Subscribe by Email

Your email:

Awards

Subscribe by Email

Your email:

The Powerscourt Blog

Current Articles | RSS Feed RSS Feed

Herbs are hot at Powerscourt Garden Pavilion!

  
  
  
  

Everyone loves herbs. Whether for cooking, or in cosmetics or for their stunning healing properties, herbs are hot! There is also a growing interest in learning how herbs can benefit our health, through delightful teas and tisanes, compresses or lotions, the healing power of herbs has always been a fascination for people down through the ages.

Herbs for Healing with Mary White resized 600

Join Mary White from Blackstairs Ecotrails at Powerscourt Garden Pavilion in Enniskerry, County Wicklow on 26th of April at 2pm for a modern take on the healing power of herbs. This talk will kindle an interest in the growing of medicinal herbs, their uses, and powerful benefits to keep us all healthier. The cost per ticket is €5 and advance booking is required. Book the event here.

Allium schoenoprasum %27Chives%27 resized 600

About Mary: Mary is Director of Blackstairs Ecotrails. She is an expert on Ireland's Flora and Fauna and has been a guest speaker at environmental conferences and debates on the Irish environment. Her Ecotrails lead you through the wilderness of the Blackstairs Mountains and along the River Barrow. Mary also leads geographical investigations for Leaving Cert geography students and runs fungi, foraging and wild herbal workshops around Ireland.

Scientific Adventure Story at Powerscourt Gardens

  
  
  
  

This Easter Monday 21st April, join Imaginosity Dublin Children’s Museum for a scientific adventure story in the beautiful Powerscourt Gardens in County Wicklow.  Along the trail families will meet various characters from storybooks that are experiencing scientific dilemmas! Goldilocks will be there and her never-ending bubbling over porridge pot. Can you figure out which chemical is causing the trouble and why?  The Billy Goat Gruff’s bridge is baffling him in the engineering department while Imaginosity’s Mad Scientist has a show for you at the end that may create more questions than it answers!  

Scientific Adventure Story (1) resized 600

Throughout the trail, the children will also have other scientific conundrums to figure out based on the natural environment of Powerscourt Gardens.  With over 47 acres to explore, the trail offers a great family day out in the beautiful Wicklow countryside. Advanced booking is required. See www.powerscourt.com/events for more information.

Scientific Adventure Story (2) resized 600

Venue: Powerscourt Gardens, Powerscourt Estate, Enniskerry, County Wicklow.

Contact Details: W: www.powerscourt.com/events T: (01) 204 6000

Date and Time: Monday April 21st, 12.30pm to 3.pm  

Cost:  Adult €8.50, Child €5, under 3’s are free. Annual members of Powerscourt €2

Free Garden Design Talk with Tim Austen at Powerscourt April 12th 2pm

  
  
  
  

For many people in Ireland, moving house isn’t an option at the moment and we are all looking at ways we can make the most of our existing home and garden space. If you are planning a new garden design or renovation and don't know where to start or if you want advice about your existing garden, here is an opportunity to pick the brains of one of Ireland's leading garden designers!

Tim Austen Design Talk 2 resized 600

Bloom Gold Winner Tim Austen and Powerscourt Garden Pavilion in County Wicklow are offering a free talk on garden design and seasonal planting tomorrow on 12th of April from 2-3pm. Tim will share his experience of garden design and offer advice on the type and size of plants to use and how to space them to create a beautiful outdoor space. Come along and enjoy this complimentary talk. See powerscourt.com/events for more information.

Tim Austen Design Talk resized 600

About Tim: Tim spent his formative years working in Fern Hill Gardens, Co. Dublin and Charleville House, Co. Wicklow before completing his formal training in landscape architecture. The influence of these gardens along with his upbringing at the foot of the Sugarloaf Mountain in Co. Wicklow is evident in the colours, textures and forms that he brings in to his designs, whether they incorporate bold contemporary architecture or are predominantly natural in style. Tim continues to create unique gardens for his clients today. His passion for design along with his extensive practical experience meant that he was selected to be the garden design judge on RTE’s ‘Super garden’ shows in both 2010 and 2011. 

