Garden writing lifts me up.

Six-on-Saturday – All That Blarney

Sometimes I think to myself that I’d be better off to ditch this SOS mullarkey to focus my attention on opening paragraphs for novels.

I’ll let you in on a little secret. I do like an early morning coffee outside, sometimes at about 4am. On Thursday the moon was almost full as I sipped my Bellaroom, peaceful as you like. Not a puff of wind, yet there was a noticeable coolness around my ankles.

Sometimes I think to myself that I’d be better off to ditch this SOS mullarkey to focus my attention on opening paragraphs for novels. Just give me the broad general gist of your novel and I’ll start you off with a half decent forty-nine-word scene-setting passage.

It’s been a stunningly beautiful warm week here in Abbeyside, the sort of stunning that we rarely have. These times are uplifting without being too hot. So, apart from sitting outside, dining outside and paragraphing before the early birds, I took myself off over the border into the Rebel County to visit Blarney Castle & Gardens. My chief-of-staff dear Marion guided me to the best parking spot with just one mishap, caused by road-workers.

Edited with PipCamera

We did not venture within twenty-two feet of the castle because we’d done that back in the day. Yes, we kissed the stone but in my case I must not have given it my best attempt. The words just would not flow naturally.

Follow along for some views of this lovely estate garden. In doing so, I’m saving readers a fortune because the entry fee is exorbitant, even for senior citizens. It’s my nature to broadcast such alerts.

The river is very interesting. Why is that, you ask? There was a time when a second smaller tributary joined, but when a mill was being built nearby, the smaller river was channelled underneath. Both intersect at right angles and continue on their separate ways.

I liked the various sections of the garden but the Seven Sisters area is the most beautiful, in my opinion. There are beautiful sculptures with links to Irish heritage blended in beautifully. I also love mixture of perennials and grasses.


The Irish word for fox is sionnach.

Seven Sisters

The legend states that around the year 1200AD, the local clan chieftain needed to do battle against his rivals. He had seven daughters and two sons, just about right for an obedient Catholic Irishman. Ar aon nós, his sons died fighting for the boss man. On his victorious return journey to the castle, the army passed the druidic nine-stone stone circle. Invoking his Catholic permission to purge pagan influences, he instructed his super-strong soldiers to knock over two stones. I stood in mourning for a minute. It’s a sad story.

Rather than dwell on the sadness, I moved off to admire the borders. This is one of my favourites.

And this…

I do recommend a visit to Blarney Castle & Gardens, but spend some time saving up your money, and bring a picnic because both cafes charge an arm and a leg. Indeed there are several beautiful places throughout the gardens to enjoy a relaxing picnic.

Find more Six-on-Saturday’s:

That’s it for this week, a cháirde. Get yourselves over to The Propagator to find many many more weekly gardening stories, and until next week, I hope that all will be well in your world. Slán go fóill.

This Time Last Year

Excerpt from August 2020:

“I’m going to cut to the chase, without further ado. Pronto, as it were. There will be no dilly-dallying or beating about the bush. I shall abandon the preliminaries and get stuck in immediately, foregoing the unnecessary preambles, because I’m eager to cut corners in order to get to the nub of the matter. Simply put, it’s the last weekend of August. It’s time for me to start making baby plants from cuttings.”

It seems that the gift bestowed upon me by a half-hearted kissing of the Blarney Stone has worked wonders!

Here’s the full article: Cut and Change

The Week That Was

Not garden-related, this is merely to keep a record of events for future reminiscing.

  • Phone calls to broadband providers are best made on rainy days. I wasted just short of two hours of my life. Can’t get them back.
  • Shortly, I’ll be abandoning this blog and moving to a new blog-home.
  • I’ve given the bike a decent rest this week. The saddle looked a bit worn.
  • Joe Duffy is back on radio after a short holiday. I’d rather he took an extended break.
  • Crystal Palace have played three matches this season but have not yet scored a goal.
  • I’m looking forward to my ninth year of retirement. More and more, I look forward to back-to-school days.


0 thoughts on “Six-on-Saturday – All That Blarney”

  1. Lovely pictures. That area around the Seven Sisters does look very nice indeed. I’m glad you’ve had some fine weather – we keep getting told how lovely the weather is this week, but it’s been very overcast for us!

  2. Very interesting! Can’t approve of the post-battle archaelogical vandalism but we’ll let that slip as it is a lovely story. The sculptures look great – I find myself wanting a standing stone circle in my own little garden but it would likely look silly so I’ll just enjoy yours.

    Opening gist of my novel:
    Man goes into garden promising to do a two minute job, gets lost in a 100m2 space for several weeks, gets threatened with divorce again.

    1. I’m on it, Adrian… That’s if it rains enough to keep me from some gardening two minute jobs!
      Likely there would have been uproar from the heritage minders of the day, but put to the sword if they created a fuss. 🤔

  3. A great garden but, as you say, the admission charge is beyond reasonable. That legend – just made up in the last few years by somebody who writes forty nine word scene setting beginnings to novels.

    1. Indeed, it’s a large parkland/forested estate. Could spend an entire day there. Added bonus is the gift of eloquence if you kiss the magic stone!

  4. It was the picture at the top took me back several decades. I have a similar shot of a man standing in front of a huge fir at Strone castle in Scotland. It also branches low, then has (had?) four huge trunks going way up. Tom Watts, ex work colleague and friend, wonder what happened to him?

  5. That’s a spot I hope to visit in the future, and I will heed all your sage advice. Thank you for those lovely photos. I have 4 sisters and we sometimes feel like blocks, but never quite that stoney! May you have more of that beautiful weather as the summer winds down!

    1. Definitely well worth a visit, a chara. Our warm weather continues; September is usually a lovely month.
      My regards to you & your sisters. May you be upstanding!

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