Dublin airport direct to Dillon Garden

by Ciaran Burke

So far it has been dry. We met all the group at Dublin airport and then went straight to the Dillon Garden in Ranelagh. Val Dillon welcomed and entertained us with his humourous stories and then he put the kettle on for tea and coffee. We all went to the garden.

In the garden Helen Dillon greeted us warmly and we all wandered through the garden. Helen enthusiastically identified plants and answered questions. She also had some sad and bad news to share. Reginald, their daschound, a familiar character to visitors in the past has passed away. The other misfortune concerns the hens, all were killed a few weeks ago by a fox.

The garden looks immaculate as ever. Helen explained that she is growing plants such as Dahlia and Canna in pots and when they are in flower, she is using them to fill gaps in the borders.

Crambe maritima attracted a lot of interest with the visitors. Many admiring it’s numerous flowers and sniffing it’s sweet honey scent. It is also grown as a vegetable. When grown for eating it is covered in spring to exclude light and the new growths harvested. I have it in the garden at home but have never eaten it, i will try it next year. Helen says it is as good as asparagus.

The large spherical infloresences of Allium ‘Globe Master’ were stunning and I think everyone remarked on how good they looked. Helen says that they are expensive to buy, but are worth the investment. A. ‘Purple Sensation’ is finished flowering while these are continuing to flower. She showed us the as yet unopened buds under the open flowers to prove her point.

After one and a half hours, reluctantly the group left the garden to get back on the bus to bring us to the Trinity Capital Hotel in Pearse Street, close to Trinity College. Hanna and I were joined by some tired and hungry tour members at a Moroccan restaurant called Dada in the evening.

Most of the group are probably already asleep in their beds after a long day of travelling, I am sure all are looking forward to visiting Carmel Duignan’s garden in Shankill on the morning. Lunch on the Mill at Avoca follows and then we are off to Mount Usher. A great day of gardens ahead, I hope the rain stays away.

Photos below: from top-
Dillon Garden from steps at back of house; Val Dillon tells us his entertaining stories; the empty hen house; Crambe maratima (Seakale) flowers; Allium ‘Globe Master’ (those finished flowering in the foreground are A. ‘Purple Sensation’); some of the group enjoying the garden, viewed from drawing room window.

3 Comments to “Dublin airport direct to Dillon Garden”

  1. Sad news about the dog & hens 😦

  2. ah so sad to hear bout Reginald and the hens, fab photos, thanks for sharing you were lucky it dried up by time you got there….

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