 

Grow Your Own Review with Kerry Gordon

  
  
  
  

We recently had a fantastic Grow Your Own event for children at Powerscourt Garden Pavilion. Our blogger Kerry Gordon attended with her family - here is how she got on!

"A visit to the Powerscourt Garden Pavilion is always a treat where you are greeted with a wonderful warm welcome from Marianne and her team. As you enter, an explosion of colour and smells embraces you with vibrant flowers and plants throughout the venue. The last family workshop we attended at the Pavilion was pumpkin carving for Halloween which was by far the most entertaining pumpkin event I have been too and suitable for all ages (even we adults loved it too!) Recently I went along to their Grow Your Own Pizza garden workshop which was aimed at the excited young planters in our families.

Everything was laid out for us with colorful tubs of soil, seed trays, labels and most importantly the magical seeds. Marianne showed the children how to put the soil into the tray and then make little holes with their pokey fingers. Then with lots of concentration and care one or two seeds was popped into each hole. Wait a moment! Silly me – you must make sure you write on your label with the name of your seed and place it in the container before you start planting!

Because we were growing for pizzas we planted oregano, thyme, rocket, spinach, basil, tomatoes and peppers. The tomato and peppers were planted separately because they need more room to grow. After the seeds were planted the children sprinkled soil on top to cover the seeds just like a chef would do! Then they sprinkled on water and put the lid on. Very importantly there must be no peeking for at least two weeks and they need to be placed in a sunny dry place. The tomatoes and peppers are sturdier and didn’t need a lid. Then it was time to take everything home and eagerly but patiently wait for the seeds to grow into beautiful tasty herbs and fruit and veg.

On the way out, with our arms full of future tasty morsels, we stopped and just had to look at the beautiful Easter section. It was such a wonderful event – so much fun for everyone and watching the kids planting was a pure joy. I think we may have some future gardeners in our midst and gardening is an activity that crosses over all generation. Make sure you don’t miss the next event by visiting www.powerscourt.com/events

 

Molly digging in!

1 resized 600

Big yellow tubs full of mud …. time to get our hands all mucky

3 resized 600

Reading to start growing

4 resized 600

5 Seeds to choose from

5 resized 600

Busy bees (and I really want to buy these beautiful hanging butterflies)

6 resized 600

Write your label first

7 resized 600

The lovely Marianne

8 resized 600

Magic seeds!

9 resized 600

Dad helping out

10 resized 600

Sprinkle the soil on top like parmesan

Seeds resized 600

Carefully planting the seeds

Seeds 2 resized 600

More seeds please!

Seeds 3 resized 600

Place the lids carefully on

Seeds 5 resized 600

No peeking for at least 2 weeks

6 resized 600

Molly planting her tomatoes

Seeds 7 resized 600

18 Watering the peppers and tomatoes

Seeds 8 resized 600

Make sure you use a water can so that the water drizzles rather than pours just like Molly is doing and then we are finished!

19 resized 600

I think the elves may have been watching

elves resized 600

Bursting with colour all the plants for purchase

21 resized 600

Easter goodies!

22 resized 600

 

About Kerry Gordon:

Early in 2014 I was delighted to begin employment with the Royal Horticultural Society of Ireland as Director of Development. The RHSI was founded almost two hundred years ago in 1816 to promote the knowledge and practice of horticulture in the island of Ireland. Today, with our charitable status, we achieve our objectives through seminars, lectures, tours and, since 2011, through our RHSI garden at the historic demesne of Russborough House in County Wicklow.

RHSI Garden Russborough has been taken on under a license from the Alfred Beit Foundation and is in the process of being restored as a working fruit and vegetable garden, and also to display a variety of garden styles and techniques. All work in the garden is carried out by RHSI volunteer members, with the objective of demonstrating the highest horticultural standards.

