The Holidays: Part II

Am just back from an amazing week in Rosslare of all places and the sunny south east lived up to its reputation. Funny how everywhere looks so much better in the sunshine and Rosslare strand was like the south of France all week. My family and I stayed at kelly’s and now all need to join weight watchers having stuffed our chops from the time we woke up ‘til last thing at night. The gardener at Kelly’s really deserves a mention: the planting is superb and just goes to show that sandy, exposed sites can be planted just as beautifully planted as anywhere else and that there are lots of things that will do very nicely thank you in such a situation. A small dune protects the back garden and the inner edge of this has been planted in Mediterranean style grasses, Phormium and Cordyline. I normally loathe the latter two plants, but they look perfect for a seaside garden. The thuggish Phormium acts like marram grass in holding the light sandy dune in place. Inside the garden another thug thrives and looks spectacular – Echium pininana a canary island native – gives the place a really exotic feel. These are underplanted with day lilies, leucanthemum shaggy, a lovely fluffy version of the common shasta daisy, a lovely red day lily (whose name I don’t know) and lots of Kniphofia lucifer. All were thriving in the dry heat. Shady groves were provided by huge cedar trees and olearia traversii. One of many lovely moments was provided by a bunch of starlings. I was sitting in the sauna, which has a large window overlooking the sea and the dunes. Outside is a huge Phormium which was covered in these much maligned and tenacious little birds sticking their beaks into the spent flower heads seeking seeds. It was a lovely sight and one I haven’t seen before.

I came home to find the garden dry as a bone and poor plants wilting everywhere. Have carried out a massive cutting back and deadheading operation and gave it a good watering (how I dread the introduction of water charges) and it is looking a little perkier.

Too hot to sit here and type any longer – off outside to do some more pottering.

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