growing your own fruit, veggies and herbs getting dirty and generally living the good life

Peter Donegan: A Thank You For 2016

A 2016 thank – double underlined – you, for being brilliant.

See you in 2017.

X Peter

peter donegan landscaping dublin

Thank You: Temple Street Half Marathon 2015

tom clements, peter donegan, sean conville, inis mor temple street 2015

It was a few weeks ago that myself, Tom and Sean headed over to Inis Mor, the largest of the three Aran Islands to do The [annual] Temple Street half marathon.

Reasons and whys are better kept for a chat and a mug of coffee together, this posting being more about you and a note to say thank you. Read more

Domestic Chickens. The New Hen Run

hens, dublin

After about 4 years my last hens, most affectionately known as Diana and The Supremes, have moved on to pastures new. And, before the jokes start flying in, they have gone to a very wonderful new home. I am eggstatic. Moving swiftly onwards.

Honestly, the last hen run was just grand. But like getting a new kitchen and then having to get a new table and chairs and matching what-nots to make them look good; I had to make a new patio and it very simply would have knocked the set up entirely out of sync. And would have made it look like a pile of pants. And like an all seater stadium, I just couldn’t stand for that.

All jokes aside. The video below explains the new set up best…. Read more

Garden Bargain: Fingal Co Co Composter Bins

Credit where it is due, I don’t think I have honestly ever seen compost machines or composter tumblers at these prices. They let me know, i’m letting you know. Very nice work by Fingal County Council if I’m honest.

In reality there are a few contained choices in which to compost your veggie peelings, garden clippings and the like. The first option is you take a trip to somewhere like Sonairte Ecology Centre and see the composting display area they have there. If however you dont fancy tying four pallets together ~ it may of course appear a little untidy, I highly recommend these by far prettier domestic versions.

The difference between the compost machine and the compost tumbler is little, as far as the compost is concerned ~ it will all rot down eventually ~ apart from the fact that the tipping is made easier.

My advice, buy one for your Dad and wrap a big bow around it.

Where do you go: Estuary Recycle Centre, Swords

Homebase Grow My Own Bunny Tails Seed Kit

What on whoever you might worships earth has this got to do with landscaping, you may ask. More than you might think Mary Lou is my response.

Last week Ella was 2 years old and one of her loverly Aunties and Uncles got her a Homebase Grow My Own Fluffy Tails Kit. For her birthday present. Moving on…

If you’ve never seen one before, it’s a bit like a Pot Noodle. Microwave gardening as I like to call it. I don’t know how much they cost. Never mind that, far more momentous than that and more to the point, it was and always will be the first seeds Ella, my daughter planted. As a by the way, my first were radish, they were with my Pop and I was 5.

Back to it, journeys, the best ones, especially in gardening matters are always about people and how you got there, together. In context, the thought crossed my mind that I should spend time with my daughter doing what my horticultural brain knows could take 2 minutes. Much more illogic and happy-er in your nappy however is to do it over a full hour singing along to a musical tea pot.

I’m sure there’s some disclaimer saying that these things are for a certain age and that people with nut allergies shouldn’t eat compost or words to that effect. In reality, if you’ve never sown seeds before, irrespective of age, these kits make it so very simple. It even comes with instructions.

Compost firmed, I chose not to cover the seeds at all and also to fill the outer pot about half way up with water [see: capillary action] before placing the black liner pot inside. With the lid on top and a bright kitchen window, we had seeds germination more than evident after 8 days [see below pic].

Being that Ella is only 2 and the scattering of seeds evenly is not a forté of hers as yet, I used the wee trowel that came with her gift [sold seperately] to place the seeds on first and then let Ella push them in. She We knocked it all over a few times and the place did look like a compost convention for some of the afternoon, but it still made us both smile ~ and that is always a good thing.

Note: The seeds are that of the Lagurus ovatus, commonly known as Bunny Tails. Quite an easy plant to grow, it will grow far taller than 50cm in height ~ it’s a bit like a miniature pampas grass [Cortaderia selloana] if you’ve never seen it before. That in mind, you will need to seperate the clump they will form and transplant them outside once they get going… my next thing to do with my daughter. And then I’ll revamp the entire of my own garden again so that there’s a spot ready for the very first plant that Ella grew – and that’s what this post has to do with landscaping.

After that I’ll have to go and plant some in Grandad and Grandmams garden, that is some of that first plant that Ella ever grew. And then it will make them smile too and that’s nice. And that’s more landscaping than maybe you thought when you started to read this post.

Happiness. Perspective. Love it 😉