Using Borrowed Landscapes.

Waterford, south-east Ireland. Saturday, 8th May 2021

Using the views which the outside surroundings of the garden provide is one of the regularly recommended design principles of garden planning. We have a view to the River Suir from the garden and though we have made no effort to frame the view we do enjoy it very much and I find it is a view I photograph regularly.

Looking down the garden, past the “Bulb Lawn” with the snowdrops in flower, over the road and across the “mash” to the River Suir – a borrowed landscape.

There are other occasions when “borrowed landscape” can be put to good use such as when one wishes to write a weekly account of gardening activities but reckons there really is nothing especially interesting to report. The Head Gardener continued with her round of weeding and freshening up, potted on some batches of seedlings and planted out her sweet peas. I feel I did very little: the windy conditions brought down load after load of catkins from the birch trees and I blew them off the tarmacadam repeatedly; the grass on the front lawns was cut and edged and we collected unwanted patio slabs – Indian sandstone, no less – from our son’s house and began laying them in front of the garden shed where the traffic has worn the grass away. All necessary but hardly exciting.

This is where the borrowed landscape comes to the rescue. Our travel restrictions were eased last weekend and we were able to visit gardens within our own county. I showed some photographs last week from Mount Congreve Gardens which are only ten minutes or so away from us but we also travelled a little further to visit the gardens of Lismore Castle. I could “borrow” material from their website but you would find much more by visiting yourself. I recommend the blog written by head gardener, Darren Topps, and the very interesting restoration project for the Paxton vinery which is presently underway.

For the moment, I will borrow some of the landscape of Lismore Castle Gardens – the upper garden, the lower garden and the tulip display, which I think deserves a section all of its own, and a few of the restoration of the vinery. Each is presented as a slideshow so click on the arrow on the right to move through the images.

The Upper Garden, in the vicinity of the castle:

The area below the castle, more informal in layout:

The tulips were especially beautiful, some wonderful colour combinations:

Just a few images of the restoration work which is ongoing on the Paxton vinery. I have seen work done by this company at Fota Island Gardens in Cork and it was absolutely fabulous – wonderful skill and attention to historic accuracy and detail:

Not to completely neglect our own garden I took a walk around during the week on one of those ever so bright mornings which follow on a night of sharp frost. It may look bright and cheerful but it was very chilly. Mr. Pheasant came with me, with his plaintive begging calls, as I hadn’t fed him yet – I did afterwards and his chatter changed to his grateful Guh guh guh guh!

Finally, a little colour, the first paeonia of the season to open here: Paeonia ‘Feng Dan Bai’.

The new paved area outside the garden shed is not quite finished and, after the heavy rain of last night, it might have to wait another little while. There has been a little progress in the Covid situation as I had my first dose of vaccine yesterday morning. The second will be in twelve weeks time. It is the beginning of the end, I hope.

I’m sharing this blog with a group of fellow bloggers who contribute to a “Six on Saturday” theme which is hosted by “The Propagator”. To read more contributions go to The Propagator’s entry for today, scroll down to the comments and you will find other bloggers have posted links to their Saturday entries there. Lots to read!

28 thoughts on “Using Borrowed Landscapes.

  1. Lovely selection of photos as always Paddy! I think my favourites of the Lismore ones are the tree ferns and were the other ferns Shuttlecock ferns? Your own garden is looking amazingly trim – and your “borrowed” garden feature of the bridge is delightful! Sounds like a good use of those spare paving slabs! Just be careful of your back when you are laying them!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, they are shuttlecock ferns and they always look so good at this time of the year with the new growth.


  2. Thanks for sharing your trip, it looks a beautiful place and one to visit if I ever visit your land again. One thing stood out for me though, the peony, wow! What an absolute stunner, and I am sure even better in real life. They may have a short season, but by golly they are worth it. Glad you have had your first jab and hope you feel OK after it. The only way is up! Have a good week Paddy.

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    1. Using the photographs from Lismore Castle was a lazy way of doing the weekly roundup of gardening activities. We had another day out to a nearby wood with lots of bluebells but, of more interest to me, lots of Early Purple orchids. First jab went without the least reaction so happy with that.

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  3. Restoring an old building like this is very pretty and meticulous. The historic style must be preserved. I have friends who own a castle near home who have restored an old glasshouse and it’s a monstrous ( and expensive ) job!

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    1. We are very fortunate to have a bit of space. Mary’s cousin is married to the farmer who owns the land around us so he was willing to sell us a good piece of land to add to the original garden.

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  4. That’s a lovely view of the river, it must be very peaceful to contemplate. The tulips at Lismore Castle are spectacular, I especially like the groupings in the old, weathered pots. Mr. Pheasant is still looking rather dapper!

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  5. Just look at that amazing vinery! Paxton got about didn’t he? Whilst I find it hard to believe your garden lacked interest this week I’ve greatly enjoyed reading about your visits elsewhere.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It might be the case that I lacked interest this week and the many car runs for those slabs, cleaning them, moving them up the garden, laying them etc would make only the most tedious report!


  6. Lismore Castle is owned by the Duke of Devonshire! Just too far for a day trip and we have never been passing at a good time to stop!

    Sent from my iPad


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    1. Darren has done wonderful work since his arrival at Lismore Castle and has no need to consult with amateurs! He is in a different class and we are happy to admire his work.

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