Tag Archives: National Botanic Gardens of Ireland

Missing in action.

Well almost.

I arrived in Dublin on 10 July, for a few days of Buffy sitting. It was more a case of Buffy playing and walking, and me being the ‘fetcher and carrier’ for Elly following her fall. George was away.

She had damaged two ligaments in her foot, earlier in the week and was hobbling about on a crutch. I think she was ‘hobbling more than she should and not spending sufficient time with the leg elevated. Elly is very like her late dad. In his eyes he was never ill, so he kept on his feet and active if at all possible.

She has learned the hard way, to listen to the pain warning, and rest the leg where possible. Thankfully she is able to carry on working from home.

On Saturday Morning we got word of a death in the extended family.

I am not often available to attend family funerals. But this time I joined my eldest brother, who offered to do the driving, (a 300+ mile round trip) and my sister and headed off from Dublin at 7am. on Sunday morning, to bid farewell to one of our cousins, all the way over in County Clare, at the mouth of the Shannon.

Kildysart Graveyard

Kildysart Graveyard

Once the funeral was over, we paid respects at the graves of our paternal grandparents, and three of our aunts.

Family Graves within the walls of the old church in  Kildysart.

Family Graves within the walls of the old church in Kildysart.

Then we joined the living for a meal and a catch up on all our news. We shared anecdotes and stories about the departed and news of other family members scattered across the globe.

I returned to Elly’s for a few more days, and since George would be about, I moved to stay with my sister on Tuesday.

I teased Eileen, that we had visited ‘the dead’ on one side of the family, and perhaps it was time we paid homage the maternal side. The days of deep mourning garb and widow’s weeds, have now thankfully almost disappeared. The old keening wakes with hushed whispers are now a thing of the past These days in death, we celebrate the lives of those who have gone before us with a more cheerful remembrance and plenty of laughter. It is the way it should be.

The suggested visit was really an excuse to visit the revamped Glasnevin Cemetery& Museum. In my young days, Glasnevin or as the Dubs called it ‘The dead centre of Dublin’, was a dark and dreary place. It seemed all overgrown and shrouded in tall trees and would send shivers down my spine. The place we visited on Wednesday seemed a world apart from those memories. Check out the link above. It is well worth a visit.

Glasnevin Cemetery is adjacent to and now accessible from The National Botanic Gardens.  Both have busy coffee shops, though the latter has a wider selection for a more substantial meal.
We had morning coffee in one and lunch at the other. We roamed so long that one of the grounds men that we had met several times on our travels through the graveyard, actually stopped his little van to say “Are you still here”? Later we wondered if he sent out a search party for us before the gates were locked for the night!

I unfortunately somewhere along the line of my travels, contracted a bug, that swept away my energy, leaving my legs like jelly. I have no interest in reading or writing blog posts and each time I opened the laptop it was only for about five minutes.

Thankfully the bug neither affected my tongue (for chatting) or my hands, so I kept myself busy. I finished the mysterious ‘cocktail stick’ project and decorated a hat. I’ll post the photos during the week….. when I have energy to sort them.

Worry not, I am being well looked after and not allowed home until Nurses Hitler -Mark one and Two give me the go ahead!

I am responding to good care and improving with every day.

California, DNA and 8,427 panes of glass

All part of a morning spent at the National Botanic Gardens of Ireland.

National botanic gardens of Ireland (1)

National botanic gardens of Ireland (1)

In the distance you can see a recreation of a round tower to honour Daniel O’Connell, “the Liberator”, in Glasnevin Cemetry. It was built to the colossal height of 171 feet, and before you ask… I’ll not be climbing up for an aerial view of the dead centre of Dublin! 😛

Next door neighbours - Glasnevin Cemetery

Next door neighbours – Glasnevin Cemetery

The gardens are next door neighbours and a new entrance is being erected between the two.

The Taxodiaceae Sequeiadendron giganteum, native of California

The Taxodiaceae Sequeiadendron giganteum, native of California

The Taxodiaceae Sequeiadendron giganteum, native of California rather dwarfed the Curvilinear Glasshouse.

The Curvilinear Glasshouse

The Curvilinear Glasshouses

The curvilinear glasshouse was designed by Dublin ironmaster, Richard Turner in 1843.

Curved panes of glass

Curved panes of glass

The work was completed and opened in 1849. It was extended in 1869.

One end of the Curvilinear Glasshouse

Great Palm House

A major restoration began in 1992 and was completed with all 8,427 panes of glass in place, in time for the bicentenary of the founding of the gardens.

curved lines from the inside

curved lines from the inside

After a dander along several pathways I came across this:

?What is Life? sculpture

‘What is Life’ sculpture

‘What is Life’
Sculptor ~ Charles Jencks

‘What is Life’ was commissioned by Professors John Atkins of University College Cork and David McConnell of Trinity College Dublin as a public celebration of Science in Ireland and to specifically celebrate the 60th anniversary of the discovery of The Double Helix by Watson and his colleague Francis Crick in April 1953.

Side view

Side view

The Sculptor, Charles Jencks, designs landscapes and sculpture and writes on cosmogenic art.

The meaning in words

The meaning in words

It represents for the first time in sculpture anywhere the many extraordinary new revelations made in the last 30 years about the novel roles of RNA in living organisms.

Finally a plaque I found on the steps in one of the glasshouses:



Ludwig Wittgenstein
(1889 – 1951)
Viennese Philosopher

Stayed in Dublin in the winter of 1948-1949
and liked to sit and write at these steps

What I saw through the window

The LBC topic for Friday 26th July What you see out the window, was chosen by me long before my travels and the weather interrupted play. Little do you realise how busy I was, collecting evidence from one end of the country to the other.

Photos were gathered, sorted and ready to post when the internet connection ground down to a snail’s pace and at times disappeared altogether. Blame the weather!

Click on any one for the thumbnails to see the gallery.

Windows from my travels over the past three weeks. The stories will unfold over the days & weeks to come…
The last two views are my home ground and come from my archives.

Now it is time for me to catch up and have a squint through the windows of my fellow LBC members. I hope you have looked after them in my absence.