Portmagee Ireland

By now, the rows of colorful saltbox houses hardly warrant a second glance. Instead of charm, I see old plumbing and drafty windows. I see the cost of replacement slate, and toilets you can barely turn around in. I’m starting to understand why Irish react so strongly when visitors comment on the loveliness of this lush island. When I told our landlord my family lives in Florida, which is the equivalent of paradise to sun-deprived locals, she responded with “Leaving Florida for Ireland?! Can you imagine?!” She, quite literally, could not understand it. But to someone who has grown up with cliffs dropping into aquamarine oceans, sheep dotting the fields, and so many beautiful things to see the signs can’t fit on the posts, I’m sure it’s hard to see why someone would choose this way over the more modern, and much less charming, American life.

Skellig Ring Signs Irish Fishing Boat
Grassy Field
Rock Layers Irish Fence Posts
Fogher Cliffs
Valentia Island Beach
Rocky Cliffs
Valentia Island Cliffs
Hiking in Ireland
Southwest Ireland
Irish Ram

We spent a half day in Valentia Island, doing a light hike around the peak of the island, and then had lunch in Portmagee. The tiny village is part of the Skellig Ring, and the launching point of many of the boats that take you to Skellig Islands. Valentia is the site where the world’s first transatlantic cable originated

Photography by Rebekah Marenda Burder.


Rococo Parrot Tulip

Parrot Tulip

The tulips that we planted last November came roaring into bloom this month: white, orange, cream and tinted with purple. But my favorite were these Rococo Parrot Tulips purchased at a bargain shop in town. They bloomed like an exotic animal, full of brilliant reds.

It’s an early-blooming tulip, showing up in early to mid-April depending on your hardiness zone, and makes an excellent cut flower. You can purchase your own at Bulbs Direct (US) or Sarah Raven (UK + Europe).

Photography by Rebekah Marenda Burder.


April Skies

Ocean on Ring of Kerry

I stand away from the group looking over the edge of a cliff, my eyes burning from the sun, while I listen to the wind as it rushes around me, lifting strands of hair away from my face. April is my reward for enduring January thru March. Three months of rain and cloudy skies give way to long stretches of sunshine and warmer temperatures. I’m still wearing a jacket, but at least I’ve been able to finally discard the heavy sweaters underneath. After a few moments, I rejoin the group for a photo, ready to tackle the next part of the drive.

Atlantic Ocean Ireland in Bloom
Ring of Kerry
Irish Beaches
Skipping Rocks Beach Pebble
Kelp  Beach Rock
Rocks in Ocean
Red Clover Skellig Trip Blog Size 117
Most Spectacular Kerry Cliffs
Group on Cliff

We drove from Kilkenny to Ballenskellig, covering the Northern and Western part of the Ring of Kerry. Notable stops included Kerry’s Most Spectacular Cliffs (entry charge of €4.50 each, but who could resist that name?!) and Portmagee. We stayed at Skellig Hostel, which was a great bargain. The hostel was clean, private, and quiet.

Photography by Rebekah Marenda Burder.



Lismore Gardens

I know things have been rather silent here since Christmas. It’s not a reflection of my offline life, which is a hustle from day to day. I just haven’t had time to create as I focus on other projects.

English Garden

I’m not sure if the silence is a short-term, long-term, or final break with this blog. For many years I hoped to turn this into a side business, but I don’t really have the skillset or interest in doing that anymore. I love blogging, and I know I’ll continue. I’m just not sure how deep my interest goes into lifestyle blogging. Pinterest and Facebook are flooded with lifestyle blogs, and I’m not sure what I have to offer in that genre.

Lush Garden

We moved last week, and the new house is inspiring my creative process. Maybe that will turn into blog posts, maybe it won’t. In the meantime, I’m on Pinterest daily researching and categorizing beautiful things. You’re welcome to follow me there if you like!


Patricks Day