Delete, Delete, Delete!

The photo counter on the camera is often a good indicator of an enjoyed garden visit; the higher the count the more I found I considered beautiful, worth photographing, worth looking back on again at home. But, then, there are the occasions when the count is high because I have made such an effort to capture something of beauty, something of interest, something pleasing and the review when home is a series of delete, delete and delete again and again.

We visited Lismore Castle Gardens yesterday and, to preface further comments and to be fair to the garden, it was a miserable day. It wasn’t quite raining but was dark, overcast with the cloud cover almost at head height and with a constant hint of dampness on the skin. No garden could sparkle on such a day so it was no surprise that the gardens at Lismore Castle were a dull affair when we visited. This was a disappointment as I have enjoyed many visits to the gardens and have always enjoyed them – especially in spring/early summer when that specimen Magnolia campbellii across from the sections of the Berlin Wall, installed as a sculptural piece in the garden, is in full flower – it is spectacular and worth a visit for its own sake alone.

Dull days can dull enthusiasm and, possibly, I wasn’t to be pleased on this day. I saw neglect wherever I looked; wished the gardens had had more attention; that they hadn’t such a neglected look about them; that “gardening for nature/pollinators” wasn’t going to be trotted out as a cover-up for wilderness, weediness and lack of hands-on gardening – there were no signs to that effect by the way, but it would have been the final insult which, thankfully, was not delivered.

Despite all of this, we enjoyed out day out for it was the first day out in ages. There was a clear discomfort about the visit: people – well, most people! – were obviously constantly conscious of their distance/closeness to others. We parked a little down the street from the entrance and as we walked up the narrow footpath, my eye was caught by a wildflower I hadn’t seen for a while – Wall Lettuce – so I stopped to take a photograph. Mary pointed out that people who were walking a little distance behind us had stopped so as to avoid coming too close to us. There were several such small incidents as we walked the garden, incidents which were understood and appreciated, while I was uncomfortable to be near those people who made no effort to be maintain a reasonable distance. (I have expressed my feelings more gently than I did at the time!)

We dined at the Sea View Restaurant in Dungarvan on our way home. Dungarvan locals would know this as Boreenatra with its beautiful view across the bay to the Cunnigar and Abbeyside. The food was from “And Chips”.

The “Sea View Restaurant”, Boreenatra. Looking across to Abbeyside Church.

2 thoughts on “Delete, Delete, Delete!

  1. I like the gardens there but thought it neglected on our visit last month too .
    Lots of weeds where none should have been and being pollinator friendly isn’t an excuse in formal planting but as you say it wasn’t used.
    I suspect that they didn’t expect to be open at all given the pandemic , and the season for everything is about 2 weeks ahead on my opinion making it look tired for time of year .
    I heartily recommend Foleys Bar near St Carthages cathedral for outdoor dining if you’re there again .Dining area is glass roofed , but open at the ends and food is excellent .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s hard to figure out what the story was with the garden. I have found it tended to a high standard in previous years but it is not to that standard this year. We haven’t eaten at a restaurant since the start of the pandemic as we are too nervous to do so – even with open-ended seating. There had been a write-up in the Irish Times recently about this fish and chip shop so we thought we would give it a go and it was very nice, pricey but nice: two portions of scampi and chips with two soft drinks came to €32. After placing the order, you wait outside and it is brought out to you when ready. We then went to a small parking area with a view, a place I played very often as a child – swimming and searching for crabs!


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