RHSI’s reputation and commitment to excellence has resulted in partnerships with flagship gardens around Ireland, such as Powerscourt Gardens, where our membership is entitled to free or discounted entry. For further information on the RHSI or to become a member please check www.rhsi.ie or to contact me on any blog related matters kerry.gordon@gmail.com

The Annual Tulip Festival at Powerscourt Gardens

  
  
  
  

There are gardens, and there is Powerscourt! Discover Powerscourt in spring, when the estate is ablaze with colour. Watch over 10,000 tulips gently dancing in the breeze at the Annual Tulip Festival which takes place from 10th to 24th of April.  Displays of tulips are located throughout the gardens, from the Italian Gardens to the Herbaceous Border. Head Gardener Michael Byrne will give a guided walk of the festival on the 16th of April at 11am and introduce visitors to the many unusual blooms in the gardens.

Powerscourt Gardens (1) resized 600

Don’t miss the Japanese Garden which comes to life in spring. Inhale the fragrances from sweet magnolia flowers, perfumed azaleas and cherry and apple blossom trees, bearing cascades of pink and white flowers. The Camellias in the Memorial Garden are a welcome surprise for visitors while thousands of daffodils add some spring cheer after the long winter months. Afterwards, unwind in the Avoca Terrace Café with tea and a cake or two! See www.powerscourt.com/events for more information.

Powerscourt Gardens (3) resized 600

Venue: Powerscourt Estate, Enniskerry, County Wicklow.

Tulip Festival: 10th to 24th April 2014

Guided Walking Tour: 16th April, 11am

T: 01 204 6000

W: www.powerscourt.com/events

Grow Your Own with Ena Ronayne & Powerscourt Garden Pavilion

  
  
  
  

 

Fed up with tasteless supermarket fruit and vegetables? Why not grow your own! Gardening and more importantly growing your own food should be fun and will be once you've established the ground rules (pardon the pun!) Powerscourt Garden Pavilion in Enniskerry, County Wicklow has some great events coming up for gardening enthusiasts.

shutterstock 71200786 resized 600

Join horticulturalist and garden designer Ena Ronayne on April 1st from 2-3pm for the low down on all things edible. Ena is an avid promoter of all things horticultural in Ireland and beyond. Don’t worry if you’ve not got a dedicated potager or an allotment, at this you’re your own talk you’ll discover all you need to get started right through to harvesting your own foods. The event is free and no booking is required.  

6a00e5511d2ed288330115701a2a76970c 500wi resized 600

About Ena: Based in South County Dublin horticulturist and teacher Ena Ronayne is an avid promoter of all things horticultural in Ireland and beyond. She can help you design, build, plant or maintain any growing space whether for vegetables or ornamentals. For more information email enaronayne@gmail.com or telephone 086 8259166

Novice Birders Needs and Wants - Bird-watching at Powerscourt

  
  
  
  

This week we have a fantastic guest blog article on bird-watching from Ena Ronayne. Ena has a passion for birds and is going to share some great tips on getting started with bird-watching ahead of our guided walk with Niall Hatch from Bird-Watch Ireland on Thursday 27th March at 11am at Powerscourt Waterfall. Read on…

"June 2009 saw both myself and himself indoors venture down to my native County of Cork to spend a magical weekend bird-watching with Steve Wing, Warden at Cape Clear Observatory. I mention this merely to set the scene and share with you a ‘real’ first encounter with all things birds.  For sure we have all seen the odd Robin or feral pigeon and recognise them immediately don’t we?  But this was somehow different.

Our first day out found us at Cotter’s Garden a short stroll from the observatory.  The weather was not conducive to birding although we did see a few.  Luckily we had remembered both binoculars and rain gear (more about that later). On our return, Steve got us to sketch a bird, not to see if anatomically our drawing would be correct, but merely to focus our minds on the key shape of a bird inclusive of bill and silhouette.  This exercise proved to be an invaluable one and was for us the start of a birding love affair.

