Archive for ‘Botanic Gardens’

November 7, 2016

Autumn kicks

by Ciaran Burke

You can hear the light crunch, the shuffle of the fallen leaves, rustling into new formations as feet shuffle through the gold and bronze of autumn’s yearly fall. Kicking leaves and watching them fall again and hearing their rustling call, it is a simple joy.

Lonicera gymnochlamydea

Along the branches, shining globes of brilliant red, the fruit of the species, an invitation to the birds, to eat and enjoy; to spread the seed. Until then we can admire their construction, their placement and their presence upon the boughs.

Paths dappled with red and orange, the fallen leaves in late autumn sun are like fallen confetti, the celebration of the changing seasons. 

Crocus speciosus

And still there are blooms, unaware or just defiant of the onset of winter, their place in the seasons defined by their evolution. Reminding us that even as the days get shorter and colder, the garden still grows, and beauty lives; redefined, the colour of bark, the texture of a stem, the shade of a leaf and persistence of a fruit.

Acer griseum

Winter is coming, but the garden lives in, nature slows down but does not stop. And we should not stop enjoying the beauty of nature. Wrap up warm, go for a walk, visit a garden or work in your own,take time to admire the majesty of trees, breathe in the sharp crisp air band the embrace the changing seasons.

The photographs in this post were taken in Mount Usher, National Botanic Gardens Kilmacuragh and Birr Castle.

Here are links to each of the gardens;

November 17, 2012

National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin, Dublin, November 17th 2012

by Ciaran Burke

A beautiful sunny day in the National Botanic Gardens. I was there with students today. Lots of nice autumnal colour, some flowers and fruits too.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

October 20, 2012


by Ciaran Burke

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Every month I visit the National Botanic Gardens in Glasnevin, Dublin with a group of people on The Garden School home study course. This time there was lots of autumnal tints to admire, some berries and flowers too. I was saddened to see that the great specimen of copper beech had eventually succumbed to old age, instead of its towering majestic presence there were huge slices of wood lying on the ground. Even great trees such as this must pass, and when a big one like this goes, it makes space for others to grow…

May 19, 2012

The Magician and the Glasnevin Potato Vine – Botanic Gardens Dublin May 2012

by Ciaran Burke


It should be warm, warmer than today. I am not under any illusion, I do not expect the sun to shine every day, this is Ireland, but this is May, it should not be freezing!

I met a group of my students this morning in the National Botanic Gardens in Glasnevin Dublin, one of our monthly meetings. The sky stayed grey all day and the temperatures remained low. It was sort of surreal to see the beautiful tree peony Paeonia rockii ‘He Ping Lian’ in bloom with its heady scent, but to be freezing cold. Despite the less than comfortable weather we brazed the elements, a bunch of hardy perennials that we are and enjoyed some of the beauty that the botanic gardens always has to share. The copper beach, the floriferous Deutzia and Weigela shrubs, the dainty white bracts of the handkercief tree, Davidia involucrata, all beautiful.

Two of Glasnevin’s own gems were looking particularly fine in the cold; Solanum crispum ‘Glasnevin’ and Deutzia purpurascens ‘Alpine Magician’. The former is the better j=known plant, a scranbling shrub best when trained to support against a wall, at the side of the visitor centre it covers a large portion of red brick wall. It is the best selection of the species, a relative to the spud which is Solanum tuberosum. Native of South America. The ‘Glasnevin’ cultivar is hardier than the species and much more floriferous. It is a vigorous large growing plant that will flower throughout the summer.





Deutzia purpurascens ‘Alpine Magician’ was named by Charles Nelson who was botanist at the gardens while I was a student there. It was named by him in reference and reverence to Reginald Farrer the great plant hunter and alpine gardener. This particular plant was grown from seed that was collected by farrer in Burma. It is a graceful shrub about 2 metres high and covered in clusters of pink tinged white flowers with red centres. A hardy and floriferous deciduous shrub that is seldom seen in garden centres and nurseries, which is ashame. Luckily there is a fine specimen growing in the woodland garden at Glasnevin for everyone to admire.

There were many beautiful sights to admire in the gardens, I took some photos with my phone and here they are for you to enjoy too…

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

May 5, 2011

Day in the Botanic Gardens

by Ciaran Burke

I have had a great day with some students in the National Botanic Gardens in Glasnevin, Dublin. Paeonia rockii in flower, flowering ash, Fraxinus ornus, in bloom and Spanish bluebells flowering under Laburnum trees. Looking superb!

Here are a few pics I took with my phone…

%d bloggers like this: