as it sounds

a pile of rubbish for lusk

rubbish

rubbish

This isn’t a book review! This is a lot more serious, at least where I come from! I’m hesitant, slightly, to give my opinion here but with some decisions made by certain state authorities in Ireland, I begin to wonder their logic. Before I write any further, I do live near enough [5-8 miles away] but not near enough to affected directly by the facility. I shall proceed. Yes the waste must go somewhere. Yes until commercial and domestic waste producers [both us] must get to grips with the full reality of  ‘our’ situation. Even then a waste facility will be necessary; but maybe not a super-one, maybe not so controversial and maybe logic will be applied to the decision in its entirety.

So what’s a garden designer got a bee in his bonnet over this for? Should not the question be for this Island – how do we survive without one? and then track back? I simply believe there is another option and ‘we’ should not have to fight to keep Ireland as it should be every time a decision we dont need is made. Controversial?

These facts here however are those as written by Nicola Cooke of The Sunday Business Post, September 23rd 2007 in her article Lusk Groups Protest against ‘superdump’.

Fruit and vegetable growers and processors in Lusk Co. Dublin fear that their multi-million-euro industry will be threatened by a decision to grant a waste licence for a super dump in the area.The Environmental Protection Authority decided last Friday to grant a licence to Fingal County Council to develop a landfill facility and public recycling plant at Nevitt, Lusk. The Superdump would have a maximum annual intake of 500,000 tonnes of non-hazardous waste.The EPA imposed more than 130 conditions relating to the environmental management, operation, control and monitoring of the proposed facility. It said it was “satisfied [that] emissions from the landfill will not adversely affect human health or the environment and will meet all relevant national and EU standards.”But a number of local groups are opposed to the development and are seeking an oral hearing and a judicial review of the decision.Country Crest, one of the largest horticultural businesses in Lusk, has a €28 million annual turnover, employs 104 people and is one of Tesco’s main Irish suppliers.Managing director Michael Hoey said he was very concerned about the business’s future. “We are less than two miles from the landfill and are on the same stream of aquifers as that site,” he said.“Leachate [toxic waste water] could contaminate the well water we use to wash our fruit and veg that is processed, so this landfill is a major worry for us. I know rubbish has to go somewhere, but the current site is just not suitable. I had an auditor over from Tesco on Friday asking for water analysis to show that there were no metals in the water.”“If there is any problems with our water supply – and that of other producers – in the future, the supermarkets won’t look at us.”

hill of tara – human harp?

the human harp

the human harp

Due to popular demand and with special thanks to Muireann at indymedia Ireland here’s the result of Sundays event which attracted over 1500 people. Muireann also suggested that this website should be checked out when it is updated later today. – I don’t usually edit my blogs – but it had to happen for this one!The original article is attached below.

Hopefully this will highlight a mild flaw in ‘our system’. First the purchase of land for the new prison, then tara and now, you guessed it, make another shambles out of something pretty in this island – a superdump – and then think later? Rugby aside, I know The French wouldn’t take this lying down [pardon my sense of humour?!]

Create a Human Harp???!!
Help Stuart Townsend, Jonathan Rhys Meyers and internationally renowned Aerial Artist, John Quigley create the world’s first GIANT HUMAN HARP at TARA HERITAGE DAY.Hundreds of people are needed to gather at the Hill of Tara on this Sunday September 23rd from 1:30pm to 3:30pm to form the human ‘aerial art’ image of a giant harp and a Tara heritage preservation message. Many of Ireland’s top harpists will accompany the performance. The event will be directed by internationally renowned Aerial Artist John Quigley and participants include Irish born international film stars Stuart Townsend and Jonathan Rhys Meyers as well as musicians, historians and scholars. The image will be photographed from an aircraft at 3 pm. Families are encouraged to bring a picnic lunch.Spectral Q and the Save Tara Campaign are hosting Tara Heritage Day. Spectral Q has created similar human ‘aerial art’ images around the world including the Arctic, Antarctica, the Amazon Rainforest, London, New York, Los Angeles, Geneva, Miami, Toronto, Washington D.C., Copenhagen, New Orleans and others. To see images please check: www.SpectralQ.com The Save Tara campaign is seeking to reroute the M3 motorway to preserve the ancient sites of the sacred Tara Valley. For more information please check: www..savetara.com Directions to Tara from Dublin: M50 to N3 north-go past Dunshaughlin and take left at the Tara sign (about half way to Navan)– follow signs to Tara car park.
Buses depart from Bus Aras, Dublin at 10:30am and 11:30am. Travel time is approximately 45 minutes. Get off at Grogans in Dunshaughlin where a shuttle bus will transport you to Tara.
Buses return to Bus Aras, Dublin from Dunshaughlin at 5:25pm and 5:35pm.

easier gardening – garden nirvana

beautiful kinsale harbour

beautiful kinsale harbour

This was my first ever article written for The Farmers Journal. Originally entitled ‘easier gardening’ it was published under the title Garden Nirvana October 23rd 2004. The great Dr David Robinson had passed sometime before and I remeber via email noting to my Editor Matt Dempsey that having gone through such an amazing life, knowing Dr. Robinson had left a void in so many a persons rather than having simply passed through. Amazing, wonderful and always remembered.

