Thursday, September 4, 2014


(The orchard at Maidenhall Farm)
 Where to begin?  We are just barely beginning our adventure and are already so in love with this place, we don't want to leave!  We're in Ireland, spending a few days with our friend, the fabulous Nicola Brown.  It's so beautiful and green here and deliciously cooler.  Then,  there's the sheep.  The sheep are every where you look.

(Suzanna - the wall surrounds a beautiful garden)
Yesterday we visited Suzanna Crampton's Maidenhall Farm, home to the beautiful Zwartbles sheep.  Suzanna was incredibly gracious and welcoming and spent several hours with us, allowing us time to really observe her adult Zwartbles ewes and the current crop of lambs.  We spent quite a lot of time walking around her beautiful farm, visiting with her Irish draft horses, the farm dogs and while we were having a cup of tea in the kitchen, Bodacious, the famous sheep herding cat, deigned to make an appearance.  It's probably a good thing I've decide I have to reduce my flock and that it is impossible to import sheep from Ireland to the United States.  I'd have been very happy to bring home a few of these beautiful animals. Their temperament is so calm that even as strangers, we were able to walk among them and most didn't hesitate to come in close for scritches.

(Zwartbles are Dutch sheep, originally bred for milking)
Suzanna's farm has been in her family for many generations and the gardens and orchard are so beautifully maintained and yet are so appropriately informal for a country estate.  The stone walls and hedgerows define the pastures, the gardens around the house and the lanes that lead from one part of the farm to another.  I'm having to stop myself from writing beautiful, wonderful, amazing over and over again.

Suzanna's Irish Draft horses were even friendlier than the Zwartables.  They were gentle giants.  I also wanted to bring them home with us.  I tend to think I'm over my horse obsession, until I have the opportunity to be around a particularly nice one and then that pleasant horsey smell brings it all back.

I have an obscene amount of pictures taken at Suzanna's but they will need to wait for another post. It's very late right now and we have an early morning leave-taking.  Both of us are regretting not allowing ourselves more time here in Ireland, but we're already telling ourselves that we have to come back.


  1. You lucky dog, getting to meet not only Suzanna and her gorgeous sheep but the infamous Mr. B.! I love following her on Twitter and would really love to be there in real life!

  2. Pictures of the Amazing Cat, please!!
    What an exciting trip for you. Enjoy every minute.

  3. Ireland! wow,yes more pictures please! Sounds wonderful. have a great time.

  4. Oh what fun! Have a wonderful, wonderful time!

  5. Ireland is so on the bucket list! IF only I could drive there........
    So glad you could make the trip happen.