April 2018 Irish trip (Day 3)

A long drive to visit two island gardens near Sneem on the coast.

The first is the gloriously and utterly derelict Rossdohan on an island peninsula. The garden was abandoned 30 years ago but is a magical shambles in which you could make a science fiction film with dinosaurs. The bus gets stuck in a ditch on the way in but we manage (just) to push it out. The garden is grazed by cattle which at least means we can penetrate the jungle. Seamus Galvin is our guide to the treasures that few have ever seen. The house was lived in for 25 years in the late 19th century then burnt in the troubles and later rebuilt but now abandoned again. Now apparently owned by a German who never visits and may be locked up. The last owners’ son comes to do labelling and lives in the bothy which is also gloriously derelict as you will see.

Pittosporum bicolor in flower.

Pittosporum bicolor
Pittosporum bicolor
Pittosporum bicolor
Pittosporum bicolor
Pittosporum bicolor
Pittosporum bicolor
Myrica californica – a rare evergreen.
Myrica californica
Myrica californica
Myrica californica
Myrica californica
Picea parviflora – no seed still in the cones.
Picea parviflora
Picea parviflora
Picea parviflora
Picea parviflora
Picea parviflora
Picea parviflora
Rossdohan House as a ruin.
Rossdohan House
Rossdohan House
Rossdohan House
Rossdohan House
Rossdohan House
Rossdohan House
Rossdohan House
Rossdohan House
Rossdohan House
Rossdohan House
Below the veranda and on the sea the best Rhododendron sinogrande we saw on the whole trip.
Rhododendron sinogrande
Rhododendron sinogrande
Rhododendron sinogrande
Rhododendron sinogrande
Rhododendron sinogrande
Rhododendron sinogrande
Rhododendron sinogrande
Rhododendron sinogrande

Fresh cow shit on the veranda.

cow shit
cow shit
Acacia melanoxylon is totally hardy here.
Acacia melanoxylon
Acacia melanoxylon
Acacia melanoxylon
Acacia melanoxylon

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Abies alba
Abies alba
Abies alba
Abies alba
Abies alba
Olearia argyrophylla
Olearia argyrophylla
Olearia argyrophylla
Olearia argyrophylla
Olearia argyrophylla
Another inlet.
Another inlet
Another inlet
Another inlet
Another inlet
Cyathea dealbata growing away and little frost damage.
Cyathea dealbata
Cyathea dealbata
Cyathea dealbata
Cyathea dealbata
Cyathea dealbata
Cyathea dealbata
Another landing point.
Another landing point
Another landing point
Acacia melanoxylon is a huge suckering tree growing in a swamp. Clethra arborea everywhere self sown and suckering too.
Acacia melanoxylon
Acacia melanoxylon
Acacia melanoxylon
Acacia melanoxylon
Acacia melanoxylon
Acacia melanoxylon
Acacia melanoxylon
Acacia melanoxylon
Acacia melanoxylon
Acacia melanoxylon
Acacia melanoxylon
Acacia melanoxylon
A huge Eucalyptus globulus towers over tree ferns.
huge Eucalyptus globulus
huge Eucalyptus globulus
huge Eucalyptus globulus
huge Eucalyptus globulus
huge Eucalyptus globulus
huge Eucalyptus globulus
Saprophytic ferns grow on the tree trunks – perhaps a polypodium leaf?
Saprophytic ferns
Saprophytic ferns
Tree ferns abound amid the rocky outcrops in full shade.
Tree ferns
Tree ferns
Tree ferns
Tree ferns
The record UK and Irish Cyathea medullaris – 30ft tall. Impossible to picture.
Cyathea medullaris
Cyathea medullaris
Pinus montezumae without the blue tinged needles as seen at Blarney Castle.
Pinus montezumae
Pinus montezumae
Pinus montezumae
Pinus montezumae
Pinus montezumae
Pinus montezumae
Pinus montezumae
Pinus montezumae
Abandoned urns date from 1878.
Abandoned urns
Abandoned urns
Abandoned urns
Abandoned urns
Drimys winteri being killed by Phytophthora ramorum. Others nearby still untouched.
Drimys winteri
Drimys winteri
Drimys winteri
Drimys winteri

Seamus in the heavy rain as we all were.

