- Course Title: Horticulture/Practical Gardening
- Teacher: Peter Donegan
- Course Type: Evening Course (course no.305)
- Duration: 10 weeks – 1 evening per week
- Cost: 120 Euro – paid to St Tiernans
This [singular] post could never do Tullynally gardens its deserved justice. For that reason and thank God I remembered to bring my microphone, my journey through the wonderland of a garden airs this Friday 17th August on Dublin’s garden radio show and podcast.
Tullynally Gardens without question is one the finest little gems I have ever managed to stumble across. They are big, larger and vast. In context, though the return journey was shorter, it took me over 2.5 hours to walk to the lower lake at the foot of the gardens.
As I walked out of the tea rooms through to the formal lawns I began to think; How many people do you know can say they’ve planted a tree. Go one better and try say that about your Great Grand Parents, going back 400 years and that that tree still exists today, within the family garden, in the family home, that is still within the same family. Pretty special when you think about it.
Wider rather than longer, this garden may appear quite simplistic, maybe at first glance. For me however, it is one of the nicest small/ city gardens I have ever created.
Don’t get me wrong there are other gardens, more show off pieces so to speak that maybe and of course can come quicker to my mind. The one offs aside and to this case I will note that there is a big difference between the warm home and nice house feel outside and my ticket always, unless otherwise directed by you, is on your behalf to create your garden.
Here my first step was to clad the walls and piers with white-painted timber, allowing the join lines to show and running left to right [or right to left], something that really gave the impression of a far greater and brighter space as it moved out of the seating room to the lawned and planted areas. Vertical lines would have done very much the opposite in working with the existing layout.
Partly down to plant choice, I really like the dappled shade as it flickers against the walls on the bright sunny days. I like the fact that the seating area, a room within itself comes with a view of the entire garden; there is a lovely feel from within of separation from the rest of the garden.
In making the space look greater, timber clad aside, the idea was to stretch the eye to the furthest points; the lawn runs longest from the bottom right hand corner to the top left and the steppings walk from the bottom left to the room now created in the top right hand corner.
Over many other alternates the brighter and smaller in size sandstone cobbles were chosen, again the lean was to creating the feel of a greater space. Though I’m sometimes hesitant to recommend it, the built-in seating and table area was a smart move. I find it helped the finished garden look of existing for some time yet very well maintained.
The planting wasn’t over complexed and was kept to a quite short palette. The choice was to a quite natural flow of foliage and silhouette, allowing for some specifically chosen to have their day on the horticultural podium through the seasons. Outlandish only through the photosynthetic maybe. Of note the tall and thin [note: bright, airy feel of space] dwarfed fruit trees were used to the back wall and for want of a better description by category, the tall shrubs brought in semi mature also helped create that instant existing feel to the new space.
Whether it be the steppings that lead out from only one set of doors though both of course can be used, the seating to the side wall or the fact that there is via the plant choice colour for all seasons and intrigue when maybe there shouldn’t be, or very simply a decent sized lawn, this garden for me, works.
My personal test as to whether I like or love a garden always comes down to the question of whether I would happily sit within A specific space outdoors and allow time pass me by. This garden passes with flying colours.
Thoughts, comments or queries:
image courtesy Jennifer Farley
You may have noticed over the last weeks that The Sodshow has not appeared on this gardeners blog, for good reason. Aware that many are used to listening to the garden podcast via this weblog, for those who prefer only reading the first lines of a post, the garden podcast has a new home[s]:
I’ve always noted that my web log would be the online diary so to speak, of Peter Donegan. Peter the…
Horticulturist. Yapper. Gardener. Human. Landscaper. Loves coffee. Dublin. Makes gardens. Radio Podcasts The @
….to borrow my twitter bio. However you might describe me, I felt that that had changed. Or at least swung massively in favour of one element.
The most recent podcast as example, the podcast is in 2 episodes for the visit to Sonairte. Count: 2 blog posts. It was also my garden groups visit the reason why we were there. Count: Another 2 posts; 1 before and 1 after report.
Instead, you will find I have/ will embedded both podcasts into the after report. That said, whether you’ve subscribed to this blog or not, you may be non the wiser as to this back post update. There are pro’s and cons, I am aware.
If I’m honest, a little like the garden group, this blog was never about numbers. A change however has taken place. One as far as what I do for a living and love so dearly is concerned, is very much for the better.
What is The Spirit of Folk Festival:
Spirit of Folk is a three-day, family friendly festival running from 21-23 September in the stunning grounds of Dunderry Park, Co Meath. Over the weekend we’ll be rockin’ to some of the finest and freshest acts that folk music has to offer. Spirit of Folk promises to be the most eye-catching, intimate, and bewitching festival of 2012!
Pictured above: Spirit of Folk organisers and lovely folk, Caroline Duke and Natasha Duffy with Peter Donegan at Dunderry House
Peter Donegan began gardening at the age of 5. When he grew up, he went on to study horticulture for 4 years. In 2001 he set up Donegan Landscaping and has won a host of design and landscaping awards for 17th and 18th century gardens and show gardens at National competition. Peter hosts and presents The Sodshow, Dublin’s only garden radio show and podcast and lives in the wee town of Ballyboughal, North County Dublin with his family, his two dogs and his three hens.
More information on The Spirit of Folk Festival 2012: