The Art of Gardening

This smattering of images from Saffron Thomas and Ian Stanley’s garden at Lisserlough near Boyle Co. Roscommon is your Sunday Treat. The open day was today and we the lucky ones visited last weekend when the weather was more clement. I met Saffron many years ago at one of the plant swaps in Knockvicar. Herself , Bridget Foy and Colette O’Neill were a trio of  gardeners full of enthusiasm, Latin names  and bore a kind of valiant stubbornness that wasn’t  going to let the soil or the weather get in their way  of having their cake and eating it. What a blast. I  really needed to meet them. Although I am very happy to wax on about organics and growing vegetables, when I hear words like “Primula auricula” or the more elongated ” Acer palmatum “dissectum atropurpureum”  I  am right at home.

Iris siberica ‘ Silver edge’ growing at the edge of the pond

Lets take a closer look at this  garden of trails and sculpture


We don’t luxuriate much in these parts . The soil needs a lot of work, fertility wise and texture-wise and you name it wise. In my case it’s a gritty clay topsoil albeit not much of it, above some sort of concrete daub, I’m not kidding. It is not like gardening in  Wicklow and Dublin with it’s 2 foot of top soil,  gardens like this take a lot of time, patience and effort to mature usually a pick too. And did I say determination? lots of that also. There is a word for a gardening technique I’m sure is never used around here. Its bastard trenching, not sure if the name is related to the process or has some other origin. In any case bastard trenching is not possible in West Cavan or anywhere around here, instead we go for the lazy bed. The lazy bit comes after . I will talk about that another time I think.

Fab cardoons

Yes and we had a lovely lunch there too sitting on the terrace and Saffron insisted on us taking cuttings and seedlings, so generous. You can visit this garden in July 10th & 30 , August 21 and September 11. Call 0868691141.

By the way Saffron was one of the participants in my Art exhibition back there in 2014, fff . fabulous fecund female.

Saffron in her garden with Rudbeckia

If you are reading this Saffron I will be back for my Iris!

Continue reading “The Art of Gardening”


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Walking along the canal bank of the Woodford river in Ballyconnell, Co. Cavan In the carpark at Ballinamore Co. Leitrim also at the same carpark At the canal Teetering between the ephemeral and higher contrast Advertisements