Back Garden Landscaping. Swords, Dublin.

swords dublin, garden landscaping

It’s kind of hard to explain the actual how an unbuilt garden picture [see before pic/ vid] in my head type dream becomes a real space that is something of the now present, great or better.

And, more often here I analogise that to falling or being in love, because essentially the [your] garden is a place or space that makes you feel something, of which you smiling as a minimum should be, the end result.

Before I get to where I’m going, go see the before works started image/ video below.

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Landscaping: Yellow Limestone Patio. Malahide, Co Dublin

yellow limestone, dublin

There’s something quite beautiful when working with a natural stone when, it is laid correctly and to the highest standard. And simple as it may sound, that mainly comes down to the fact that it is a natural stone, as versus manufactured.

I kind of see it a bit like the (real) leather jacket I had in college with much worn patches in it. With much worn patches in it that told their own story. We had history. And the older it got the almost better it looked and felt. As versus a faux version of the real deal that just never cuts it in that department. Or frozen carrots. As versus the ones you grew yourself. Nothing wrong with either. And we all know they are the reason why rabbits don’t wear glasses. But essentially one very simply feels better than the other, and every one in the room knows it.

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Garden Landscaping. Howth, Co. Dublin

hand made, garden structure and seating, dublin

Above pictured the complete garden structure building, one part of an overall landscaping project in Howth, Co. Dublin.

Entirely hand-made and built. It consists of a fully slated roof, solid timber uprights, hardwood deck to the base, surrounds closed in on two sides; one hardwood shelf to the rear right hand side and back; and two hand-made accoya hardwood seats, one of which is a swinging seat; and yes even here I bought the chain and cut it to length etc.

Of note to the lean of the roof, as versus the angle (degrees), the house is 3 story at the back. The video below may show that in better detail.

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Garden: Tigers Childcare Garden, Swords, Co. Dublin.

tigers childcare, garden swords dublin

This garden in mind, I’ve somehow started thinking back on my growing up in 1980’s Ireland. Not so I might start talking about chiselers and in my day we didn’t have type talk. More I started thinking of them itchy knitted Christmas jumpers, growing plants under my bed, waking up to Baba O’Reilly, rounders and my Mothers octave higher pitched tone regularly reminding me how I never had any toes left in my ‘good shoes’. Good times.

To our garden(s) and styles at the time, Ireland hadn’t really hit the log-roll pandemic and composting was solely known a heap down the back of the garden. And if you could find a lawn mower without a briggs and stratton engine in this country, you got sent to Bull Island for 10 years so people could point at you. Or so legend has it. 

To more serious matters; and fast track forward to present day and I guess there is an element of how far things have come and though I (?) don’t think it was as we know it today; in part as I’m one of 8 children; Childcare seems to have evolved and in this case of outdoor spaces and sensory and childrens play gardens, so much for the better.

This gardens before and after video.

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Sedum Green Roof

Sedum – Crassulaceae

More commonly known as stonecrops, Sedum are a genus of around 400 species of mainly succulent annuals and evergreen, semi-evergreen biennials, perennials, sub shrubs and shrubs a few of which maybe found in the genus Hylotelephium. Mainly found in the Northern Hemisphere some are from the arid areas of South America. Sedum are very variable, with alternate, opposite or whorled, fleshy, cylindrical or flattened leaves and usually terminal, often compound, cymes, panicles or corymbs of generally star shaped and 5 petalled flowers, borne mostly in summer and autumn. Grow hardy species in a rock garden or at the front of a herbaceous or mixed border.

This raised green roof garden was built as part of an overall landscaping project and is quite simply just one part of that.

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Interview: Peter Donegan. Horticulture Connected, Summer 2015

peter donegan, horticulture ireland magazine, 2015

Horticulture Connected, Ireland’s Hort Trade Magazine, Summer 2015 Edition.
Peter Donegan talks with Editor Barry Lupton.

Generally speaking, most industry folks agree that gardening coverage on TV and radio in Ireland is pretty poor and this has a negative impact on the market for goods and services. Ask those within media circles why it is so, and it all comes back to the same factors: production costs, scale of the potential audience and the need to generate ratings using the lowest common denominator. If you want gardening on TV, it better come with sex, violence, emotion, upset and scandal.

But all is not lost. The downward pressure has produced a knowledge vacuum and a necessity. Necessity precipitates creativity. Thankfully, one industry figure is adressing the issue.

Peter Donegan is well known in the fields of horticulture, construction and design. Owner and operator of Donegan Landscapes, he established his name with a series of dramatically imaginative show gardens in the early days of Bloom in the Park. Like many in the design and construction sector, Peter felt the full force of the recession and took steps to contract his business to see it through the lean years. But he didn’t just hunker down, he saw an opportunity to redirect his energy online and to address the poor level of gardening media coverage.

The Sod Show was created in 2010 following a suggestion from a friend that he build on his existing gardening blog with a weekly radio podcast through Dublin City FM. And the rest, as they say is history. A burgeoning audience, multiple awards and an interview list which includes people from every corner of horticulture, the Sod Show has become an important component of Irish gardening media. One which continues to grow in both audience and influence.

I was delighted to meet up with Peter recently to get the back story on his success with the Sod Show and his plans for the future.

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