19 Dec Parklane, Ireland & Canada Blooms 2013
This years garden was inspired by my whirl wind trip to Ireland last February. I was visiting our designer, Joanne Mohan who hails from Monaghan Ireland.
Joanne and her family were wonderful, and they helped plan excursions for me every day of the week I was visiting. Upon leaving all I could say was. “I’m not done with this Emerald Isle yet”. There was a mystery and a history that nagged at the back of my mind. Everything was so lush and green and misty. One of the most significant mysteries was the obvious fact that the Irish do not build on the side of lakes like we do. In our travels we passed by numerous small lakes and it struck me as very odd that there were no homes or cottages near the water. I had assumed there might be some problem with soil stabilization so I began to ask the question. “Why do you not build homes near the lakes”? The responses only added to the mystery.
“Oh well it’s too damp!” Or, “Well there are currents you know!”. One fellow told me that the limestone substructure has fissures in it and he said that there are places in some of the rivers where his depth finder will record 10 ft deep in one spot and drop suddenly to 100 ft and then back up again. Joanne told me about “turlough” a disappearing lake. These formations are scattered all about the island.
The geology of Ireland is one of the things that intrigues me, another is the history. Thousands of years ago the Irish were building structures with stone that would be a challenge today. From standing stones to burial chambers and dolmens. All of these things added to the magical experience I had while visiting.
In September this year I already knew I was going back. This time with my husband and children. Our submission for Canada Blooms feature garden was due in October and Joanne and I could not resist working some Irish features into the first draft of the design. Then Joanne discovered that 2013 was going to be “The Gathering” in Ireland. This is an initiative of Tourism Ireland to encourage anyone with Irish interest or connections to visit in 2013. A partnership with them seemed obvious and they jumped on board. We also secured a donation tom Royal Irish Tours for an 11 day trip for two including flight, car rental and accommodation in castles and manors valued at $8000! This trip will be given to a lucky couple in April this year. The contest and rules to be announced at Canada Blooms on Saint Patricks day.
So here we are in December and the Parklane team is focused on pre-building before our own family gathering in Ireland this February. So far we have cut and stacked all the flagstone, built our small pond and prepped the standing stones. My daughter Cassie and I have been visiting quarries to secure the stones for our dolmans and standing stones as well as the limestone needed for the cliffs.
Stay tuned for more entries over the coming months.
-Kim & Anna