It’s embarrassing. I realise that it is 27 years since I was last in Ireland. *o**! and my son’s called Kieran an’ all. And I just went for only 24 hours, to give what felt like a very successful workshop on designing with foliage for the Garden and Landscape Designers Association. I hate doing FIFOs (Fly In, Fly Out is the polite version), but schedule doesn’t allow much else at the moment.
Dublin is in a post-tiger-economy hangover, but the coastal strip looks great. Fantastic seaside exotic-looking gardens. Interesting to talk with people about what you can do/grow and what you can’t do/grow. Generally too cold and windy to sit out and treat the garden as an outside room for one thing. Reports that late herbaceous stuff like solidagoes just don’t perform – so little warmth, so little seasonality. Would be interesting to hear from other people about that. People’s complaints about the weather reminded me of Mark Twain about San Francisco, and the worst winter he ever had was a summer there, in that famously cool but never cold all the year round city.
Ok, this isn’t California, but there are similarities with the amazing range of exotica which does so well – practically anything from the Atlantic Islands and NZ, and a lot of South African. Just so long as it doesn’t want either a proper winter or a proper summer. Gardens can look really exotic, and echiums and Geranium maderense naturalise.
Met up with Oliver and Liat who run Mount Venus Nursery, which has an amazing range of plants. They’re German, not that you’d ever believe Oliver was anything but Irish – Liat sounds like Nico though). Trained with Dr.Hans Simon near Würzburg – owner of the world’s most untidy nursery. So were thoroughly grounded in all the right way of garden thinking. Catalogue looks very exciting.
Must go back.