Dear Mr Congreve,
It seems only natural to write to you as I sit here in your garden basking in beauty, birdsong, blazing azaleas, a flowing view down to the blue Suir and even bluer hills beyond.
There’s a soft breeze swaying through the fresh leaves of the tall trees that are providing me with perfect shelter in the sunshine.
It’s all so calm and inspirational – a hare has just run passed, ears tall, eyes fixed on the path ahead.
I was just looking at the Quercus Caslaneifolia ‘Green Spire’ which the Royal Horticultural Society presented to you on April 4, 2007, in houour of your 100th birthday.
You are someone who knows the meaning of ‘long life’ and the nearest person to me who lived to be 104.
Your legacy to Ireland and the world is truly magnificent. Mount Congreve Garden brings endless pleasure to everyone who visits.
I come here every week and see it as my Garden of Eden. The weekly changes never cease to amaze me and you’ll probably laugh at this but the ONE thing I photograph every single time I’m here is the heart on the iron gate at the very far end of the Garden.
It’s like my anchor here and always makes me think of the love you poured into making this a place for all seasons; full of colour, nooks, crannies, steps, tiny paths, sweeping avenues, vistas of water and plants.
I hope you’ll smile, too, when I tell you that I’d love to be Mount Congreve’s Writer in Residence. To tell the truth, I half see myself as that already! Yes, Mount Congreve is like home to me and fills me with a sense of absolute peace and gratitude every time I come here.
Your spirit pervades the Garden and today it rings out most of all through the delicious carpets of bluebells.
Thanks for giving me this haven and for your comforting presence.
With love and a gentle kiss through the scented air,