Tuesday, February 07, 2023

Spring in Ireland

Spring is officially in the air here in Ireland - just look at all that blossom! That's a Giant Pink Himalayan Tulip Tree in the grounds of Fota House and Gardens. It's huge and absolutely beautiful with all it's pink petals, and against the clear blue sky it looks even more amazing!

I love the seasons and I love that I live in a place that lets me experience every season, but spring and summer will always be my favourite. I'm someone who feels the cold a lot, so the minute February hits and the flowers start blooming again, I'm happy.

Spring in Ireland begins on February first and last through to the end of April. This follows the Gaelic calendar and if you witness the nature in Ireland, you'll realise that this calendar is correct and the meteorological one not so much. It also means that midsummer is actually midsummer.

I notice when I share my spring pictures in February, people from the U.K. and further afield comment that they haven't got daffodils or blossom trees in bloom yet, which makes me wonder if spring just begins earlier here in Ireland? When does spring begin for you?

I wanted to share my spring pictures so far and the places I took them because I want to incorporate my photography and a more personal feel back into my blog again, and also, to give people who may be visiting Ireland in springtime, an idea of where to see and photograph these beautiful spring flowers for themselves.

If you visit Blarney Castle and Gardens in February (some years even the end of January!), you will witness an avenue of daffodils in bloom. It's one of my most favourite springtime sights and we visit every year to get Tyler's birthday pictures taken amongst the daffodils - the joys of being a February baby!

Camellia's are one of my favourite flowers to photograph in springtime and the gardens of Fota House - which are free to visit, you just pay €3 for the car park which goes to maintaining the gardens (the gardeners are volunteers), have some of the most beautiful camellia's I've ever seen, in hot pink and a pale baby pink. The bough facing Fota House makes for a beautiful picture opportunity.

I had a great time wandering around there looking and the flowers and coming up with picture ideas for a pink aesthetic for my Instagram feed @dollydowsie, to break up all the yellow from my daffodil pictures!

The camellia flowers fall very quickly too, which makes for a great photo opp. Ever since Beau was a baby I played 'the petal game' with him and it made for some gorgeous photos. The boys still love it to this day even though they're seven and three.

Blossom trees also start to bloom in Ireland in February and sadly, as we all know, blossom doesn't last for very long - especially if we get windy and rainy days, which aren't rare here in Ireland! They're so beautiful to look at and a joy to photograph.

Snowdrops are another favourite of mine come springtime, although, they start blooming in the winter so technically they would be a winter flower, but they're a sign of spring to come for sure! I asked if anyone knew of any snowdrop woods here in Ireland, like the ones I had seen on Instagram from people I follow in the U.K. but nobody knew of any. I did find this article on where to find snowdrops in Ireland, but I also recommend Blarney Castle gardens as they have an avenue of snowdrops and I captured the above ones in Fota Gardens.

Every year I look forward to seeing the bluebell woods (we found a bluebell one but not a snowdrop one!), Ballyannan Wood in Midleton, Cork, come into bloom with a sea of snowdrops. We've been going every year since I was 40 weeks pregnant with Beau and it's absolutely beautiful! We even had our annual woodland Easter egg hunt there last year.

Spring is one of my favourite times of the year and I can't wait to photograph more spring flowers - hopefully from some other counties too.


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