Seamus in the heavy rain
Seamus in the heavy rain
Huge Fuchsia exorticatica with peeling bark but few flowers.
Fuchsia exorticatica
Fuchsia exorticatica
Fuchsia exorticatica
Fuchsia exorticatica
Olearia arborescens just about to flower.
Olearia arborescens
Olearia arborescens
Olearia arborescens
Olearia arborescens
Derelict cottages and farm.
Derelict cottages and farm
Derelict cottages and farm
So secret and private was our next island visit that we are not allowed to say where it is. The Swiss/Lebanese owner insists no social media. No one had actually written in the visitors book since an IDS trip in 2013! There are however three gardeners and the island is a series of six or so narrow valleys running N/S between rock outcrops. The soil is black and peaty.
secret and private
secret and private
secret and private
secret and private
The boat crossing in a major gale is hazardous to put it mildly. What an amazing collection of plants in the middle of nowhere where everything has to come by boat. Many Burncoose plants here doing well!
boat crossing
boat crossing
boat crossing
boat crossing
This lichen grows profusely on many tree trunks in this wet and windy landscape. Atlantic lungwort apparently.
lichen
lichen
lichen
lichen
This, unbelievably, is Pseudopanax ferox in maturity with its mature trifoliate leaves. It has seeded itself here and there 100 to 200 yards away.
Pseudopanax ferox
Pseudopanax ferox
Pseudopanax ferox
Pseudopanax ferox
Pseudopanax ferox
Pseudopanax ferox
Pseudopanax ferox
Pseudopanax ferox
This is trachstemum (?) which is wonderful groundcover for full shade.
trachstemum
trachstemum
trachstemum
trachstemum
trachstemum
trachstemum
trachstemum
trachstemum
A new plant to me – Blephylocalyx crookshankii.
Blephylocalyx crookshankii
Blephylocalyx crookshankii
Blephylocalyx crookshankii
Blephylocalyx crookshankii
Beautiful blue bell shaped flowers but horrid prickles too. Rhapithamnus spinosus.
blue bell shaped flowers
blue bell shaped flowers
blue bell shaped flowers
blue bell shaped flowers
blue bell shaped flowers
blue bell shaped flowers
blue bell shaped flowers
blue bell shaped flowers
Pitavia (?) I think – new to me.
Pitavia
Pitavia
Pitavia
Pitavia
A huge mature clump of Cephalotaxus harringtonia with many trunks layered from the original central tree.
Cephalotaxus harringtonia
Cephalotaxus harringtonia
Cephalotaxus harringtonia
Cephalotaxus harringtonia
Views from the island – we could hardly stand in the wind.
Views from the island
Views from the island
Pinus contorta as the first line of defence in the windbreak.
Pinus contorta
Pinus contorta
Apples and pears trained up a rock face in the central valley.
Apples and pears
Apples and pears
Apples and pears
Apples and pears
Chamaecyparisus lawsoniana imbricata ‘Pendula’ – a marvellous weeping tree.
Chamaecyparisus lawsoniana imbricata ‘Pendula’
Chamaecyparisus lawsoniana imbricata ‘Pendula’
Chamaecyparisus lawsoniana imbricata ‘Pendula’
Chamaecyparisus lawsoniana imbricata ‘Pendula’
Chamaecyparisus lawsoniana imbricata ‘Pendula’
Chamaecyparisus lawsoniana imbricata ‘Pendula’
The two Acer ‘Senkaki’ above the kitchen garden came from Burncoose 25 years or so ago.
Acer ‘Senkaki’
Acer ‘Senkaki’
Acer ‘Senkaki’
Acer ‘Senkaki’
Astelia grandis has proved hardier than other species.
Astelia grandis
Astelia grandis
Astelia grandis
Astelia grandis
Halocarpus bidwillii
Halocarpus bidwillii
Halocarpus bidwillii
Halocarpus bidwillii
Halocarpus bidwillii
Halocarpus bidwillii
Halocarpus bidwillii
Nothofagus cunninghamii with peculiar new growth.
Nothofagus cunninghamii
Nothofagus cunninghamii
Nothofagus cunninghamii
Nothofagus cunninghamii
Hakea saligna (protea family) with flower and seeds.
Hakea saligna
Hakea saligna
Acacia mucronatus in flower.
Acacia mucronatus
Acacia mucronatus
Acacia mucronatus
Acacia mucronatus
Alchemilla pectinata from Mexico. A seriously wild spreading garden thug or gorilla. One to sell in the nursery.
Alchemilla pectinata
Alchemilla pectinata
Hymanophyllus ferns (and another one) growing on tree fern trunks and supposedly imported with them from Tasmania. I have now seen so many tree ferns that I am heartily sick of them!
Hymanophyllus ferns
Hymanophyllus ferns
Hymanophyllus ferns
Hymanophyllus ferns
Hymanophyllus ferns
Hymanophyllus ferns
A rocky waterfall and skunk cabbage smelling foul.
rocky waterfall and skunk cabbage
rocky waterfall and skunk cabbage
rocky waterfall and skunk cabbage
rocky waterfall and skunk cabbage
First bluebells out.
bluebells
bluebells
Fittingly Rhododendron ‘Shamrock’ at the end of a three hour tour – exhausted!
Rhododendron ‘Shamrock’
Rhododendron ‘Shamrock’
Rhododendron ‘Shamrock’
Rhododendron ‘Shamrock’
Off we go again over now calmer water.
now calmer water
now calmer water
now calmer water
now calmer water