Kiss the stone of eloquence in this castle but enter its poison garden at your own risk

The stone of eloquence and poison garden of fascinating Blarney Castle, Ireland

Blarney Castle

 

Blarney Castle in IrelandAmidst the blue Irish skies and green lands of Blarney, lies the Blarney Castle, an intriguing medieval fortification. One of the features that make this place really popular is the well-known Blarney Stone, also known as ‘The Stone of Eloquence’. According to a legend, anyone who kisses this stone is rewarded with eloquence and persuasiveness, an enticing prize for many of the world’s powerful and famous.

The Blarney Castle is set against the refreshing greens of the gardens dotted with colorful flowers and trees you will find it hard to resist the charm the fort exudes. However, hidden behind the Castle battlements, you will find the new poison garden, which you must enter at your own risk. It is believed that a similar garden once occupied the same site, from as early as the 1800′s, where plants would have been cultivated for both medicinal and culinary purposes.

Poison Garden

The Poison Garden, Blarney CastleIn this garden, the plants are so dangerous and toxic that they may be kept in large cage like structures. This part of the grounds contrasts largely with the bright green scenes that greet you everywhere else in the grounds.

It contains a collection of poisonous plants from all over the world including Wolfsbane, Mandrake, Ricin, Opium and Cannabis. Many of these are labelled with information about their toxicity and traditional and modern uses. A large number of plants that we now know to be toxic were once used widely as herbal remedies for all sorts of ailments.

The old expression “It will either kill you or cure you” could not have been more apt!

 

 

 

Happy Saint Patricks Day! And Dyeing the Chicago River Green

St. Patrick is the patron saint and national apostle of Ireland

St. Patrick is the patron saint and national apostle of Ireland. He was born in the fourth century and is famous for bringing Christianity into Ireland. St. Patrick’s Day falls on the 17th of March. Every year on March 17, the Irish and the Irish-at-heart across the globe observe St. Patrick’s Day. What began as a religious feast day for the patron saint of Ireland has become an international festival celebrating Irish culture with parades, dancing, special foods and a whole lot of green.

Definition of an Irish husband:
He hasn’t kissed his wife in 20 years but he will kill any man who does!

Happy Saint Patricks Day!

2014 Dyeing the Chicago River Green for St. Patricks Day

The Chicago River was turned green as part of annual St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in the US. The day’s traditions drew crowds of people dressed in green to watch the dyeing of the river and the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. As many as a million people were estimated to have attended the 59th annual event.

The Chicago River was turned green as part of annual St. Patrick's Day celebrations in the US

A modern day miracle occurs each year as part of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade celebration when the Chicago River turns an incredible shade of Irish green. This spectacular transformation ranks right up there with the parting of the sea by Moses and the Pyramids of Egypt.

For the past 43 years the Chicago River turns green for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade celebration. One would ask how this is different from the rest of the year when the river is always a murky shade of green. The difference is both significant and breathtaking because the color green is identical to the greens of Ireland from where it got its name “The Emerald Isle.”