Inside information & tips on what to see, do, eat, & special places to stay; Ireland, London & beyond!
Vibrant Ireland

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There is nothing like the stunning beauty of nature to lift your spirits, even if for only a few moments.
Last night I had to pull the car over and snap the magnificent sunset over the Carlow hills. The warm majesty of the colour and light also warmed my heart, replacing the worry about our dog’s cancer battle & the new worries over my job, for a little while.
 But then, another gift from nature dawned this morning- a beautiful river of mist filling the Barrow river valley. The glorious sun and blue sky above made it even more special.  Once again the landscape of Ireland worked its magic on my spirit. I’m not ashamed to say I love the land of Ireland with all my heart, and that is why I so enjoy sharing what I can of ‘her’ with you all, here on the blog.
Thank you for reading,  Susan.
the magical landscape in Ireland

Carlow, Ireland Sunset in September. (No filter or effects)
September, as is often the case in Ireland, was a beautiful month. If you are from abroad & are considering a visit, do think about September/October as there are always lots of festivals on, too!
In Graiguenamanagh this Sept the Town of Books Festival was on,
 in Waterford  was The Harvest Festival,
the hurling championship is played in September,
The National Ploughing Championships are in September– I could go on!

Sunrises in Kilkenny & Carlow, Ireland, September
 In this post, I’d like to share a few photos with you- like this one (above) of a sunset over the fields & hills of Carlow. It was quite amazing the way the light blazed up in the sky, & the majesty of it made me pull over the car & try for a shot, even though my phone isn’t great for distance photos. But September wasn’t just a month of fabulous sunsets, the sunrises were gorgeous, too! (right)
       The weather in September is usually mild, and late summer flowers are still looking zingy, like these beauties at the treasure trove that is Mount Congreve Gardens in Waterford. (The gardens are open to the public on Thursdays only, 9.00am to 4.00pm, April 5th to September 27th.)
flowers from Mount Congreve, Ireland September
  Coming up now for October in the sunny Southeast of Ireland are several interesting festivals:
  Savour Kilkenny food festival 25-29 Oct
Irish Conker Championship Festival in Freshford, Kilkenny
28 Oct
Waterford, 19-29 Oct
24 Oct -4 Nov
Wexford Fringe 19 Oct -4 Nov.
Whew! I bet I’ve missed some, too! What October festivals/events are you going to?
   Have fun! 🙂
 whattoseeinireland outsideinireland

A decent last day of a June that, for Ireland, was a bit of a wash out. Here are some photos of today’s beauty. Enjoy!

Irish skies from one moment to the next!
Beautifully tasty black & white pudding combo from a local Kilkenny producer- great no matter the weather 😉


rain again..sigh…depressed doggies!
 So.. it’s raining again in Ireland. Lots. Actually, it’s doing something unusual– constant rain– usually we have passing showers, which isn’t so bad! Us humans are pretty fed up with this chilly, rainy, ‘summer’ weather, & now even the dogs are longing for a sunny day to play outside! Sunny days DO happen 🙂
 See photo below!
Its not always rainy in Ireland!
Ahh, well. The rain keeps Ireland the famous 40 shades of green, and our showery Irish weather creates lots of rainbows (tho’ the gold is all gone!) Check out this amazing one I caught on video this time last year:

Enjoy–rain or shine!

 Bloom In the Park is Ireland’s biggest garden festival. We missed it this year, but here are some blooms from our garden in Graignamanagh.
Centaura (perennial cornflower) ‘Amethyst in Snow’ & happy bee!
yellow arum lily
Ok, this is not in garden- wild iris by the river Barrow
Flora & fauna by the river Barrow
Astrantia- I  forget the variety
Rose ‘Ferdinand Pritchard’- lovely scent, too!
a  David Austin rose- have lost the names of this & the next. One may be Sweet Juilette, & the other Heritage? Both smell gorgeous
There are many lovely gardens you can visit in the southeast of Ireland, & Trail Kilkenny is in the process putting together a garden trail. One of my favorite smaller gardens near to us is Coolaught in Co. Wexford- they’ve a great little garden centre full of plants for plantaholics who are looking for something different. They are a friendly family business on a family farm- go visit them!

There’s been lots of rain here in Ireland recently (really!) and with it came milder, frost free weather in our patch of the Southeast– in fact, it has felt very much like Spring is just around the corner. Today the sun has come out, and with it came a Twitter call from @BridgestoneEd for folks to tweet photos of #SignsofSpring  So, in the spirit of this Spring Fever, here are some of mine- all from today, excepting the 1st one of the fuzzy willow buds, which was taken on Stephens’ Day! (Dec 26) 2010.
 fuzzy willow buds
 alder catkins in the wildlife friendly planting on the Graig ring road
 mushroom (snuggling a clover) along the ring road
Now for the garden photos: the 1st snowdrops!
 Pulmonaria starting to flower- an important one for early bees! (flowers turn blue once pollinated- lovely!)
 ‘January Gold’ daffodil will open soon!
Hellebore argutifolius
 pink primrose
 baby nettle peeping out of a crack in the side of a black plastic pot!
 Witch Hazel ‘Jelena’
 Some of these are technically winter flowering, esp the snowdrops & witch hazel, but they still signal that Spring  is coming 🙂 How far along is Spring in your area?