Sometimes in our lives, if we are lucky, we get to spend some time in somewhere that’s so beautiful that when we look back at our photos only two short weeks later, we can barely believe we were ever there. Today me and Sarah want to show you Ilnaculin, a tiny island in West Cork.
And tell you about our day here in Paradise.
We got here on a boat from Glengarrif.
Hard to uncerstand how ancient mariners ever mistook these for beautiful mermaids? Takes all sorts.
The tag on the eagle makes it look suspiciously like it’s been tied to the branch for our entertainment?
Anyway we arrive at Ilnaculin, also known as Garinish Island.
And go into the garden.
We head straight for the Italian Garden.
And oh look, we have arrived in Paradise.
We love all Italian Gardens.
But this one’s more than a bit special.
This bonsai larch is over 300 years old.
We go for a look around.
The garden is turning gently towards autumn.
Though still filled with flowers, fuchsia here.
And obviously there’s a temple, to Pan.
Is Sarah thinking deep and meaningful thoughts?
No, she’s thinking of offering me a marshmallow.
We’ve come here for Sarah’s birthday, and she’s very happy we have.
This is a Dacridium Franklinii.
With a healthier looking example nearby.
Though lush and exotic the compact garden, as Sarah wishes me to point out, does blend in well with its surrounding area, enriched as it is by the Gulf Stream. (Notes on the garden’s origins here, these days it’s run by the local authority.)
There’s also a Martello Tower.
This pre-dates the garden and was built on the orders of the British occupiers of Ireland after Republican hero Wolfe Tone and his allies the French Army had attempted an invasion to rid the place of its unwelcome dominators in 1798. The tower was built in 1805 in case Napoleon made another attempt.
Views are very good from the top.
And seriously beautiful.
Time for a look at the Walled Garden.
The three tall flower spikes here are Echium pininana.
A bee-loud glade if ever there was one.
Autumn flowering magnolia.
But we couldn’t leave without a good long sit in the Italian Garden.
In perfect peace.
Happy Birthday Sarah.
Kept company by a small and curious friend.
While I read, Sarah got her paints out.
Painting post cards to send to Liverpool.
From our day in paradise in West Cork.
And however soon we left it was going to be too soon.
As we left we talked about whether we would ever see the place again? Agreeing that we probably won’t. It’s a long way from home and there are so many other places we’ll want to go. But we had this one precious jewel of a day and we willl never ever forget Ilnacullin.
So if you’re ever in West Cork?
See the rest of our Irish adventure in “Quiet Days in West Cork.”