by William Allingham
“Up the airy mountain,
Down the rushy glen,
We daren’t go a-hunting
For fear of little men.”
On the 7th May 2016, despite inclement weather, an intrepid group of hardy Irish Naturists gathered at the renowned Hunting Brook Gardens in the beautiful Wicklow countryside for a day of ‘gardening’ to celebrate World Naked Gardening Day [WNGD].
All seventeen, both male and female, assembled at noon and were greeted by our host and owner of the gardens, Jimi Blake, one of Ireland’s most renowned plants men. Jimi had prepared for us some very welcome teas and coffee in his cosy meeting room and this we enjoyed whilst introductions were made and we got ourselves ‘kitted-out’ for our wander in the gardens. The drizzle had stopped and we decided to venture out in our natural state as God intended. Initially it was a little cool but as the walk along the winding path through the beautiful garden progressed the sun did peep out and the air warmed. We wound our way down into the valley along the gravel path were, on either side, wonderful plants and flowers from all parts of the world as well as many native species. We crossed the babbling brook over a small wooden bridge to the magical picnic area with its large wooden table and ‘tree-trunk’ stools. Then we climbed the other side of the valley up the winding path eventually, at the top, to emerge into a vast meadow area where sheep grazed peacefully. We passed a standing stone, that has stood sentry over the valley for four thousand years or more, and, as in ancient times we circled the stone, clockwise and anti-clockwise, to evoke the spirit of some long lost hero there buried. Here after some minutes wondering at the space, the scenery, mountains in the distance, we re-traced our steps back to the main garden and the house. On the way we visited the ‘fairy fort’ or ring fort an ancient dwelling place of many thousand years. After photos we again adjourned to the house for more refreshments and, as the weather was not yet warm enough, an indoor picnic.
In all we had a most enjoyable day with great company and lots of chat and good humour.
I think I speak for all when I say that we will definitely be returning to Hunting Brook Gardens. Our thanks to our gracious host Jimi for his wonderful welcome and for his hospitality.
Here the link to the video of our naked tour of Hunting Brook Gardens on 7th May 2016: