Wednesday February 12th saw the worst storm for the past two decades. Mainly the Southwest of Ireland was affected by storm Darwin, an estimated of 7,5 million trees were felled by the gales with force up to 100 mph. The following weeks we were just able to clear a few of the main paths to minimize the imminent danger they posed to visitors, though there are still more than 50 fallen trees just lying all over the place. Some of the rare and tall rhododendrons and camellias were damaged but some of them might grow better next spring as there will be much more light for them.
The huge Kousa dogwood tree (Cornus kousa) near one of the two remaining cork oaks was covered in its butterfly-like flowers for many weeks and so was the jasmine in the greenhouse which covered the (at times smelly) back yard with its perfume.
The tall Trochodendron aralioides was spared by the many surrounding fallen trees. It is hardly ever noticed by passers-by – it was in full flower in May. But the nearby graceful Pinus wallichiana (Pinus griffithii) with its delicate long needles tumbled with the whole of its root system now lying upside down.
Ardnagashel House or as it is known House No. 10 is up for sale now, we weren’t able to renew our contract. So our (third) season will soon be coming to an end and we cannot any longer be custodians for this lovely historical place.