Sunday, July 09, 2006

Giant Rhubarb
Gunnera manicata
(guh-NER-uh mah-nuh-KAH-tuh)

Bunratty Castle
Co. Clare, Ireland

I have never grown the plant behind the boat. I would dearly love to give it a try. I hope I have the right species listed here. The tropical genus contains over forty different species. They vary enormously in leaf size. The tenderness range is to about 10 deg. F, so it would make it in Connecticut if it had sheltered area and perhaps some extra protection. The giant leaves are a bold foliage statement that need the room to arch out. This plant likes moist-boggy conditions as you can see from the picture.

Bunratty Castle is a must see for the gardens alone. The Folk Park recreates Irish life in the 19th century. The place was stunning to me. The walled garden was amazing. The level of gardening was extraordinary. Around each corner there was something to be seen. The Castle was built in the early 1400’s. Just a 15 minute taxi ride from Shannon Airport.

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