Sunday, 16 July 2017

Meeting the Othercrowd in a Scented Land.

St. John’s Eve had not long passed, the air on the Slieve Aughty mountains was warm and along the way the foxgloves bloomed, a portent of what was to come.

Foxglove, Lus Mór, has long been associated with the Good People.
Also known as fairy thimbles, fairy gloves and witches’ bells they were considered 
unlucky to bring indoors.

A ritual involving foxglove was utilised by parents whose child had suffered a ‘fairy stroke’ 
and was thought to be a changeling. 
Three drops of foxglove were put in each ear and on the tongue of the infant before placing it on a shovel at the house door. 
The door was swung open three times whilst saying “ if you’re a fairy away with you.” 
If it was a changeling the child would die, if not the infant would recover.

St. John’s Eve was believed to be the best time to collect foxgloves but unless you were being paid 
to cut the flowers, great care had to be taken not to cross the Good People. 
One story tells that a woman was stopped from collecting them by a voice which called  
“ Don’t cut that if you’re not paid, or you’ll be sorry.”

Soon I was back on the Burren, truly a fertile rock at this time of year. 

The Land of the Fertile Rock - link to previous post HERE

I was greeted by mossy islands. 

 And miniature landscapes.

A green swathe around St. Fachtnan’s well.

Clear water pooled & a creature swam within, too fast to capture.

New offerings had been left, a tribute to Brigid.

From limestone crevices ferns unfurled.

 And orchids bloomed.

My destination lay hidden in peaceful hollow, a scented land.

Founded 40 years ago, The Burren Perfumery is a self-sufficient island 
where limestone walks lead to sensual delights. 

Over 700 species of flowering plants flourish on the Burren and the perfumes, soaps and creams created here are fragranced by indigenous plants. 

Leaving buildings and visitors behind I entered the herb garden, built on the site of the original 
old farmhouse garden of 1800’s.

A path, leading deeper into dappled green 

brought me to a secluded nook, a wilder place where foxgloves flourished.

Breathing deeply, eyes closed, I sat on old stone and cast my mind adrift.

It was in that silence I heard Them.
Quiet laughter at my side, a quiver in the leaves close by. 

I held my breath, all senses keen, 

but only the bowing foxgloves betrayed the passing of the Othercrowd.


To discover more about The Burren Perfumery please visit their website - HERE

Take a brief tour of the perfumery, the tea rooms and the grounds -


  1. Such a special part of the world; all those beautiful plants and a well, and of course the other crowd!

    1. Yes, I never tire of visiting the Burren :)

  2. Your words do confirm my long held thoughts that The Burren contains so much more than what the eyes can see.

  3. Absolutely. The Burren and so many places in Ireland.


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