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Peter Donegan – Profile Pictures

peter donegan

I had gone in search of some feedback for the website recently. I felt it needed a few tweeks here and there. Although not via comments, the answers came back in very I didn’t wish to sound like I was insulting you sort of a format.

Outside of the sites text it seemed I was missing some really good high quality photographs of myself.

You are after all the business. You are Peter Donegan. I don’t wanna go searching through a website to see what the man I will do business with looks like….

Fair point. I had some good images, but they were very random…. I rang John Mc Williams. John took this photograph that I’ve been using for some time now. He’s also a good friend. Honest enough to say I like and because. But more than that he is also an extremely talented photographer.

We met on a Sunday. Spent a few hours together. As always with John, it was also time that I enjoyed I should add. We narrowed it down to variations from about 10 images.

The beauty about them is that because the quality of those taken is so high they can become black and white, low to high resolution, head shots or back to colour again at the flick of a button.

Whether it’s for media usage or just for the site…. I have to say to the time spent was a very wise investment on my part. Of course I’m just one of a host of stars Mr McWilliams has had the honour to photograph 😉

Is that Carly Simon I hear playing…. Thanks John 🙂

*view more images

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ranting and raving… ?

(c) diarmuid gavin designs magazine

(c) dgd magazine

I wrote an article some time ago for Diarmuids magazine. It went in under the rant and rave section and was titled knowledge versus experience’. Of course if you want to see what the rave was about I suppose you’ll have to buy the magazine [april/ may 2008 issue] from the good guys at harmonia.ie

It opened with, ‘In a new series ‘rant and rave’, two professionals present two sides of an arguement. Horticulturist Peter Donegan wonders – or rants – why so many people walk straight out of college into the ‘self-promoted title of garden designer’.’

GRADUATE:  N 1 A PERSON WHO HOLDS A UNIVERSITY OR COLLEGE DEGREE. DESIGN: VB 1 TO WORK OUT THE STRUCTURE OR FORM OF (SOMETHING).  BY MAKING A SKETCH OR PLANS. 2 TO PLAN AND MAKE (SOMETHING) ARTISTICALLY.

HORTICULTURE: N THE ART OR SCIENCE OF CULTIVATING GARDENS

COLLINS DICTIONARV FOURTH EDITION

And there holds the problem. If one reads this definition, after qualifying it may be perceived or even believed that one has the ability to walk straight into any garden and begin designing. That is true, theoretically.  But is it true in reality?

Horticulture — the art cultivating garden — and its use as a design platform is something far more than an art form. It ultimately requires a necessary experience. From this a person can decide if he or she likes a style, or believes there is a better alternative or preference more genuine to their taste and in order to be true to their artistic individuality.

This experience and love as an artist however requires much more. It necessitates a biblical knowledge of horticulture and botany in so many more forms and these hierarchal stripes cannot be earned in any college. One must dirty their hands, experience nature and almost understand plant life by touch, feel and sense intuitively.

Akin to the factors required for the growth of any plant, if one is missing, living becomes defunct and for a designer it is similar. Because unless the essential landscape experiences have been courted, made love to and then married — that is if the designed landscape fails to become a reality — then it is nothing short of paper with etchings upon it to possibly be admired.

As a business venture or whether working in the business, it is here that the pitfalls are made because business and associated time costs money. If a ‘designer’ cannot exactly calculate the time, timing schedules and the process of events unequivocally that must occur, or understand a client’s circumstances, including lifestyle and budget; in most cases, then, there is definite potential that the design maybe relegated to the nonchalant paper upon which rests one’s coffee cup.

It is wise to appreciate that your reputation starts again and again, every day of your business life. So why do so many walk straight front the doors of a college into the self-promoted title of garden designer? Is it an impossibility based upon inexperience and possibly an ill conceited dream that gardening is great? The trouble is, maybe, that some forget or don’t admit to where they should start. That is if one wishes to work with the ground, one should start at that level and work up. It is not all theory. It is nature, a subject that comes with a constant learning, and to understand that requires more than a fine education.

‘It is natural that the newcomer, perhaps accustomed to the fixed routine of other pursuits, may expect rules which, if followed, will give certain definite results, but these I cannot give, for climate, soil, aspect, shelter, and many other connected factors vary widely, so that an exact formula would be useless.’
from The Flower Garden by E.R. Jane, 1952

For more information on Peter Donegan’s work go to www.doneganlandscaping.com

[courtesy diarmuid gavin designs magazine]

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picture perfect lawns…?

The grass title maybe misleading. Need advice? [click here]. I may have constructed unusual lawns, [topographically] but never seen anything like this. Thanks to Will who got it from brandflakesforbreakfast who got it from this guy.

lawns wimbledon different peter donegan

Lawn care enthusiasts take note — it’ll take more than a riding mower and a thrice-daily waterings (for shame) to outshine artists Heather Ackroyd and Dan Harvey this summer.

The pair have perfected their talent for manipulating the light sensitivity of ordinary grass. Black and white negatives are projected onto the grass, 12 hours per day, for over a week as the grass grows in a dark room. Different blades get different exposure and the results are photographs, like the recent Wimbledon portraits shown above.

Find more of their grassy experiments at this gallery at Arts Admin.

bloom 2008 [4] – garden design is fun?

Friday 4th April saw a host of garden designers meet at the site where the bloom show gardens will be built. If you are near the visitor centre in the peoples park, the garden will be sited just in front of the playground and next to the walled garden of last years Bloom.

So how is it going since I last posted? Well, mixed feelings on my part to be truly honest. Akin to an emotional rollercoaster….! In saying that, the people working with me are truly the finest in this small island I am blessed to live on. Gormleys with Paddy Campbell [and thank you V.!] have hand crafted a sculpt especially for the show which came in from Florence last week. Paddy named it La principessa e la Rana. She is truly magnificient and glorius!

The Gentlemen of Whitten’s Road Haulage in Offaly are booked to deliver on May 8th 2008, the day we start to build our garden, Pour L’amour de Jeux. John tells me we may need a Police escort to the park […now that made me smile!] and although he will have to come down the night before to load the boat [it takes about 4 hours to load it depending and it may take about six hours to unload] – once again it is the people by my side who are really building this garden. As a by the way, we are still without a sponsor!

And with that in mind the Atfar Constuction civil engineering team are booked to manage the sinking placing of the boat before Whittens arive!! With the help of some of the greatest minds of this country, a garden that started as a sort of a “imagine if we did ….” which turned into a sort of “I dare ya…” is almost there. I’m getting used to it now after Bloom 2007 and the No Rubber Soul Car-Den [car garden]

Some say it career threatening? Some have said it’s completely moronish? Some say it is inspirational? The truth is it is simply a garden for whch the equation should at all times result in a persons smile. Criticism accepted, opinions all appreciated – the question still remains for you to answer – is gardening & garden design fun? You better believe it!

Hands…

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… but today we return from our summer holidays and after a fine rest it is a delightful welcome I give to our beloved Irish weather, another no doubt amazing horticultural calender year and to a trade I dearly love. Whatever your plans these coming seasons – enjoy.

Happy Horticulture 2008!

peter