A Spotted Flycatcher (Muscicapa striata) on a branch of a tree resized 600

Looking back now I am astonished how people miss the obvious. I was one of them!  For example, that bird you’ve just noticed - what shape was it’s bill?  Where was it spotted?  These and many other questions are routinely asked by birders when birdwatching (sometimes subconsciously).  Of course the answer now that I’m a little wiser and more experienced is easy.  A bird’s bill and where a bird is spotted are possibly two of the most important things to learn and will help you to identify the bird precisely.

If you’re keen to start birding be sure to check out the following.  A word of caution though, once you start there’s no way back as you'll soon find bird-watching can be addictive!  

Blackcap, Sylvia atricapilla resized 600

  • Bird watching from home: Why not start in your own garden or from your kitchen window and while away the hours identifying birds from the comfort of your armchair.  It would be impossible for me to list all the birds of Ireland so instead I am including this wonderful piece ‘A list of Irish Birds’ compiled by Joe Hobbs from my local South County Dublin Branch of Birdwatch Ireland (BWI).  Half the battle with identifying birds is to get them to remain still.  This can be achieved by feeding so be sure to provide the 'Right food' for those birds you wish to attract.  Did you know, for example, that Robins love mealworms, Goldfinches adore Nyjer Seed and Blue Tits have a passion for Sunflower Hearts? Obviously the feeder type you use depends on the feed.  Don’t forget about the plants you grow in your garden.  Shrubs such as Pyracantha and Cotoneaster that fruit in the Autumn are much loved by thrushes and these same plants can also provide cover for birds and a place to nest.

Chaffinch on a branch resized 600
  • Your local park may have feeding stations, I know Cabinteely Park does.  This is the best vantage point to identify birds.  If you’re lucky at this time of year you may even get to see a Great-Spotted Woodpecker!  Be sure to research the local park before you go and read up on what birds you may see with relevance to time of day and year.  Better still, why not pop along to the upcoming bird-watching walk with Niall Hatch (Education Officer with Birdwatch Ireland) on Thursday next at Powerscourt?  It’s a perfect opportunity and a great introduction to birding.    

  • Join a local bird watching group: Not only will you get to know other birdwatchers and share your knowledge and meet experienced birders who can help hone your skills, you will have lots of opportunities to go on organised birding tours.  Since joining Birdwatch Ireland not only have I been to Cape Clear, I’ve been to Castle Espie in Co Down, Wexford Wildfowl reserve and many other amazing places and have seen some rare birds as well.  By going on an organised tour you too will have an opportunity to see great birds under the guidance of experienced birders.  

Common Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) posing resized 600
  • Websites:  For current nationwide sightings check out Irish Birding.  If you’re thinking of visiting Bull Island be sure to check out their website here.  BWI Wicklow branch are on facebook and have a ‘whoami’ ID test which is another superb way to learn to identify your birds.  Finally it would be remiss of me not to include Birdwatch Ireland, the largest independent conservation organisation in Ireland. Established in 1968 with over 14,000 members and supporters and a local network of over 20 branches nationwide, BWI website is a wonderful resource for both novice and experienced birders.

  • Smartphone Apps: There are a number of birding apps available to enhance your birding, here are a few which I have yet to use but have been recommended.  RSPB lovebirds app priced at £4.99 is a comprehensive app that allows users to identify birds, listen to birdsong, and access detailed information from the charity’s experts on birds’ appearance, diet and distribution.   BirdsEye UK, Europe & Western Palearctic is a simple but powerful tool for birders. It is simple, easy and fast to use so you can spend your time seeing birds!  Birds of Britain and Ireland (Pro Edition) is a high-quality digital field guide covering 271 species of birds regularly seen in Britain and Ireland. This list covers all except the rarest vagrants and includes every bird likely to be seen by the vast majority of birdwatchers throughout the year.

long eared owl (Asio otus) in the tree resized 600

So what’s needed for birding?

