Dear Mr Congreve …

White Seat,
Mount Congreve Garden,
Co. Waterford,
 9th May, 2014

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,




Author: socialbridge

I am a sociologist and writer from Ireland. I have worked as a social researcher for 30 years and have had a lifelong passion for writing. My main research interests relate to health care and sense of place.

8 thoughts on “Dear Mr Congreve …”

  1. What a delightful read on a sunny Sunday morning! I am in bed basking in the warm sunshine that is streaming in the window, having arrived from Australia yesterday so feeling jet lagged! It’s good to be home in Ireland after 6 months away. Thank you for making my day!

  2. Well Jean I have to say that Mount Congreve Garden, has the most wonderful “Writer in Residence” and what a wonderful writer in residence you are . Jean you just bring it all here to me and you know what many, many more than me! xxxxxx

    1. Thanks very much for your kind words, Willow. I’ll keep writing, I hope, as ‘writer in residence,’ if not Writer in Residence! Mount Congreve is just pure inspiration.

  3. Thanks to you writer in residence! Thanks for your photos too. Had hoped to get back out there this week to view the sea of colour but fractured my leg last Sunday so for now. I am relying on your eyes and your written word

    1. DC, I’m really sorry to hear about your fracture. What a pain in all senses! I hope it repairs quickly and that you give it every chance.
      Yes, I’ll keep you posted about our precious Mount Congreve ~ I promise!

  4. Lovely piece of writing Jean ,so poetic and an ideal tribute to a gentleman who was so generous to the Nation and all the gardeners of the World.

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