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And Winter Came - Eyna
by Bridget Haggerty

There are more than 500 reviews of this album on amazon and just about all of them are either four or five stars. It's no surprise to this reviewer as this is an absolutely beautiful CD which has become one of my all-time favorite Christmas recordings. From the opening title tune to the last carol sung in Irish, i can play it over and over without tiring of listening to each and every single track. That said, one song in particular never fails to put me in the Christmas spirit: White is in the Winter Night. Masterfully arranged, it's easy to imagine being in a horse-drawn sled, the sound of the horses' hooves beating in time to the chorus:

"Green is in the mistletoe
And red is in the holly
Silver in the stars above
That shine on everybody
Gold is in the candlelight
And crimson in the embers
White is in the winter night
That everyone remembers."

Most of the cuts are original pieces with just two tracks devoted to traditional Christmas material - O Come, O Come Emanuel and Oiche Chuin (Silent Night in Irish). Both are exceptional and capture perfectly the spiritual beauty of the season. All in all, if you're an Enya fan, I would encourage you to add this CD to your collection - you won't be disappointed. I bought it when it was first released 2008 and as one amazon reviewer pouted out, "there is a reason why it reached #1 on Amazon's best seller list! Every track is outstanding in its own way, there isn't a bad song on it." I couldn't agree more.

Photo Credit: Star Singers


Wed, Jan 3, 2018

Ilnacullen, Co. Cork - an Island Garden

Located in the sheltered harbour of Glengarriff in Bantry Bay. Ilnacullin, which means island of holly, is a small island known to horticulturists and lovers of trees and shrubs all around the world as an island garden of rare beauty.
The vivid colours of Rhododendrons and Azaleas reach their peak during May and June, whilst the hundreds of cultivars of climbing plants, herbaceous perennials and choice shrubs dominate the midsummer period from June to August.
Because of its sheltered situation and the warming oceanic influence of the Gulf Stream, the climate is favourable to the growth of ornamental plants from many parts of the world.
Even for those who aren’t particularly interested in gardens, there are many other scenic views, especially in the surrounding waters where seals frequent the rocks on the southern shore.
The cover photo on Bridget's book The Traditional Irish Wedding shows a wrought iron garden gate on Ilnaculen. I took that photo. To see it, go to the home page. It's part of the opening paragraph Failte.
Resource: Copy and Image - Cork Guide

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Visit 30 of Ireland's most beautiful gardens. Includes a stunning collection of 200 full-color photos.
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March 4, 2011
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