Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Around Ireland - Mount Stewart

Monday it was dry so we decided to head to County Down for the day. Hubby is off Monday's and usually takes Miss T for therapy but things have been closed for the July holidays.

First off we visited the Ark Open Farm. They are now taking Tesco Days Out coupons so I paid with them which was very handy indeed. Every quarter, the points you accumulate are converted into shopping coupons. If you chose not to spend them in store, you can quadruple their value for travel, dining or days out - so £2.50 becomes £10.00. Earlier on in the month we went to the Ice Bowl and the kids did bowling, skating and romped in Indiana Land - all paid for with my coupons. Makes it easier to shop there, although I'd rather support a local organic farmer's market - if we had one.

After we'd seen the animals, fed the lamb, stroked the chicks and played in the park, we went for a walk through the grounds of Mount Stewart - another National Trust Property. I thought it would be best not to drag the little ones through the actual house as we can only fit Gracie's chair into the car which left our 2 year old on foot and bubs in a sling.

Lakeside walk with Temple in the background

We love walking through gardens and the lakeside one was stunning. Dotted throughout were a lot of New Zealand natives - ponga ferns, club palms and the pohutukawa to name but a few. Very nostalgic. I was surprised that they were suited to our climate.

club palm

Ponga Ferns

Pohutukawa or 'New Zealand Christmas tree' is found in the North Island of New Zealand around the coastal areas. It blooms from November to January but peaks mid December, hence the nickname. One year we visited the Coromandel in the North Island and they were putting on a fine display.
Cj and I walked through the formal gardens en route to the car which very pretty too.

As usual, I took way too many photos but seeings I like flowers, I'll put yet another slide show on my blog! As sole author, I reserve the right to bore my readers with whatever takes my fancy.


Mum to six home grown seedlings. said...

Hi thanks for the trip i enjoyed it CJ

Anonymous said...

Nice photos! I had a great time there !