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Peter Donegan: award winning Irish gardener. Horticulturalist. Blogger. Writer. Talker. Human. Makes gardens.

Either or. Will always be happy and happy gardening 😀

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Donegan Wins Landscape Quality Award For 2010

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February 26th 2010.

Peter Donegan Landscaping Ltd has achieved the Bord Bia Quality Award.

The assessment for this award is through a stringently audited programme that was designed to raise standards within the landscape industry and increase customer confidence by rewarding companies who operate an awarded quality system through best practice and at the highest standards possible to this sector of the horticultural industry.

In 2009 the Landscape Quality Award had only been achieved by eight companies in Ireland. There are two award levels on both programmes; a Certificate of Merit (60% score) and the Quality Award (75% score). This is my third consecutive year to accept the Quality Award.

On winning the award Peter Donegan said:

I am delighted to win this award. I am now starting my 10th year in business and this now is recognition that a quality system is in place behind the scenes as well an already proven ability to design and landscape.

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I Never Knew You…

So many times I hear people say they never knew I did this or that with relevance to ‘gardening’ of some form. This may sound like a sort of pitch – it’s more clarification – on the record.

The company is called Peter Donegan Landscaping Ltd. But, maybe I should have called ‘the company’ Peter Donegan… anything horticulture or ‘gardening’ Ltd. Gardening consists of so many varying matters and subjects, which often firms chose to specialise in solely one aspect of. I choose to like *everything* done in-house and under the one roof. So what do I/ we do?

consultancy: advice from domestic to commercial, whether considering a budget, design advice or simply the most general of matters. I know we know what we’re talking about.

design: with numerous awards under our belts for garden design from domestic to commercial from large to small and historic to modern; it’s your space outside and our role is to get the best results from that budget and your space.

maintenance: employing only the finest horticulturists, it is gardening, it matters and we do it. In fact unknowns to some we hold an award for this too!

sales: from product sourcing to product sales. If it’s related to the garden we sell it. from plants to mulch, from soil to seating it’s all there and the list goes on… and on…

landscaping: the name says it all! garden building, garden making, overhauls, revamps and re-creations… from the oldest to the boldest….

That’s the basics. But this can be broken down once again into project management, tree surgery, lawns, planning… but the reason why i only work with the finest horticulturists is so that the customer gets what exactly the customer wants. The way it should be. From Donegal to Galway, from Wexford to Dublin, even overseas… you are the customer – you can have whatever you want.

If its not on the list, you like it, love it or want it,  let me know. It may be in the weblog [search for it]. If I can help you – I will. In the meantime…. Thank you.

an oldie but a goldie…

this was around the time of bloom ’07 [click here] and was a feature done for Capital D featured on rte. This was so much fun…. [I think it was my first time on the tiny screen]

i’ve got a feeling…

before reading one should refer to this post.

peter donegan garden designer in 2002Throughout college, before and until I set up Peter Donegan Landscaping Ltd I endeavoured to take the better position horticulturally, for my career. This meant little money, long hours, work very hard and learn faster. My age possibly didn’t help. But by 24 I was already a teacher, a landscape manager, senior ground person, contracts manager, consultant, designer and sat on the board for the institute of horticulture – it would always be worth it – long term. It has been.

I remeber one night, an anniversary, two years with my girlfriend [very important !] arriving late home; pre mobile phone days; at 11.30pm. I tried to explain to the good lady still ‘dolled upto the nines’ – in my defence I had parked a Ford 7610 tractor & bulk tanker [milk truck] filled with water ready to go again at 5am, outside her Mothers house… It also had dodgy brakes!

peter donegan 18th century design landscape awardI had worked in garden centres & landscaping companies since I was 16. I had worked two stints abroad. If I wanted, as I have written many times, to work with the ground – I needed to start at that level and work my way up. In hindsight there is no easy route. But, people still walk out of college today and say – I will be a garden designer. If a contractor knows your job better than you do [eg] as a garden designer & vice versa, you can’t be the best at your job [?]. My positions had thought me all of the skills I needed, those an education in horticulture cannot teach you. As important, it had also thought me the business, the people and the industry.

peter donegan landscaping dublin award irelandTwo months before my 25th birthday I set up Peter Donegan Landscaping Ltd. I personally still owed money [college had to be paid for!]. I organised six to nine months credit with 4 main suppliers [including my accountant!] and borrowed the tools for my first jobs from a good friend. Not pretty, some might say, but there was only one way ‘the business’ could go…

The business caused me to split up with ‘the good lady’, twice. No sorrow or blame in that, I just didn’t see her, at all, really… At the time, something had to give. A quote from a much famed article in The Irish Entrepreneur magazine summizes my thinking…

If it failed, how could I ask for a managerial role with another company, when I was unable to do it for myself?

One must appreciate, I loved and love still, what I do. Every single day. Life has always been good. Negatives never last[ed] long – it was always how do I change this; options; choose; do it – and move on. No business is a bed of roses. Of course it’s hard work – it has always been. That will never change. But, when you love what you do and each day excites you, you look forward to it – it is so much easier.

I held off putting any projects up for award until 2006. No particular reason I just wanted my first to be a little special. We had just completed phase 1 of Newport Farm in Donabate, a 55 acre estate 18th century estate.

and the rest as they say is history….

That was the story – for the boring bits – read on:

Qualifications: studied horticulture for four and a half years. certificate in commercial horticulture, Advanced Diploma in Horticulture and the general examination in Horticulture [RHS]. Awarded the title MI Hort by the Institute of Horticulture London.

Other: in my time i have… PRO for The ALCI [Association of Landscape Contractors of Ireland] written for many publications; regular contributor for The Farmers Journal and at present Self Build Ireland magazine. Freelance including The Irish Independent, Diarmuid Gavin Design magazine, Horticultural and Landscape Ireland;

Awards:

2006: Design & landscaping: Newport Farm Donabate – ALCI

2006: landscape quality programme – cert of merit – bord bia

2007: Barr 50 – Forais na gaeilge

2007: Design – Bloom – No Rubber Soul

2007: Design & landscaping: Brackestown House – AlCI

2007: Maintenance: Brackenstown House – ALCI

2008: Quality Award – Bord Bia