Isn't that fantastic? I immediately started seeing all sorts of possibilities for artistically posing plants and pots. I bet people still do it on a quiet Tuesday morning in winter, probably posting lookouts at either end of the cactus house.
We were in the National Botanical Gardens in Glasnevin in Dublin, somehwhere I've been wanting to visit for years. Here's another great exhibit in the same cactus house:
Those furry lads? They're not furry. I kind of knew that - my Nana used to keep cacti - but Joe gave one a surreptitious stroke. Ouch.
In another glasshouse plants were going incognito:
And look at this roof:
One of the things I wanted to do while we were there was look at trees in the arboretum. We're planning to plant some in our new garden - I want to re-create something of the woodland feel we have here. There won't be anything like the glorious mature beech, oak and sycamore of this place, but I think I can still make a woodland atmosphere by planting a mix of native and non-native trees alongside those already on the boundary:
We were up at the site yesterday marking out the boundary on the Land Registry Map. The really good news is that Liam who we're buying it from has included a small copse of mostly birch. I've major plans for putting in primroses, cowslips and bluebells and adding native trees at either end. The primroses and cowslips shouldn't be a problem, and there's a couple of bluebells on the ditch already, so I'm hopeful.
One thing I'm really going to miss is the astonishing variety of wild flowers I have in my garden here. Not sure if their absence at the new site is because it's been grazed by horses and donkeys. But I'll be doing my best to make it a garden me and the wildlife will love.
So I'm just looking back at photos to see if I can find one of the copse - I wasn't taking pictures of it because I didn't think it was going to be part of our land. And I found this:
It's Joe in our field with a bicycle. I was looking down from the neighbour's patio to make sure our house won't block his view of the lake. I think the bicycle had something to do with that. Or maybe Joe has entered a Third Policeman time warp (for those who've never read Flann O'Brien's The Third Policeman, you should).
And look at all those buttercups. Oh my. So pretty, but that's my next gardening life, pulling up creeping buttercup. And where's the bicycle?
Here's the copse. Just to the left at the back. How astonishingly different a place looks in summer and winter. This was the excavations for the percolation test to see could we have a septic tank - essential before you can get planning permission.
Still can't really believe this is happening. Best not to think about moving from here until it's upon us. At least we're only going over the mountain. And at least I now have a copse to play with.