Beyond the Gap

by Christine Breen

Sometimes it seemed like madness, especially now. Beyond her garden the land was boggy and rush-laden – rushes tall as hazel rods – and full of clay. But inside the fuchsia hedges that bordered the garden, the sticky soil had been transformed into one that was like loam. Adding seaweed gathered off the rocks at Doughmore. Adding leaf mould from the sycamore trees. Adding compost and manure until the blue gley soil became rich and yielded the rare lady slipper orchid. Sloping southwards to seek the thin and capricious sun that shone in the west of Ireland were…