Posts

going green – is it a waste?

skips...

skips...

I made a conscious decision some time ago that if the earth, landscaping to be precise, was my work then I as best as possible and the donegan landscaping team should work to a little more for the earth. It sounds like a fair deal and it is. It wasn’t that I/we did nothing green from the outset, but more a company strategy of sorts needed to be put into practice to create an ethos that could be improved upon.

When selecting trees out of season we try [it’s not always possible] to use trees from ‘air grown pots’ [like the ones above] as they’re reusable.

The green waste from garden is, naturally, recycled. The large wood heats the office and the softer, smaller wood goes to mulch.

When we buy compost and bark that we cannot generate ourselves it comes from recycled materials – rather than from bogs.

When we do, we also only use mulching mowers – a big carbon saver!

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One would assume it stops there…. ? There is the usual recycling of cloth material, electric appliances, glass, cans and also when shopping giving back all packaging; energy saving bulbs and a very well insulated building; we also located ourselves within a four mile radius of four main suppliers – more than that? the coffee grinds, tea bags and fruit peels etc. go to the green waste heap.

To reduce paper we recycle envelopes; we’re decommissioning our facsimile machine and moving to emailing company documents; waste paper is also turned over & used for note paper and then made into a máche type fire log to heat the office via our wood stove.

We buy Irish products, locally when possible – I know that’s got something to do with carbon footprints somewhere.

Is there more I/ we do? Is there more we can do? Since starting almost eight years ago now we kind of figured through our monthly meetings ourselves to this point – surely we can do a little more?! can we?

epiphytic? platycerium?!

this is the platycerium bifurcatum, more commonly know as staghorn fern. I thought it worth a mention being that it is so unusual and not exactly what one might see on O’Connell Street!

For those of you who dont know… epiphytic plants, in this case of fern, are plants that grow above the ground level and use other plants/ objects to support them. They don’t root in soil and are not parasitic in nature but by doing this they avoid or increase their competition for light. As you can see this one is relatively new and needed a little assistance to be adapted to its new home.

Slán go foill

peter

building a garden in south africa [part 2]

south africa...

south africa...

 Most of you know my trip to South Africa is taking place this Thursday. Since my last post Dominic Loughran came as my guest to the ALCI awards and gave a fine, appropriate and very rousing speech. I was very proud to sit with him.

I also roped in genius my good pal freelance photographer Maura Hickey [applause!] to travel with me. Maura, like so many of us, has sponsored herself and given up her very valuable time to document & work as part of the garden build. I also gave Maura three weeks notice!?

Most of you know the company sponsored me so if you are donating or sponsoring me the money will go straight to the trust & will be most appreciated. To those of you who work with me, on any level, without you Peter Donegan Landscaping would not have been able to sponsor me, a representative of the company to go. You have already helped so much and again I applaud you. You should be very proud. As best as possible I’ll keep everyone up to date here.

int garden festival [2] – the finale?

another garden festival...?

another garden festival...?

Before I go any further, please refer to this article first and it’s comments.

The news is out. Titled Failed garden festival has over €1m debt, Ian Kehoe wrote the facts in yesterdays Sunday Business Post. Ian’s a good guy who tells it well and I’m a SBP fan, as those who read my articles will know.

Like all things in business though, especially anything horticulture related, there is a risk. Here it simply didn’t work out. To those of you in the creditors box I hope it comes good for you, sincerely.

I’ll move on, whatever the reasons, Rosaleen Flanagan tried on the big stage and for this I know and hope she’ll bounce back. I knew what was happening behind the scenes as it happened. Ireland is small and my trade is even smaller.

My only problem regarding the IGF was when ‘a journalist’ from another publication [NOT SBP] called me asking for my thoughts, facts and any other relevant information I had. I was bemused. Unlike the SBP, this publication didn’t publish any article when IGF needed a good write up and some PR fuel, so I was reluctant to give any information to say it was in flames and help it burn down. Especially if my name was only going to appear only as the whipping boy only. It’s unethical, for me.

My conversation on the opening day with Stuart Sharpless, Andy Sturgeon and David Fountain resulted in us all wishing to return as entrants next year rather than as spectators. For this reason I am a little sad. A garden show I liked will not event.

As I said in my last article before you design you must be inspired and the youth in us required for this must be encouraged and an opportunity has passed. One must appreciate garden design in Ireland is like trying to emulate U2, Lizzy and The Boomtown Rats breaking out of Dublin in the early 80’s. It is of course also such a passionate affair and requires a stern love of the game – roll on Bloom 08.

alternative irish energy and sellafield

sellafield...

sellafield...

According to the Sunday Business Post, September 30th 2007 News Section, Green Party energy minister Eamonn Ryan will address a two-day conference hosted by independent transmission system operator, Eirgrid. The annual conference will address issues facing the national grid, including customers’ experience and the all-island energy market. The conference, taking place on Wednesday and Thursday at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Santry Demense, will also host a workshop on the development of renewable energy, such as onshore, offshore and ocean technology.

According to Caroline Allen [commercial report SBP] the government wants one third of electricity consumed in Ireland to come from renewable sources by 2020, but describes this as “ambitious and achievable”.

The Sunday Independent decided to run with the story of The four towers of Sellafield that were taken down on Saturday Morning sending a massive cloud of dust over the Irish Sea.

With Lusk, North Dublin and the Hill of Tara fighting for survival against a quick decision making government, one might wonder why I can’t have a wind turbine and why is 2020 is the deadline for this Emerald Isle?