Friday, July 20, 2018

Yarnbomb! SOMA, Castlewellan, July 2018

Being textile people at heart, we always keep a weather eye out for yarn related activities in the World.

We were delighted therefore to see the great yarnbomb of the SOMA festival in Castlewellan this year.

It's a great spectacle, and a worthy contribution to this great, growing festival

Well done to all those talented dedicated people who created it - some of them not too far afield!

Friday, June 22, 2018

Summer Solstice 2018

It being Ireland, there are not too many fine dry Solstice days. 

I can recall about in and around ten in the thirty three years we have been back!

This 21st June 2018 is a noteworthy exception, absolutely beautiful, if a bit breezy.

Here are some pictures from the day:

Charlie on his lawn

the shrubbery!

the view from the lawn, with our three 'significant trees'

Elaine and Charlie, in a shady nook by the purlin seat

one of the small paths heads into the woods

the cross path below the woods

at the bottom of the garden

fuchsia, hit hard by the late frosts, but flowering early!

the willow tunnel
the view from the far seat

looking down to the far seat

massive skies

Friday, June 08, 2018

High Summer

A friend once said to me that in this part of the world there are two seasons:

May,  and Winter!

Well, this year May has been kind enough to offer some of it's cracking weather to the first week of June.

The days are warm and sultry, and as the evening sun approaches the Solstice on the 21st, the light on The Mournes is spectacular

Slieve Bernagh

The sun catches the Mourne Wall at the Hare's Gap

The view from the Picnic Lawn - stupendous!

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

The end of April, majestic clouds and flowers

It's been mainly cold and damp this month, with a few, precious few, lovely Spring days.

Still, the growing time is upon us, planting in the vegetable garden has started - onions and potatoes (pictures to follow when something shows!) and Elaine has planted seeds in the greenhouse.

Tonight, in between the hail showers, we have had lovely sunshine.

Quite appropriate for April then:

Magnolia Stellata on the lawn

Cherry Blossom

Peeping through to Slieve Bernagh

a handsome sight

passing storm in the East, can you see Moon and Rainbow?

similar energy over Spelga in the South
Earlier in the day Charlie and I walked on the Mourne coastal path at the Bloody Bridge, the sea was amazing:

Monday, March 19, 2018

A Wintery Start to 2018

We've had three major snow and ice incidents this year so far, and it's only March!

Here are a few pics of our adventures round the garden:

Tuesday, March 22, 2016


This is to be a year of consolidation

Each year since we've been here we have started new projects.

With generous, energetic and expert help from our friends we have renewed, repurposed and reimagined the place.

Looking back, the transformation is amazing!

But there remains a lot of 'finishing off', from the slating of the roof to painting the windows of the felt studio (and re painting the first doors we put in!)

The great spell of weather has enabled us to tackle the front garden.

A real Sleeping Beauty when we found it, completely overgrown

overgrown from road to house - 45 feet of foliage!

We spent the first Autumn cutting and clearing, got back to open space, and waited to see what grew.

Here's the first post about it back in 2010:

However, when we took the roof off the house, this was the inevitable result:

a deluge of timber, slate, stone and birds nests!
Well, after a happy week in the outdoors, we're back to where we were:

clear paths and a flower bed

a little panorama shot, we've got about half way there!
So, a few more days and we'll have the front garden where we want it; clear of invasive species and mowable.

A Treat of a Seat

One of the bits of detritus to be cleared was one of the roof purlins.
It is a massive 4.1 meter piece of pitch pine, at least 100 years old.

You can see it in situ in this picture from 2013:

on the left the big purlin timber
Here it is on the ground, out of the garden:

We've always wanted a simple wooden bench in the garden looking down past the trees to the Mournes.

This was the perfect piece of timber!

Here's  how we made it today:

beautiful pitch pine, 100 years old, in the elements for 3 years,
8 months of which lying on the ground, still rings like a bell
mock up

our mini wood henge!

halving joints: first time with a chainsaw

the plan

quite neat actually!

dead henge!
 We put it under the blackthorn hedge, sheltered from the North, open to the valley and the view

and finally in place - beautiful!
 Just Perfect.
and, of course, the view