computers down!

nothing to see...

nothing to see...

A Chara

The servers for my website was down for part of today [saturday september 8th ’07] for some routine maintenance – just in case anyone was trying to log onto the website.

My sincerest apologies. Although the blog was up and running I really appreciated with the amount of calls and emails I got to tell me I was off air. Thank you so much!

In the end everything worked out fine left in the hands of Paddy and Adrian. It’s really good to know the most intelligent computer people ever are on top of their game!

Slán, beannacht agus go raibh míle maith agaibh

peter

how long should I wait before I walk on the grass

laying lawn

An old science teacher of mine told me that for every equation there is always an exception. In horticulture, in my opinion, equations and theories can all be discarded. The ‘theory’ for grass seed to germinate for example is that it should take ten to fourteen days to germinate. But that is based on the fact that you have suitable growing medium [soil] ; temperature in this case at approximately twelve to fourteen degrees depending; water; air and sunlight – the five factors required for the growth of any plant. So how long will it take for seed to germinate? with conditions at almost twenty degrees and no rain? a long time.

Back to the roll out lawn! Now you have a germinated green seed carpet the bottom of which should be flat with some white fine root hairs slightly protruding at the base [look closely]. If soil preparations are done to perfection one should have what is in theory castor sugar like soil [a fine tilth to the horticulturist] with a roll of weighted grass on top. Until the rootzone develops [ie. the fine white hairs teeth into the fine soil and form a matting ie. bind together so as the grass cannot be pulled off the ground when you grab it] and also the soft ground beneath hardens enough to take your weight – then don’t walk on it. You will need to test the water, so to speak, to see if it’s alright. If the kids do dancing on it be warned that’s how you get potholes in your new lawn

This sounds a really long answer to a simple query – but what I am trying to do is give an understanding in a nutshell of a situation that has taken some years of education and experience to know by touch and sight.

enjoy the cutting, buy a mulching mower and be kinder to the environment.

getting paid

somebody stole [part of] my car...

somebody stole what...

Does anybody know the answer to this equation? Two calls yesterday from two people in the trade both to say they just took a hit of a five figure sum of money where the client refuses to pay. No reason – just not getting paid.

The problem is it seems as this colleague of mine told me today, is that litigation is expensive and sometimes for certain amounts of money not really worthwhile chasing. So what does one do?

I went into my neighbour for a cup of tea yesterday [also self employed] and told him my tale of woe. Guess what? He’s not the only one. If ever I wanted feedback this is the time for it.

feedback?

all smiles in your garden...?

all smiles in your garden...?

For part of the Quality Award system, a well needed accreditation that Bord Bia introduced to the landscaping industry I [peter donegan] tried to introduce an option to allow customer or even general public give feedback, their thoughts or even complain easily to the finest landscaping company in Ireland?!! We have had varietions of this in the past but a friendlier more simple ‘form’ were one could add comments if preferred seemed the route.

We failed this part of the award accreditation so far because we had no complaints over the telephone. We had one or two emails [more to say thank you] asking if something could be adjusted or tweeked but none sofar a complaint.

Maybe it’s an Irish thing not to complain? or maybe we have the mix spot on!? but when in an audit situation and the auditor is saying ‘no complaints?’ One kind of starts to wonder?

Garden centres and nurseries have an option to have a customer feedback form – but I know from doing my research for this part of the ‘best practice award’, most people referred to when in a hotel style situation and after filling in the customer feedback form, they wondered if the person behind the counter will take the form out and read it as soon as they leave or else if theirs is the only one in there. In essence to criticise or complain because of service you would have preferred may be embarassing, frowned upon or even considered impolite.

So now, not so much where we are going wrong but more how to I make my company improve every day – and as Irelands most famed Corkman would say – we can always give more than 100%.

artificial gardening

real gardens...

real gardens...

This article was published by the farmers journal early august 07 which I [peter donegan] wrote as a result of my mild sense of humour. It turns out I know the guy through a friend and he now has a copy of the article hanging in his bathroom. It turns out his father spotted it and not so much recognised the name but moreso the picture of the garden! Everybody was happy.

  • Garden n 1 brit an area of land usually next to a house, for growing flowers, fruit, or vegetables. 2 Also: gardens a cultivated area of land open to the public: Kensington Gardens. 3 lead someone up the garden path Informal to mislead or deceive someone
  • Green adj 1 of a colour between yellow and blue; of the colour of grass. 2 covered with grass, plants, or trees: green fields. 3 of or concerned with the conservation and improvement of the environment
  • Joke n 1 something that is said or done to amuse people. 2 someone or something that is ridiculous: the countries inexperienced leaders are regarded as something of a joke

Collins Dictionary [fourth edition paperback 1999]

This has to be the oddest article I have ever written and I have really struggled to find myself in what is usually a free flowing movement of the mind from the heart to my weekly FJ piece. The reason I feel this way is that usually I understand the message I wish to convey and hope that you the reader will enjoy the end result as I did and that somewhere through this journey of life you will find that my piece by reading or realising has made you or someone else smile. Sometime ago I wrote a piece about a customer who threatened legal action against a contractor because he had asked for a ‘no maintenance garden’. Naturally and of course this was not given to by the contractor. It was sometime later in another article that I wrote ‘no maintenance is only achievable through Mr Macadam’s ingenious invention, or concrete’. I was wrong. I could not believe my eyes when this photograph was emailed to me. It could not be a ‘green’ space and it definitely could not be a ‘garden’. I did not know what to call it by any definition. As a last resort I found one that I believed suited and Collins Dictionaries have thrown in an extra added cliché for an extra added smile. Enjoy!