Suitable clothing, good rain gear, walking boots and a field bag are essential when birding.  My field bag, a waterproof rucksack is always at the ready for our next bird outing and is very useful for carrying all our supplies. Depending on the time of year sunglasses, sunscreen and lip balm, insect repellent, aspirin, plasters, antiseptic cream or a torch might also be added to the field bag. Remember birdwatching may involve periods of prolonged walking, sometimes miles from civilisation, so be sure to pack a lunch, a flask and a bottle of water, as well as these essential tools.

Binoculars: One of the most important pieces of kit you’ll need, birdwatching is impossible without binoculars. Every birder needs his or her own binoculars, especially if like me you are a glasses wearer.  You don't have to spend a fortune on purchasing binoculars when you start out but do try and get the best you can afford.  The BirdWatch Ireland shop in Kilcoole, also available online, is an excellent place to start your search.  

Redpoll on the tree of alder resized 600

Field Guide: My personal favourites have to be ‘The Complete Field Guide to Ireland’s Birds’ by Eric Dempsey and Michael O’Clery. Published by Gill & Macmillan in 2010 and ‘Finding Birds in Ireland, The Complete Guide‘ by Eric Dempsey and Michael O’Clery. Published by Gill & Macmillan in 2007.  This ‘Where to Watch or Find Birds’ type of guide book is essential and describes the best locations within a region to watch birds, along with descriptions of the likely birds and habitat that are found, the best time to visit and directions to the site.  The former is a beautifully illustrated book describing approximately 370 species from the very common to the rarely seen.  If you’re not in a position to buy these books you can of course borrow them from your local library, which is especially useful until you find your feet in the world of birding.

Notebook: Keep a pencil and notebook handy for making notes from field observations. Record your sightings - keep track of what you have seen, where and when, this way you can begin to map populations.

Singing Common Chiffchaff resized 600

Mobile Phone & Car phone Charger: Ensure you phone has been charged before you set off as bird watching can take place in remote locations so keeping in contact in case of emergency is essential.  

As a novice birdwatcher I love to encourage people to appreciate and learn from the birds around us. If you are keen to take up birding as a hobby, I would highly recommend the upcoming Bird-Watching Walk at Powerscourt on Thursday 27th March.  Above all, have fun! Bird-watching is a fantastic medium for experiencing wildlife, travelling to new places and meeting new people."

Ena Ronayne

Thanks Ena!

About Ena Ronayne: Based in South Co Dublin Ena Ronayne, horticulturist / teacher is an avid promoter of all things horticultural in Ireland and beyond. She can help you design, build, plant or maintain any growing space whether for vegetables or ornamentals. For more information email enaronayne@gmail.com or telephone +353868259166

Irish Myths & Legends, a fantastic day out at Powerscourt!

  
  
  
  

Our blogger Kerry Gordon went along to Powerscourt House for a full filled Patrick's Weekend. Here is what she got up to!

"A wonderful day was had by all the family at the St Patrick's Day weekend. Imaginosity Dublin's Children's Museum teamed up with Powerscourt to celebrate Irish Culture with a children's drama workshop. It was a fun introduction to Irish myths and legends. 

Look at all the St Patrick's!

Powerscourt House

There are leprechauns all over the Grand Entrance Hall!

leprechauns resized 600

Watching the show

Watching the show resized 600

Sssh..... 

Powerscourt House

We won!

We won! resized 600

Setting the mood ....

Setting the mood resized 600

The actors

The actors resized 600

A princess riding her horse

A princess riding her horse resized 600

Mum being the scary Sorcerous

Mum being the scary Sorcerous resized 600

Sticker and a lollipop

Sticker and a lollipop resized 600

The fabulous Imaginosity team

The fabulous Imaginosity team resized 600

Quick browse around the children's shop in Avoca

Quick browse around the children%27s shop in Avoca resized 600

Quick browse around the children's shop in Avoca

describe the image

Look at that food!

