Monday, 23 April 2012

Fota House Plant and Garden Fair

Fota House in the background
If I wasn't so busted/hung over I think I would have enjoyed the plant fair more but the night before we had a spontaneous house party with John and Joey, all of us staying up far too late, eating too many crisps, drinking too much alcohol and (most ridiculous of all) taking it in turn to nod off in front of the roaring fire like pensioners in a nursing home!

Fruit Hill Farm brought lots of tools
Its a reoccurring theme-last week I bought Woman's weekly gardening magazine only to find the back page carried a full page ad for HSL chairs with higher seats and back supports for easier sitting and rising, with pictures of grey haired people smiling happily in the seats!! O no! I thought, this is what I have become, I'm officially old and boring-this is aimed at me!!!!

cool garden furniture!
So while walking around the beautiful grounds at Fota it gave me some comfort to see a few cool younger people at the plant fair, even an odd punk or goth! Maybe I'm not too far gone after all? Or is this just the cool alternativeness of  Cork oozing out? It was a lovely day too, the rain we left behind in Pallasgreen was long gone and even if we were late, arriving at 3.40 (plant fair over at 4pm!) there was still loads to see and do.

Hammocks! bring on the sun
Pretty display with cool teracotta follies and great plants

First port of call was Future Forests to pick up an Acer from Matt, an amicable guy I had been chatting with over the phone the week before. Future Forests are out in the arse of West Cork so it saved quite a bit of driving to meet them there. They are almost finished posting bare rooted stock until next Autumn so although we got part of our tree order from them in the post last week they couldn't send on the Acer which was now in leaf and starting to grow. Matt told us not to leave without taking a walk in Fota Arboretum which I had forgotten all about but visited many years before. I remember in particular the Orangery-in my lotto winning dreams I build one of those and live with orange and lemon trees into old age.(with a purple rinse in my hair and chasing kids off with a large stick of course).

Cool supports for sweet peas-might have a go at making these
I met Dave from Seed Savers, we had a big chat about the last batch of students out on work experience and the stuff he is trying out in the experimental orchard. Dave is a mine of information, and the weird thing is we always seem to be discovering some soil science fact or other at the same time! We were talking about electrical charge in the soil, I could feel Seamus rolling his eyes behind me. But he perked up considerably when Dave started telling us about a medical herbalist he met in Cork the night before who is brewing the most amazing beer. He had to taste it of course. It was my turn to roll my eyes!

furniture and flowers-senetti were everywhere!
Deborah and Martin were there from Terra Nova. As she recently blackmailed me into doing a talk for her( I know! the ridiculousness of it!!-coals to Newcastle!) we had a funny chat. Her ankle is still giving her trouble but she is battling along hoping to open the garden soon to visitors. I'm chomping at the bit to go back. Its one of my favourite places to visit and I always see something new.

Although there were loads of plants and stalls I only bought some green manure from Seed Savers and 5 pots of asparagus from a funny lady on the way out (5 pots for 10 euros!there may be a good reason to arrive late after all!). I think next year I will ban all partying the night before and show up at a respectable hour to actually see everything that is on offer. Its not a veg growing show although there are lots of herbs, but if you are into unusual ornamental plants then its well worth the visit. And to meet other like minded crackpots like yourself of course!

Fota House

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