enjoy the last island-days for 2011

Garinish Island GlengarriffJust a few more days left to admire the autumnal atmosphere on Garinish Island for this year. And to have a look at the remaining wonderful dahlias in the walled garden. The mexican flowers got their name from the renowed Swedish botanist Anders Dahl (1751-1789).

Garinish Island GlengarriffThose are the beautiful leaves from Gaylussacia ursina, the Bear Huckleberry.

the seals in glengarriff harbour

garinish island glengarriffThe seals basking on many rocks along the boat trip to Garinish Island are among the main attractions for children visiting the area. In the early years of tourism the boatmen were wondering why French kids were always swearing at the sight of the funny mammals as they constantly yelled f**ck, f**ck! Well, the French word for seal is phoque and it really sounds like the f-word. Their scientic name is Phoca vitullina. You can distinguish them from similar seals occuring in the Southwest of Ireland by looking at their nostrils, they are v-shaped. An adult can attain a length of 1.85 meters (6.1 ft) and a mass of 132 kilograms (290 lb). Females outlive males (30–35 years versus 20–25 years).

garinish island glengarriffThe iris at the stepping stones (Happy Valley) is of extreme beauty.

garinish island glengarriffSo is – of course – the clematis.

garinish island glengarriffA nice place to rest near the Magnolia delavayi. It is native to southern China, occurring in Guizhou, Sichuan and Yunnan at 1,500-2,800 m altitude. It usually flowers around July and August. This is the place where the gravel tennis court from as early as 1911 was. The Bryces adored to play tennis, they invited many of their gueststo have a game and later they even raised money by offering the game to and charging from visitors.

garinish island glengarriff

The wrought iron gates in the walls of the formerly called kitchen garden (Walled Garden) came from Spain: Being from the 17th century – already 100 years ago they were antiquities.

michelia doltsopa

garinish island glengarriff

One of the most beautiful natural perfumes emerges from the magnolia-like blooms of the quite frost-tender Michelia tree. The very new scientific name is Magnolia doltsopa. The scent reminds of grated lemon peel with vanilla and a hint of clove. The tree in the Southern part of the Walled Garden suffered a lot during the last two winters, its top looks battered. But it is still carrying some flowers (the normal blooming period would be very early spring). It is native to the Eastern Himalayan region and the Meghalaya subtropical forests in India, it varies in form from bushy to narrow and upright, and can grow to a height of 30 metres (98 ft) tall.

crocodile rock

garinish island glengarriffdo you happen to see any shape on that rock?

garinish island glengarriffIt is almost July and the leptospermums (manuka trees) are still blooming. After the cold winter we are having a rather dark but very dry summer. The pond is quite empty and extremely brownish.

garinish island glengarriffSome people mistake Hoheria glabrata for jasmin. It blooms in the Walled Garden.

garinish island glengarriffNearby the dahlias below another Hoheria are still tiny. Some of their huge flowers will be the glorious reward for the very last visitors at the end of October.

rhododendron macabeanum

Garinish Island GlengarriffOne of the remarkable plant hunters to the Far East was Frank Kingdon Ward (1885-1958), he brought Rhododendron macabeanum from the Himalayan Mountains to
Europe. A beautiful plate below the tall plant – at the moment in full
bloom – is dedicated to him (with a typo in his name! 😉 Read more about the interesting life of the explorer here and let him tell you about his adventures in his book Riddle of the Tsangpo Gorges. A specimen of Rhododendron macabeanum in the East Garden (closed to the public) comes from the seeds of Kingdon-Ward, as former head-gardener Murdo Mackenzie noted in his plant lists.

garinish island glengarriff