When William Beswick, Head Gardener at Fota House, attended the County Cork Agricultural Spring Show in 1903, the weather was good. The Band of the 4th Battalion Manchester Regiment played military marches and ragtime music. As the judge in the fruit section, he had high standards and declared that “The specimens were neatly prepared but there was room for improvement”. Nonetheless, he awarded prizes for cooking and eating apples (home grown) to some of his neighbours – Robert Samual Topp of Glanmire and Ludlow Beamish of Ashcroft, Queenstown.
Being new to the parish of gardening and gardening history, I’m always keen to learn more. So last Saturday I took myself off to an afternoon at the Nano Nagle Centre in Cork where there was a screening of this fascinating documentary Five Seasons: The Gardens of Piet Oudolf. The film gives a wonderful insight into the Dutch garden designer’s philosophy and approach to planting.
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