A Gardening Course …?

update 13th March 2010: One space has become available… pop your name down below, email or text me if your interested 🙂


Over the last weeks I’ve been researching chatting with some friends about gardening and the usual how to bits of outdoor advice.

From those conversations came the suggestion that I should do a crash course of some format in ‘gardening‘.

I did teach horticulture and courses before. But this class request or what one should get at the end of it is to be slightly different as those urging me to do so are not horticulturalists – moreso they have a window ledge/ balcony or only wish to garden in small amounts and stints.

The outcome…? Either a one day course in gardening at my homestead or a 1.5 hour evening course in Dublin City Centre over a 3/4 week period. The majority in this case decided on a one day workshop.

To tailor make this session to the people and their wants I am proposing the following:

  • a one day crash course from 9.30am – 3.30pm
  • The first day/ date is Saturday March 20th
  • cost of materials only to be covered set at €60 per person
  • you take home what you make on the day
  • lunch will be included
  • to take place in Ballyboughal [it’s near Swords/ North Dublin 😉 ]
  • numbers will be limited to a maximum 8 people only

What we will achieve on the day:

  • gardening basics
  • how to grow your own from seed
  • growing plants on a budget
  • window ledge balcony gardening
  • looking after your plants
  • planting your planters
  • growing in a confined space
  • not enough hours in the day/ the 10 minute gardener
  • herb and salad kitchen gardening

this email just came in and sums it up nicely….

Basically: this is for the [wo]man, parent, adult, child who wants to do a bit of green living but not farming. Enough to have summer salads, fresh herbs, maybe even some fruit – at the same time logic enough that you’ll watch footie/ daytime tv and go out rather than hug trees. You’d like a bit of green, you need a place to start but without getting bamboozled – and let it grow from here….

The idea is simple enough and if numbers run over/ demand is great enough/someone approaches me with a suggestion I’ll do a second class/ consider those options then.

If you would like to do this class – or – have any queries or suggestions

  • pop your name down as a comment below
  • email me info[at]doneganlandscaping[dot]com
  • telephone me on [vodafone prefix – and then] 6594688

What do you think …..?


If numbers fill up for the first group of 8…. assuming there is demand enough – I will do another day course. Put simply I’ll let the names spill over to a second group of 8 and we’ll call it from there. Crawling versus walking and all that cliché stuff 😉

Once again – your course/ class made better by your suggestions…. pop them in comment box below 🙂


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29 replies
  1. Peter Donegan MI Hort
    Peter Donegan MI Hort says:

    brilliant stuff 🙂

    erm… i’ll start with the tree hugging and see how we get on 😉

    happy days mate. just wrote your name down….

    thanks darren. welcome aboard 🙂

    I think that’s 5 places left now……

  2. Peter Donegan MI Hort
    Peter Donegan MI Hort says:

    A Chara JP,

    2 places just confirmed my good friend.
    el gusto is mio 🙂

    an entire day of jokes would necessitate a certain Darragh Doyle 😆 and even he will tell you there aren’t that many green jokes out there.

    You’re safe mate 😉


  3. Peter Donegan MI Hort
    Peter Donegan MI Hort says:


    no not full…

    will accept 8 names [maybe 10 at a push to allow for cancellation] and anything [if anything after that] will run into the next day possibly on the sunday/ day after.

    As I asked JP if you could email your contact details to info[at]doneganlandscaping[dot]com – just in case to be sure to be sure etc 😉 The rest of the gang signed up I know already
    best wishes for now

  4. peter donegan
    peter donegan says:

    ***One space left on the garden course next saturday***
    no problem at all and thanks for letting me know:)
    really appreciated

    look forward to hearing how you got on mate. Might give you a bleep next week 🙂
    beir bua

  5. paysan
    paysan says:

    Hi Peter, just to give you a bit of feedback on the course I attended in Springmount Garden Centre with Geoff Stebbings.
    The course lasted from 10am to just after 4pm and for €50, including tea/coffee and lunch, it was extremely good value. There were about 40 people on the course and we were divided into two groups for the morning sessions. The first group were out in an area of the garden centre set aside for putting in raised beds, where Geoff gave us the lowdown on how to prepare vegetable beds. He covered things like soil composition, compost, manure, fertiliser, digging techniques, nutrients such as fish, blood and bone etc. He also gave advice on how often and what type of fertilisers etc should be used – ie containers and raised beds could do with slow release fertilisers. Liquid fertilisers don’t last as long as controlled/slow released types. Compost loses nutrients every 3/4 weeks and would need supplements. Multipurpose compost has very few nutrients.
    While we were outside with Geoff the other group were going through the basics of seed growing with Ian MacDonald. From what type of compost he prefers – 50/50 multipurpose and John Innes seed compost to the type of containers/pots to use to how to actually put the seed in the compost and where to encourage it to grow. He also covered things like potting on (using John Innes no.3) and hardening off. And, of course, the best advice – only grow what you like!
    After tea/coffee the groups swapped round and that took us up to lunchtime where we were served delicious homemade soup and sandwiches. For the afternoon session the group came together and Geoff took us round the garden centre to look at different varieties of fruit and vegetables. Here we learned how to grow these varieties, the types of soil and situation they preferred, how long they took to fruit/ripen and the different diseases and pest they were susceptible to and how to combat them. Then we were given a practacle demonstration of how to plant an apple tree – Springmount has very sticky clay soil so Geoff earned his money just by managing to dig a plant hole (not to mention the demonstration on double digging!).
    The final session was a question and answer session covering a wide range of topics and a demonstration of how to chit potatoes. Geoff certainly knows his subject and is very engaging and wears his knowledge lightly.
    I recently joined http://www.giyireland.com/home.php and am involved in setting up the Rathgar/Terenure group. We have about 30 people interested and this week we divided them into 5 different groups and each person is going to grow a different vegetable from seed. In two months time at our May meeting we will bring everyone together and swop seedlings (hopefully, if the weather is kind!). Its a fun way to get people involved in growing and we are all learning together. I’m being a bit cheeky here but would you be willing to come along to the group and give a short talk on your experiences of vegetable growing? We don’t have any money to pay speakers but you will be met by a very enthusiastic group of people and we can take you out for a pint afterwards!

    Sorry about the long post, if you want you can get me at my email address.

  6. Linda Duffy
    Linda Duffy says:

    Hi peter –
    Been looking for a gift for the hubby for the birthday and this would suit him – he talks about growing fruit but really has only done the minimum. We are also based in Oldtown so just down the road. Are you still running courses??


  7. peter donegan
    peter donegan says:

    Hi Linda,

    still running the courses – just a case of when for the next one 😉 might see if there is other/ enough interest around to do another….


  8. peter donegan
    peter donegan says:

    Hi Mary,

    i’ll pop it out on the podcast tomorrow and see if it garners some interest.
    Maybe you could pop me an email and i’ll see what we can do.

    best for now

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