Farewell to Summer 2012

At last, a welcome respite from torrential autumnal downpours. All the rain. This morning bears a crispness in the air, a low maturing sun enclosed in a sky of pure blue: Winter is lurking.

Looking down on the withering rain scattered garden. Leaves fall. Blighted yellow. Exhausted.

Farewell to Summer 2012 with its miraculous fusion of colour, the very last of the magical gardens inspired and nurtured by my late mother.

Nothing is immortal.

Fork, spade, secateurs, rake and, my quiet, noble and unhurried companion Robin Redbreast, all set in motion.

The autumn clean-up.

Summer Garden Splendour In Ireland – Restoring The Five Senses

Listen to the silence of this truly beautiful garden in the early evening where the sun strokes everything with a hue of gold.

Pause and listen.

The silence, only enhanced by the humming of bees and the chirping of birds, will lead you to close your eyes and feel the magic.

A gentle breeze.

Breath in the delicate sweet scents drifting in the air.


A garden of free thoughts, quiet contemplation, joyful anticipation and beautiful dreams: The birds and the bees, the flowers and the trees, the soil and the sky.

To cultivate a garden is to cultivate a soul.

My Mother’s garden.

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Autumn is here and winter is approaching… So says the red-breasted robin

Was cutting the grass at the front of the house this afternoon when out of the bush appeared a plump bird with fine, large eyes, a bright orange-red breast, face, throat and cheeks edged with grey, a whitish belly and brown upper parts – the Robin Red-Breast. This sweet, cheering friend has been nesting in the holly bush for three consecutive years. She is quite protective, and I guess the clamor of the lawn-mower had her checking out what I was doing.  Known as the gardener’s friend, robins are quite unafraid of people and like to come close when anyone is digging the soil in order to look out for juicy earthworms and other food freshly turned up.

….and so autumn is here….

The first deceased leaves, soon to be falling all around in golden splendour, are already dry and crisp underfoot; darker evenings are drawing in, and a cool breeze portends the arrival of autumn. Yet, none more so then the jolly music of the Robin Red-Breast, the autumn singer.

While in spring and summer her voice is lost in the cacophony of other birds, it is in autumn that her sweet song is clear.  It is also in autumn when the robin recovers her shedded red breast, a gesture to the approach of winter.

Robin Red-breast

“Good-bye, good-bye to Summer!

For Summer’s nearly done;

The garden smiling faintly,

Cool breezes in the sun;

Our Thrushes now are silent,

Our Swallows flown away,

But Robin’s here, in coat of brown,

With ruddy breast-knot gay.

Robin, Robin Redbreast,

O Robin dear!

Robin singing sweetly

In the falling of the year.


Bright yellow, red, and orange,

The leaves come down in hosts;

The trees are Indian Princes,

But soon they’ll turn to Ghosts;

The scanty pears and apples

Hang russet on the bough,

It’s Autumn, Autumn, Autumn late,

‘Twill soon be Winter now.

Robin, Robin Redbreast,

O Robin dear!

And welaway! my Robin,

For pinching times are near.


The fireside for the Cricket,

The wheatstack for the Mouse,

When trembling night-winds whistle

And moan all round the house;

The frosty ways like iron,

The branches plumed with snow, —

Alas! in Winter, dead and dark,

Where can poor Robin go?

Robin, Robin Redbreast,

O Robin dear!

And a crumb of bread for Robin,

His little heart to cheer.

                                                                                    By William Allingham (1824-1829)

[William Allingham, born at Ballyshannon, Ireland., published and edited verse from 1850 to his death in London on November 18, 1889.  He was buried in St. Anne’s Church cemetery, Ballyshannon]

autumn-is-here-and-winter-is-approaching-so-says-robin-red-breast autumn-is-here-and-winter-is-approaching-so-says-robin-red-breast3


“The Lake Isle Of Innisfree’, by William Butler Yeats

The ‘Lake isle of Innisfree‘ was written by Ireland‘s greatest poet, William Butler Yeats, in a quiet moment of nostalgia for his native land. He was a man of extraordinary ability and was awarded the Nobel prize for literature in 1923.

The ‘Lake isle of Innisfree‘, which was much loved by my late father and is also my favourite poem, reveals a place of enchantment comparable to the dramatic images of Ireland‘s natural beauty as seen through my eyes.

"...and a small cabin build there  of clay and wattles made... "
“…and a small cabin build there
of clay and wattles made… “


“I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,

and a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made:

Nine bean rows will I have there, a hive for the honey bee,

and live alone in the bee-loud glade.


"..and live alone in the bee-loud glade.."
“..and live alone in the bee-loud glade..”

And I shall have some peace there,for peace comes dropping slow,

dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;

There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,

and evening full of the linnet’s wings.


"..and evening full of the linnet's wings.."
“..and evening full of the linnet’s wings..”

I will arise and go now, for always night and day,

I hear lake waters lapping with low sounds by the shore;

While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,

I hear it in the deep heart’s core. 

"..I hear lake waters lapping with low sounds by the shore.."
“..I hear lake waters lapping with low sounds by the shore..”

William Butler Yeats (Circa.1890).