With the aim of shopping for some new summer plants and flowers for the garden, today I spent sometime at Altamont Gardens, county Carlow.
This is a fantastic house and gardens with a great garden center, the staff know a great deal about the kind of plants that will grow well locally.
A great way to spend the afternoon, looking and plants, walking around the grounds and finally and cup of tea and cake in the little cafe …..
The rock-like mud unfroze a little and rills
Ran and sparkled down each side of the road
Under the catkins wagging in the hedge.
But earth would have her sleep out, spite of the sun;
Nor did I value that thin glilding beam
More than a pretty February thing
Till I came down to the old Manor Farm,
And church and yew-tree opposite, in age
Its equals and in size. The church and yew
And farmhouse slept slept in a Sunday silentness.
The air raised not a straw. The steep farm roof,
With tiles duskily glowing, entertained
The mid-day sun; and up and down the roof
White pigeons nestled. There was no sound but one.
Three cart-horses were looking over a gate
Drowsily through their forelocks, swishing their tails
Against a fly, a solitary fly.
The Winter’s cheek flushed as if he had drained
Spring, Summer, and Autumn at a drought
And smiled quietly. But ’twas not Winter—
Rather a season of bliss unchangeable
Awakened from farm and church where it had lain
Safe under tile and thatch for ages since
This country, Old already, was called Happy.
Snow on snow
By : James Hart
Snow on snow
Flakes gently falling
Like leaves from a tree
Before they land
On the snowflakes underneath
Each one different
Like leaves on a tree
A white carpet
Pure white till soiled
By children’s shoes
They love its touch
Ooo snowball fights
Snow doesn’t hurt
Snow is soft and forgiving
They are selfish and cruel
So let it snow
Snow on snow on
Snow on snow
Irish Landscape Photography : Nigel Borrington
by : Jode Cox
The road keeps getting longer
the farther that I walk
A head wind seems to push me back
I don’t have the breath to talk
My lungs they burn, my heart it pounds
My throat is getting dry
I see a looming hill ahead
And now I want to cry
To you this hill may seem small
To me it is a mountain
I don’t want to ask you for help
I keep going as fast as I can
I slow with every footstep
Until I have to stop
I find a way to busy my self
To pretend there is nothing wrong
To admit this trouble to you
Is to admit it to myself
I don’t want to ask of others
I want to do this myself
I feel this is all my fault
If only I could heal
The shame I feel at every gasp
This journey has become too real
If only I was stronger
This disease I could have fought
It silently crept up to me
The illness I don’t want
Each day I am able to do less
No matter how hard I try
For now I can only do my best
You don’t even understand why
I used to run and jump and play
Nothing too hard to do
Now the smallest task I take
I must ask for help from you
You think I don’t see the resentment
The bitterness in your face
You think I chose to be sick
To give up on my life in this place
This hill is not enormous
The one you gave to me
I will make it to the top
I will do it just for me
I have just spend the morning at Altamont Gardens, County Carlow, getting some images of the Gardens, flowers and the old house in the grounds.
Altamont is one of Ireland best kept old estates, known for the most romantic garden in Ireland, with some 100 acre’s in total.
Whilst still little known, it ranks in the top ten of Irish gardens and is often referred to as ‘the jewel in Ireland’s gardening crown’
Here I post some images of just some of the hidden locations that can be found while walking around the grounds.
Altamont Gardens, County Carlow – Hidden places gallery.
The river also forms a natural border between parts of counties Kilkenny and Carlow and Kilkenny and Wexford.
I Completed walking all the stages of the river last year, my favourite part of the river however is around the Goresbridge area, county Kilkenny.
The images below are just some taken at Goresbridge, during June of 2014.
River Barrow Gallery
Tamron Adaptall 24mm f2.5 lens
Two Locks one lens many years of enjoyment
For some 40 years I have been taking Landscape photographs in both the UK and Ireland, one of the very first lenses I purchased when I first got a Nikon 35mm film SLR, was this 24mm F2.5 Tamron, wide angle Lens, purchased in 1987.
The images below are from a visit I made to Top side lock, near Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire in the south of England a wonderful old lock with a lock keepers house. The second image is from Ballyellin lower lock on the river Barrow, County Carlow , Ireland, taken in January this year.
Sometime keeping a hold onto equipment that you like using and that work very well, is far more important that searching for the new. Endlessly upgrading equipment has become the norm, we live in an age of none stop upgrades yet now and again it is still possible to keep a hold of the old and trusted things.
This lens works very well and in many cases even better now that its used with a digital camera body.
It is a manual focus lens yet because it contains all the focus and aperture details on the lens barrel it is very easy to use, you can set it up for what is known as Hyper-focus and shoot all day like this.
I just love using this lens and get a real kick from the fact it still works so well.
Top side lock , Grand union Canal, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom
Ballyellin Lower lock, County Carlow, Ireland
Borris Viaduct, Co Carlow, Ireland
Irish Landscape Photography : Nigel Borrington
In January I visited the Viaduct in Borris, County Carlow.
The Viaduct is Located just north of the town and was an amazing construction for its day, back in the 1800’s this construction help link north county Carlow to county Wexford for both passenger transport and goods – daily , until 1947.
On the 1st January 1855 the first ground was cut near Borris, County Carlow, for what was to be the Bagenalstown County Carlow to Wexford, Railway.
However with expensive construction costs and difficult terrain the company only ever made it half way to Ballywilliam in county Wexford, shortly after going bankrupt with debts of £100,000.
After a period of failed ownerships the railway was sold for £24,000 by the board of works to GS&WR in 1876. Passenger services ceased on the 2nd Febuary 1931, a goods service remaining until 27th January 1947, CIE finally closed the line on the 1st January 1963, 108 years to the day after the first ground was cut near Borris.
Visiting the Location
The Viaduct is located on a farm and is used as a public foot-path, access is through the grounds of a local school. The path up to the level that the rail line would have been on is steep but easy to walk up.
The first thing you notice is that the walls each side of the Viaduct and the path are very low and are not fenced, so you feel that you want to walk down the centre of the path. It is a good few hundred meters to the end of the Viaduct itself but the walk is well worth it as the views of County Carlow from here are spectacular !!
Once you reach the end of the path the old rail line cuts through some trees, there are picnic areas offering some great views of the county, at the end of this wooded part of the walk is a small bridge with a well kept garden and another picnic area.
You get the feeling that this is a much love and well kept area for the town and a pleasure to visit.
If you are in county Carlow you simply have to pay it a visit.
June is the Month of the poppy here in Ireland and I just love this little flower, its mainly known for growing along the sides of roads or rail lines. This is mainly because the earth on this land has been turned over and the seeds of the poppies have been moved back to a depth that they can grow again.
It’s not that common here unlike France or main land Europe to see full fields of poppies, one location I have found were this is true is around the remains of the old house at Duckets grove, County Carlow.
These images were taken one evening in June, the light was fading and a tripod was needed with the camera but I think the low light has resulted in some strong reds and deep greens for these images. they have been enhanced this a little in photoshop but I did need to do to much work.
An image of the Coolasnaghta ridge walk, mount leinster, County Carlow. Taken back in February 2013, the mountains grass and heathers were still brown and yellow from the snow and cold of the winter.
This is a great walk along the ridges of mount leinster in Co.Carlow as it offers views of four of Ireland county’s below (Carlow, Wexford, Waterford and Kilkenny ). The mountain is best accessed from the village of Borris, Co.Carlow and is about a 10km drive away.