Garden writing lifts me up.


July 2022.

Since Easter, I’ve not been as regular with the garden writing. The truth is that I’ve been looking for a different angle. I just haven’t had the motivation to do the “This-is-a-hydrangea” together with a paragraph or two about it.

My guess is there are about a hundred different plants in the garden at any one time, so it’s pretty obvious to me that writing about the garden comes to a natural end.

On the other hand, last week I threw together a few photographs, but the few paragraphs had nothing to do with gardening. Nothing whatsoever! I wrote about something that goes on in my head… something that goes on in everyone’s head. The power of my/our thoughts

And guess what? There’s folk out there that responded. It seems that my message resonated with readers. The fact that there were a few unconnected photographs of flowers did not in any way take from the message. In fact, it was directed to everyone, irrespective of whether they are gardeners or not.

So, guess what again? I’m going to see if this type of thing is worth pursuing. There’ll be a few photos and something unrelated… and well see how it pans out….

Plants and flowers bring back memories. I remember particular flowers from my mam’s garden. The dahlia above would have been typical. So I began thinking of other memories. Here’s where the “tolally-unrelated-to-dahlia” bit comes in…

A memory that makes me smile… youth hostelling with 6th class in Glencree in early eighties… they were a great class, bubbly and interesting. One evening , after sausages & beans, one girl was pushed to deliver a message… I could see she was giddy yet nervous…
Can we tell you your nickname, sir? Will you be cross?
I don’t know until you tell me, says I.
And she hesitated and they all giggled madly.
Well… OK. Your nickname is… Baldylocks and the Three Hairs.
And she looked right at me hoping it was OK. Everyone was hushed, and I figured I’d think about it for a few seconds longer than necessary. Poor kids didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. Then I just burst out laughing!
Whoever thought up that name should get no homework tonight, I says.
But it’s Saturday, they all sighed.
Those were the days teachers could bring kids away on trips. I know since that appalling things happened to kids, but my memories of Wicklow are amazing.

Background: I had been teaching in Dublin 1978-1985 and spent many weekends in the Wicklow Mountains.

The 6th class kids mentioned above would be in their early fifties, I’d be thinking. Shur, at the time I wasn’t much older than them. In fact, the gap is still the same!

We all have memories. In a way, we are able to be in two places at the same time.


12 thoughts on “Glencree”

  1. As a gardener, I enjoy your photographs. As a writer, I enjoy reading these snippets of memoir, so either is good. It’s your blog so you should write about things that come to mind. I keep my blog strictly as a journal of my own gardening, but have other, separate blogs for writing, photography, and general ranting 😉

    1. Out of curiosity, is your writing blog public? Enjoy the summer, Eileen. Hope temperatures in recent days haven’t been too severe for you.

  2. I love blogs that are jumbles of gardening and other stuff, always so colourful, interesting and fun. My own chaotic offerings have no chance of ever being a serious garden journal! I think you should definitely pursue this path and see where it leads. Bon courage, Pádraig (and as a former teacher myself, I really loved your tale). 😊

  3. I write mainly about gardening but regularly allow myself to wander about as pleases me. My brief dalliance with the Six on Saturday brought home to me that I really didn’t wish or enjoy writing for an audience, which is somewhat of a contradiction as I realise there are people who read my blog regularly, but that I really was writing for myself, for my own pastime and enjoyment. Of course, the occasional response is really appreciated but I have found I have had more responses after meeting a reader in person and it is hugely surprising for somebody to say, “I read your blog and enjoy it!”. I would suggest you write about what you enjoy and find interesting and write for yourself.

    Of old schoolday memories, there are many. Somewhat echoing your story for it would raise eyebrows, and perhaps more, if it happened nowadays. There was a boy, 6th class, who loved flicking up the girls’ skirts. They complained and I reprimanded, again and again to no avail. One lunchtime two girls came in to me and said, “We’re tired of this going on and we’re going to deal with it. Is that OK with you?” “Oh, that’s fine” I said. They went after him in the playground, stripped him to the skin and left him there. He ran and hid in the toilets until classtime when they gave him his clothes back.

    Then there was the time of the first computer in the school which petrified me and the assembly of processor, keyboard and monitor was proving very stressful until one of the 6th class girls, in total exasperation, shouted at me, “Will you fu.k off, Paddy and leave me do it.”. I did and she did!

    1. Maith fear, Paddy! Great memories indeed.

      Yes, my writing is for myself and the lovely Six-on-Saturday is no longer motivating me as it initially did. I may dip in at random.
      Thanks for taking the time for a mighty reply.

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