Ophelia raged through Cork on a day when we usually work in the Frameyard. So we did what we were told and stayed home, hoping that none of the big trees would fall on the glasshouses or that panes of glass wouldn’t blow out. Returning this week, it’s good to see that the Frameyard is unscathed, as peaceful and orderly a place as ever. The orchard was not so lucky, with apple trees that were more than a hundred years old, succumbing to the hurricane. Ian the gardener was philosophical. It’s nature at work.
Some of the fallen Apple Trees in the Fota Orchard
The remaining apples on these branches will be harvested now, in the knowledge that these are the last apples these trees will ever produce. Truly the end of an era. These trees have witnessed and withstood many changes – in the country in general, in the fortunes of the Smith-Barrys and Fota House itself.
But in another corner of the Orchard, there is renewal. The Head Gardener’s House is being restored. The workmen are busy making the house waterproof and airtight, ready for future interior renovations.
In the Frameyard, the last of the pumpkins are being harvested for Halloween and the winter fruit of the Strawberry Tree adds welcome colour to the borders.
Nature endures and continues, as it always does.