Have a very happy Monday morning and as always enjoy!

Garden Nirvana

‘What a man needs in gardening is a cast iron back, with a hinge in it’- Charles Dudley Warner, My Summer in a Garden, 1871

One of the main factors required in Japanese gardens is that relaxation, not perspiration is the end result. Moss lawns are created, dwarf trees are planted and the use of bonsai means that the garden becomes a soulful experience rather than an uncalculated costly or potentially hospitalised one. So why do we Irish spend in excess of Euro 2.33 billion annually on horticultural products and services.

I am not suggesting that ‘no maintenance’ is attainable through using ‘The Four Universal Energies’ as a theorem principle for garden design. No maintenance is only achievable through Mr Macadam’s ingenious invention, or concrete. I am proposing that there is a balance. The rear of your home does not necessarily need to be a car park nor does it wish to be a compacted version of the rain forests.

When we decide to invest in a boundary shrub like the Leyland – not for our fruit farm in Co. Kilkenny – but for our two-bedroom townhouse in the city, surely we only have ourselves to blame. Would it not be better to invest in a garden concept that requires only one day’s labour per six months? It’s a simple theory. The longer a plant takes to become a saleable product – the more it costs – more important, the slower it grows and therefore the lower the maintenance. This is mainly due to the amount of pruning required and the amount of debris removed. The cheaper quotation in landscaping is therefore not always the answer, at least not long term.

On average spending 3% of the value of your house (wisely) should add approximately 8% – 13% to the value of your home. We generally choose for it to be the last of our agenda when ‘doing up’ the house and usually we have little money left to spend.

The garden should be a place for the heart to unwind. A simple complexion of nature is easier than complex warrants on a tight fiscal policy. The use of select stone with a simple choice of a few slow growing semi mature plants will be a higher initial investment on your property but with no grass to cut, some serenity has been inscribed in today’s diary.

I am a plant lover. I do not wish to blight my green friends with coloured stones. The truth is, sometimes it is necessary to substitute what some may consider to be hard work and an expensive (albeit rewarding) hobby for a cup of tea and a nice view from afar.

This article is not my personal epitaph or biblical manuscript that I wish to impose upon others in any way. Should the scenario be that one has a piece of land, a patch, a rented house or just does not totally enjoy (what is my equivalent to ironing and drying dishes ambidextrously) ‘the chore’ whilst breaking their spine; I believe there is a way to come up trumps and not have to breakdown on each occasion the curtains are opened and you realise koala bears have nested in your prehistoric grounds. You wont be avoiding work, just intelligently reducing your work output.

It is my strong suggestion that if you want a survey done on your house, you do call a civil engineer or architect. If you want advice, or a design for your grounds, pay for the services of a qualified horticulturalist and specify the amount of time you actually will (be honest!) spend in your garden or get an annual cost to maintenance based on their proposal.

The main ‘chore’ or cost is the lawn. Cutting it. Use a mulching mower if you must. Ride on and push (with or without gears are available). With not stopping or starting to empty the grass box at the ‘heap’ you have at the bottom of the garden – this will (by my experience and analysis) reduce your cutting time by three if not four. With a good thick edge to your lawn, which allows you to put the wheel of the mower upon it and reduces the amount of edging you need to do you are now nearing that cup of tea a little quicker. Even better, try sowing a lawn with a dwarf seed or if the area is large enough use a dwarfing agent, which is applied using a calibrated sprayer. Should the lawn be able to go? Turn the entire area to plants and bark much or plants and pebble with a black plastic beneath. Do be careful. Cheaper isn’t always the best and some maintenance will be required no matter what you do.

Don’t curse the thoughts of what should be relaxation. Reconsider and redesign. The whole key to enjoying the life outside your four walls is to make it suit your lifestyle.

flowers are driving me mad – again ?!

flowers - driving me mad?!

flowers - driving me mad?!

No Rubber Soul the garden I built in June for Bloom in the park was different? But I found this under the title ten reasons to go green via another really good ‘greener’ blog both of which are worth a dabble.

Happy Saturday and lets just hope Ireland do better than last week in the rugby today? have  a great weekend and enjoy!

peter

politics – honesty is the best policy?

peter and bertie

peter and bertie

As it’s Friday I thought a coffee break from our own tribunal of the missing 30,000 euros would cheer us up. With Mr Ahern in mind maybe honesty is the best policy?

CNN’s political ticker however may make you think slightly different. Can you imagine if Irish politicians took the same approach? We’d be laughing our socks off everyday for 30 minutes at the six o’ clock news. Enjoy this it’s so worthwhile.

Happy Friday!