Blarney Castle and Gardens, Cork

peter donegan, adam whitbourn, paul osullivan,

Pictured above Peter Donegan [Donegan Landscaping] with Adam Whitbourn [Head Gardener] and Paul O’Sullivan [Media and Advertising Manager] at Blarney Castle and Gardens.

I had met Adam Whitbourn some time ago at Clare Garden Festival where I was speaking earlier this year and whilst our paths had crossed since, last week I decided to make the journey to Cork and was honoured that Paul and Adam, two real gents I should add, both made themselves available to personally guide me through the estate.

We met up last Thursday. I was on my holidays. In Tipperary. Camping. In Con Traas’s Apple Farm. Because where else did you expect this horticulturist to go on vocation vacation. I’ll get to that later…

My passion for plants aside, something really very good has happened at Blarney Castle and Gardens and a day spent there is something that I can not recommend highly enough. The grounds are quite easily nothing short of stunning, majestic, genius, quite brilliant and a fine example of just how it should be done.

In the disclaimer department, I didn’t have to pay through the gate. That was as it usually is with me and gardens, just a quick phone call.

For you who maybe haven’t visited since your school trip when you were 12 years old or, to you who are thinking of coming from abroad, you should go. You will thank me for it. And when you do, the following and the images below might just make your time there that little bit sweeter. Read more

Landscaping Dublin: Low Maintenance Garden

peter donegan landscaping

There are only two things that matter when making any great garden – What the client [I hate that word…] wants and equally as important the end result. In short, whilst I would love, that every garden is a Peter Donegan memorial, the reality of how happier I have made someone because of their new space outside kicks in in two parts: the minute I finish and handover the picture perfect postcard garden. And secondly in the months and years after I am gone.

In the non-cheesiest way of saying, it is a real honour to get to make people smile because of what I do, but that latter happiness factor requires much smart thinking and it is only then that you really notice, horticulturally what you have [I guess] paid for.

That aside, I could not have wished for nicer people to create this garden for and that very simply makes my work and this northside Dublin garden just that extra little bit sweeter.

Wanna see what it looked like before hand ? Read more

Planters: Two Spots Café. Swords, Co. Dublin

garden planters dublin

It was absolutely lashing out of the heavens when I put these planters together for Aoife at Two Spots Café in Swords and whilst our Irish rain [it’s wetter than you think….] might get some a little down, one really has to give credit and take some inspiration from any business that tries to make their punters smile that little greater amid the January blues.

Hand made with aged, rustic if you will timber, painted and branded; I decided upon a hand picked select choice of [not bedding] plants that would last the full year through, throwing out a trickle of colour as the seasons pass. Bearing in mind, this being the starting month of the year, one can gather [see image above] they have yet to show their true colours, if you’ll pardon the cliché. Read more

Landscaping. Dublin Southside.

landscape gardens dublin (2)

It is an absolutely wonderful feeling when, in my head I know I can see what the end result of a garden I haven’t yet created or made will be. And though the budgets here were spent mildly differently, the end result of this space outdoors and the time frame within which it was created puts it right up there with the very best of them.

I say the best of them. But what this garden came with was a massive dose of that that they do on them changing rooms type television programmes. You know the ones were they tell the family to get lost for a few days, flatten their one bedroom apartment, turn it into the Taj Mahal and then bring them back in and tell ’em you can open your eyes, now !

landscaping before image

Read more

Garden Class @ The Summer Art School

donegan gardens

This week I did a garden class with Amy Cooney’s Summer Art Class in Ballyboughal. For those who may not be aware, that’s in North County Dublin, just outside of Swords and it’s also my own home town.

It was great to be asked and always an interesting phone call with Amy, the latter is partly because she’s a pretty darned talented artist and has a really cracking eye for interior design. Which is sort of the opposite of what I do.

The ages at the gig ranged from under 4 to around 12-ish and armed with some fresh-cut from my homestead garden props it was a nice moment when the smallest began finishing off correctly my sentences when I was chatting the life cycle of a plant. In this case an apple tree.

We planted garlic cloves in compostable pots and chatted how they’ll never have to buy garlic again if they look after this one and how to look after it and then with the help of some volunteers we did the sowing watercress in cotton wool gig. Always loved doing that when I was a smaller. And then forgetting that I’d actually placed them in the bowl on top of the fridge. And then remembering that I had about 72 weeks later. Mad stuff altogether.  Always makes me smile.

Cheers to all for a cracker of a morning.

On a mild side note, this weeks Sodshow might prove of interest to some taller people who look after younger people 😉

peter donegan landscaping