We visited Mount Usher in Ashford, Co. Wicklow, earlier in the week. A beautifully bright morning after so many dull, wet and miserable days prompted a snap decision and we were on our way within thirty minutes. There have been major road developments on this route in recent years and though we have encountered them on previous journeys they still had a certain novelty about them. Previously, we would have had to travel through New Ross, Clonroche, Enniscorthy, Ferns and Camolin – Gorey was bypassed years ago thankfully for it was a dreadful bottleneck – before reaching Ashford and Mount Usher. And, again of note, we used have to travel through Rathnew and on to Ashford, another bother spared. On our journey on Tuesday, all were bypassed with the exception of Clonroche and, I imagine, that will happen at some stage too. The new layout is still strange to us, so many new roundabouts where roads meet, but it is a huge improvement and crossing the River Barrow via the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Bridge near Glenmore still impresses as a magnificent feat of engineering.
It was a quiet day at Mount Usher – an advantage of retirement is that we are not confined to weekend travel but can go when suits us and we are able to visit on the quieter days. We quickly realised that the timing of our visit was just a little early, by a week or a little more, for we have always tried to be there for the flowering of the beautiful small Scilla biflora which has naturalised through large sections of the garden to give a very impressive blanket of light blue in season. With the coincidental flowering of crocus, of the native wood anemone, Anemone nemerosa, and of the dog’s tooth violet, Erythronium dens-canis, this time of year is one of great beauty in the gardens.
Crocus in the gardens. Obviously planted years ago they have now naturalised and look wonderful: Click to expand:
So, was it bad timing? For a while I thought so and was a little disappointed but I quickly came to enjoy all that was in the garden. The river views were as beautiful as ever; the daffodils were simply spectacular with wonderful drifts of Narcissus pseudonarcissus, some of the snowdrops were lingering on and there were beautiful naturalised areas of crocus and erythroniums. There was a great deal to be enjoyed and there’s nothing stopping me returning next week or the week after – and the opportunity for another pleasant lunch might just tempt me!
Narcissus pseudonarcissus, often called the Lent Lily, is the perfect daffodil for naturalising in the garden. Click to exlarge the images:
I’m sure, if I made a decent effort, I could come up with one of those sickening inspirational quotations about good timing or something along the lines of the flogged-to-death “Carpe Diem!” but I won’t. The timing wasn’t perfect. The timing was perfect. Go figure it out yourself!
A few further views:
And, finally a few flowers, odds and ends:
So, after that, I shouldn’t even considered for one moment that our timing was bad! It was a wonderful day, very enjoyable, a lovely day out and to be repeated again soon, I hope!