Monday, August 29, 2011

The Mourne Wall

Early evening sunlight highlights the Mourne Wall as it strides over the High Mournes:

Slieve Donard; Slieve Commedagh; Slieve Corragh; Slievenaglogh

There's an interesting article in Wikipedia; here's the first paragraph:

The Mourne Wall is a wall which was constructed to enclose a reservoir's catchment area in the Mourne MountainsNorthern Ireland. It was built between 1904 and 1922 by the Belfast Water Commissioners to enclose the water catchment in the Mournes.
The wall was crafted from natural granite stone using traditional dry stone walling techniques. On average the wall is about 1.5 metres high and 0.8 to 0.9  metres thick. It is 22 miles (35 km) long and passes over fifteen mountains 

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Lost and Found

It's now nearly the end of August, and the front garden - formerly an oasis of cottage flowers, has given up many of it's secrets to us.

We cleared much of the tree like structures (most of it still to be cut into manageable sizes!) and left the cleared ground to see what came up. We've not been disappointed! 

the magnificent Lupin - dormant for over 30 years?

A sunflower - probably dropped by a bird!

close up

close up

looks like this sunflower was selected for abundance of seed rather than size of flower

Friday, August 26, 2011 Your resource for history, lore, and people of Castlewellan.

Whilst browsing Google for information around home I found this site:

"Your resource for history, lore, and people of Castlewellan."

the front page

A fantastic authoritative lyrical journey into the recent and distant history of Castlewellan, all presented in over 30 pages of stories anecdotes pictures and poems.

Not to be missed - and this treasure can be downloaded as a PDF document from the site.

Thank You Patsy Mullen!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Weather Data for July

Better late than never I guess! 
You can get the data for July recorded by our weather station here at the Turnip House in Excel format by clicking the link here or to the right of this page.

Edited 'highlights (!) of July's Met √Čireann summary:

Dublin Airport reported its coolest July in 46 years with a mean air
temperature of 13.8°C

Grass minimum temperatures recorded in the south were unusually low for July, with Valentia Observatory and Cork Airport recording grass minimums of 1.6°C and 1.5°C, their lowest grass minimum temperatures since 1940 and 1980, respectively

Click here for the full Met √Čireann report

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Saturday, August 20, 2011


The sun and the surprising  profusion of flowers has done wonders for our butterfly population!

Peacock on the buddleja "the butterfly bush"

the butterfly trap

Red Admiral

Red Admiral




Felting Workshops

Two more successful Felt workshops this week.

Thanks to Harriet, Jennifer, Eileen & Sheila for some great craic and fantastic creative energy!

Monday, August 15, 2011

35 Year Old Lupin

After clearing much of the front garden over winter, a single lupin leaf appeared in the spring.
purple on purple

 It has blossomed into this magnificent specimen. We have not put any lupins in here, so chances are it's a dormant legacy from when the garden was in it's heyday, 35 years ago!

Tropaeolum speciosum sometimes known as the 'flame flower' lives up to it's name

Here's a reminder of the garden in the 1970's :

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Carlingford Oyster Festival

If you want a really good time - and brilliant oysters, get yourself down to the "gastronomic paradise of medieval Carlingford" tomorrow 14th August for the Oyster Festival

Turnip House  be there at the craft fair on Tholsel Street (we're also open at home)

Friday, August 12, 2011

Flowers and Fruit

Had a fantastic day on Tuesday! 

Claire brought us our first eating apple tree, and armed with bucket loads of enthusiasm, helped us create another flowerbed and (at last!) start on the fruit garden.

March 2011 - stones and nettles!

Stage 1 complete! the flowerbed is made. All the stones came out of this space

Claire's Tree

The Planting Ceremony

"I'm Happy!"

Our new Fruit Trees against the Mountains

Planted out with 13 Black Hollyhocks and 47 Sunflowers (a bit wee at the moment, but things grow!)

Friday, August 05, 2011

Garden Flowers

We didn't think that the Turnip House Yard would look so colourful this season, but it's coming on great - there is a reason for rain as we've noted before!


flower of the summer - argyranthemum

the flowers open a dark yellow, and gradually fade to white, giving hundreds of creamy tones in the one plant

Charlie on his lawn!

These buddleia (and the lilies) were only planted this April, they now reach the top of the wall

less exciting, but still beautiful

intense pelargonum flowers

another one

the crocosmia flame as the field slips down to the river

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Two Evenings in August

August came in hot and steamy - not like in the South East of England still less New England! but by our standards as close to the bayou as Benraw is likely to get!

We have had two perfect evenings - rainbowed skies and cloud-wreathed mountains

great portents 

August opens in style

lowering skies set off the sunshine

the far seat, with hay field beyond

the mountains wreathed in mist
Slieve Bearnagh

cutting the hay in the evening sunshine