ‘Autumn Spire’, colouring nicely.
Acer griseum, view river Betula utilis 'Jacquemontii'
Acer griseum, on the left, framing an evening view to the river.

Some individual plants which are attractive at the moment:

Colchicum speciosum 'Rubrum'
I have photographed Colchicum speciosum ‘Rubrum’ almost on a daily basis since the first flower appeared almost a fortnight ago. It has proved a tricky colour to capture accurately but today’s photograph is my very best and I am delighted with it. 
Nerine - white pale pink near pond
A very pale pink Nerine, without a cultivar name, but very beautiful as it catches the light.
Nerine x bowdenii view John's house
And, elsewhere, a large stand of Nerine x bowdenii – shocking pink!
Mahonia 'Mid-Winter Fire' (3)
Mahonia ‘Midwinter Fire’ always gives a great display at the start of winter – and also has a delicious fragrance. 
Liriope muscari
Liriope muscarigives wonderful colour at this time of year and it excellent in dry and shaded conditions under trees.
Euonymous planipes (1)
The beautiful seeds of Euonymous planipes!
Epilobium canum 'Glasnevin'
Epilobium canum ‘Dublin’ – an Irish cultivar of the Californian fuchsia.
Dryas octopetala Mountail Avens seedheads
The fluffy seedheads of Mountain Avens, Dryas octopetala, give a second period of interest to this plant. 
Parthenocissus henryana
Parthenocissus henryana covers the wall of our garage and gives a great display of colour each autumn.
Poppy red near John's house
A little poppy grown from seed many years ago – a gift from a friend. 
Primula 'Pink Ice'
Primula ‘Pink Ice’ – recent rains have convinced it that spring has arrived. 
Colchicum 'Waterlily'
Colchicum ‘Waterlily’ – I moved a big number of these during the summer and they are beginning to flower again which comes as a relief. 

And, finally, some sculpture in the garden – our local bridge!

Bridge view (4)


15 thoughts on “Will You Look at the Limelight!

    1. I generally “frame it out” of my photographs! LOL It’s an attractive structure but I’m glad that we don’t look at it from any of the daytime windows of the house. It is in view from one bedroom and when our grandson sees the light on top of the main pier he believes Santa is coming – whoever spun him that tale!


    1. I enjoy photography and it brings home very clearly this idea of “snatching the moment”. Oftentimes I will spot something which looks especially good, caught in a good light perhaps, and know that if I don’t go then and there to get the camera it will be gone. Moments are fleeting – an analogy for life? – and one must act if you wish to capture them in a photograph. It’s good fun then when it works.


    1. Thank you , Sally. I always explain that I am the Undergardener here and that Mary is the Headgardener. It is shared pastime and we spend most days, weather permitting, in the garden. We are here just over 30 years. It is a country garden, a rural garden, and never had big money spent on it – bit by bit with much propagated here at home, swaps with fellow gardeners etc etc. We enjoy being in the garden. It is our place etc.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I use a Nikon D200 – now ten years old but still I enjoy using it – and I have read that, by design, Nikon cameras produce images which are less vibrant, with less colour saturation and demand editing afterwards to bring out the colours well. On the other hand, Canon produces images with too much vibrancy and saturation! The rich colour of this colchicum has teased me for several weeks and it is one I loved so much that I really wished to reproduce it accurately.


  1. Paddy,

    I am trying to identify the bridge, it is reminiscent of the Boyne bridge at Drogheda, but I am perplexed as to what bridge it is?

    I particularly like the images which show the different parts of your garden (all painstakingly manicured as expected!), they give a great perspective of your site and give amateur gardeners like me ideas on what plant combinations might work well together. Your border ‘layers’ are truly inspiring and I also like the way your boundary is blurred into the farmland & river, which draws the eye further into the horizon.

    I hope you will post more similar articles on your own garden, it is definitely worth showing off! Jolly well done.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Many thanks for such kind comments. I am not inclined to write about our garden except when something catches my attention or imagination – as with Mary’s comment to me yesterday morning. It provides a hook, so to speak, on which to hang a piece. I fear writing on the garden on a regular basis can smack of being instructional and that does not appeal to me. I’m a retired teacher and have done enough of that and I dislike reading articles of that nature, of being “instructed”. Stubborn and grumpy old codger! Re the bridge: this is the River Suir Bridge which is to the west of Waterford City, officially named The Thomas Francis Meagher Bridge.


  2. The sunlight at this time of year is particularly inviting! I was returning home an hour ago and couldn’e resist going walkabout too! My hands nealy froze on the phone (didn’t even wait to go indoors to get the camera) but I’m hoping the results will be worth posting! I’m putting my pictures up on the new garden.ie site – have you checked it out yet?It is still in Beta testing but is looking very positive!

    Liked by 1 person

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