Look at that food! resized 600

Yummy scones and a pot of tea :)

Yummy scones and a pot of tea ) resized 600

Thanks very much to Imaginosity for such a fantastic day out for many families and to Kerry Gordon for capturing the day so beautifully in this article.

Text and Images: Copyright of Kerry Gordon

Join us for the next Imaginosity adventure at Powerscourt!

Scientific Story Adventure, 21st April from 12.30pm to 3pm in Powerscourt Gardens.

Book now here!

Join us for a fun filled day out with Imaginosity, Dublin Children's Museum. This is a trail through Powerscourt, during which the families will encounter various characters – some of whom may be familiar from storybooks and all of whom are experiencing scientific dilemmas.  We have Goldilocks and her never-ending bubbling over porridge pot – can you figure out which chemical is causing the trouble and why?  The Billy Goat Gruff’s bridge is baffling him in the engineering department and finally, Imaginosity’s Mad Scientist has a show for you at the end that may create more questions than it answers!   Throughout the trail, the children will also have other scientific conundrums to figure out based on the natural environment of the gardens.  

Annual Member Adult: €2
Annual Member Child: €2
Family Ticket: €25
Adult Ticket: €8.00
Child: €5.00
Child Ticket: (under 3) €0.00

Grow Your Own Pizza Garden with Powerscourt Garden Pavilion

  
  
  
  

Fed up with tasteless supermarket fruit and vegetables? Why not grow your own! Gardening and more importantly growing your own food should be fun and will be once you've established the ground rules (pardon the pun!). Powerscourt Garden Pavilion in Enniskerry, County Wicklow has some great events coming up for gardening enthusiasts.

Grow Your Own Pizza Garden at Powerscourt Garden Pavilion resized 600

Join horticulturalist and garden designer Ena Ronayne on April 1st from 2-3pm for the low down on all things edible. Ena is an avid promoter of all things horticultural in Ireland and beyond. Don’t worry if you’ve not got a dedicated potager or an allotment, at this you’re your own talk you’ll discover all you need to get started right through to harvesting your own foods. The event is free and no booking is required. 

Grow Your Own Pizza Garden resized 600

Children will enjoy the Garden Pavilion’s ‘Grow your own Pizza’ gardening class on 30th March at 12 & 2pm which encourages them to get active in the garden at a young age. Learn how to grow foods such as tomatoes and basil which can then be made into pizzas at home. Once you start growing your own vegetables you will taste the difference and be hooked on home-produce! The cost is €5 for a child, adults are free. Advance booking is required. For more information on these events visit www.powerscourt.ie/events

Growing Fruit & Veg with Ena Ronayne resized 600

Guided Bird-Watching Walk at Powerscourt Waterfall in County Wicklow

  
  
  
  

Powerscourt Waterfall in County Wicklow is home to an abundance of winged residents and visitors. From ravens and kestrels to long-ears owls and the willow warbler, there are many varieties of birds to discover at Powerscourt.  If you would like to see these birds yourself and learn more about their lives, join Niall Hatch of BirdWatch Ireland on a guided walk of the grounds at Powerscourt Waterfall in Enniskerry.

Powerscourt Waterfall (1) resized 600

Suitable both for experienced birdwatchers and complete beginners alike, during the walk you will look out for the special bird species that make their homes in County Wicklow and catch up with some of our spring migrants as they arrive. No prior knowledge of birds is needed.  Good walking shoes/hiking boots and light waterproof clothing are recommended; if you happen to have a pair of binoculars, bring them along too.

Powerscourt Waterfall (3) resized 600

The walk takes place on Thursday 27th March 2014 from 11am-12pm. The event is included in the entry price to the waterfall and is free for annual members of Powerscourt Estate. No advance booking is required. For more information, visit www.powerscourt.ie/events

Powerscourt Waterfall resized 600
All Posts

Posts by category