Month: January 2021


Scents of Wonder

Shrubs in the Garden On a bleak winter’s day in the garden, it can be a pleasant surprise to turn a corner and experience a sweet scent wafting in the cold air.  An inconspicuous shrub called Sarcococca confusa or Sweet box could be the provenance of the unusual fragrance hanging in the air. This evergreen shrub…


Symbols of Hope

Audio version – Snowdrops Snowdrops (1) Credit E Ó Murchú Heralds of spring; heralds of hope. The Snowdrop (Galanthus nivalis) or Plúirín sneachta in Irish appears in January and blooms until March (1).  It is one of the first flowers of the year to appear in gardens, semi-shaded places, old graveyards and hedgerows (2). Snowdrops…

Scots Pine

Reaching For The Sky

Audio version of Scots Pine Scot’s pine wood in Kildare (1a) Stately trees (1b) Credit Geraldine James Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) or Giúis in Irish is an evergreen conifer which is native to Ireland.  It colonised the country about 12,000 years ago but was thought to have become extinct because of wetter climatic conditions about…