Thursday, 25 April 2013

Grow you own in Montenotte

Pat out the front working on the clean up
Last weekend I had a lovely visit to the posh end of Cork. Joe and Dace have taken up residence in a georgous old apartment that is one part of an enormous old house with period details and amazing views across the river from it's steep terrace and beautiful south facing slope. When I googled the history of Montenotte it coughed up a wikipedia page explaining that in the 19th Century wealthy merchants and prosperous middle class families colonised this hillside to create beautiful houses set amid spectacular terraced gardens. A walk around the neighbouring streets with Dace on Sunday morning opened up vistas of old walls, railings, gate lodges and gardens bursting with camellials, azelas and other acid loving plants.It's a beautiful part of Cork city and I'm beginning to see why people call it monte-snotty! there is still lots of money(old and new) in the houses on that hill.

A most interesting part of the visit was a meeting with Pat and Declan, Joe and Daces landlords who were hard at work when we arrived out to see the front of the house and it's little terraced gardens. They have decided to clear a derelict plot and invest in a small glasshouse, some fruit trees and shrubs and some raised beds. The raised beds will not just be for them but for all of their tennants too which is a smashing idea. Not since my wonderful gardening landlord in Dalys Cross have I heard of any landlord going down the GIY route and including their tenants in the plan.

The planned site for the glasshouse
Dace who is a brilliant gardening assistant to me whenever she is here has offered to help Pat and as a vegetarian is very enthuastic at the prospect of being able to grow her own salads and herbs for use in the kitchen. It struck me that any landlord being able to offer this to prospective tennants would be on a bit of a winner since so many people have taken up the task of growing their own. So I'm commited to supporting the scheme in any way I can supplying surplus plants if they need them and coming down in another few weeks to see the progress. It's so cheering to see people get excited about growing food and so good to see an abandoned garden come back to life. Viva Montenotte!

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