Horas non numero nisi serenas!

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(A bit of the sundial and fountain. Sorry, I chopped off the pretty parts…)

In the end we went to Powerscourt House and Gardens. The house for lunch and coffee, the gardens for flowers and graves. One of the other choices was Wexford and we picked well because they got an awful lot of rain in Wexford on Wednesday. We got the sun… and then some shade because it was too bright and then some breeze because it was a bit hot and then some sun because it got a little chilly. I suppose we got everything we needed except rain (which we didn’t need anyway).

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(The Dolphin Pond)

We began our adventure in the gardens and the leaflet told us that this first section, called the Italian Gardens, was designed in the 1840’s by Daniel Robertson and that it took 100 men over twelve years to complete. Well then… seems like all the best gardens take more time than you might think sensible to complete….

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(One of the gravestones in the pet’s graveyard)

I looked up Daniel Robertson and I read that he went bankrupt in England and afterwards moved his gardening business to Ireland. The gardens at Killruddery, where we went to the food market, were designed by him also. The latin inscription over the sundial in the Italian Garden, says “Horas non numero nisi serenas“, I do not count the hours unless they are tranquil. Because of his previous difficulties (with the bankruptcy) I thought Daniel’s choice of Latin quote might be significant, maybe an insight into how he coped, but for the life of me I couldn’t make sense of it…. if you were tranquil why would you bother counting the hours at all!

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(The Pepperpot Tower – built for the children of the house. It was modelled on a pepper pot from Lord Powerscourt’s dining table.)

Turns out (thanks Google!) that this latin inscription is on a fountain in Venice also and the word count can be replaced with rememberI do not remember the non-peaceful hours. In other words I put my attention on the times that I have been at peace, when all was well, I carry the peace from my past with me. If Daniel hadn’t found a way to carry the peace with him we might have been walking through fields yesterday.

Nice work, Daniel. Mairead.

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