Posts

taxing issues in the garden…

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This picture [above] was taken at last years bloom in the park and emailed to me by a colleague after the June Bank Holiday weekend – That same colleague emailed me again today with the same title wishing me luck in this years Bloom 2008 with this photograph of myself and our new Taoiseach Brian Cowan….

peter & brian

peter & brian

a horticultural bible

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I bought this book about 8 years ago now and at the time it cost about €100 [possibly púnts at the time?]. If botany and intricate plant studies are what turns one on… then this is your cup of tea. Do understand this is not Sunday afternoon reading. It is a referene book. A bible as such for the horticulturist. If you are newbie to the horticultural sector – I’m not suggesting that this is not for you, but your use of it may be extremely limited and for the price there may be other books of better value.

It comes in 2 volumes, it weighes a tonne, It’s pricy and it’s a plants-persons dictionary. That said, for my library, a gem and a must have.

proud of ‘your’ garden?

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garden show preparation are in full swing; The trees are in bud, almost trying into leaf; the daffs have sprouted and almost all in flower. The season is literally almost urging itself to burst into full bloom.

Such varied enquiries come into my office. But, even with our website [thanks Patrick] usually it’s what type of work do we do? Landscaping… slightly vague one may say… What type of gardens do ‘we’ take on? potentially, mildly pompous I could say…

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The truth is I only employ qualified horticulturists. And in my opinion intelligence in horticultural understanding and planning is everything. For the great people I work with I refer to Freud’s comment of Da Vinci ‘that like most man of genius he needed constantly to occupy his mind’. My point? As long as I can be proud, stand tall and with my hand on my heart say The Donegan Landscaping and Design team created each and every of these gardens, to the highest standard… then we’ve taken on the right project. Is that wrong, pompous, arrogant or suggestive of a noticeable mass increase of circumfrance/ radius of ones cranium? Not at all. The ethos is that I am very proud of the gardens we build, the standards achieved and the clients we work with.

Because we build great gardens does that mean we are expensive? That depends I suppose. Like building a house extension versus a hotel and whether from straw or gold bullion, the choices and cost for a garden build and design also reflect time and materials. Naturally. If the requirements, made of time and materials, do not equal ones budget, then possibly ammendments to choice and the amount of need to be made.

peter donegan

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That it may be a costly sum rather than do I want too much is logic. But in saying that some choose to ask what I can get for my budget whilst having their own ideas. Others choose to decide what they want and put a price after each item like a shopping list and decide what they can have based on what they can afford. Either or like anything in life it is all relative.

The question is will you be proud of your garden when it is complete? We always are. Maybe the cliché ‘quality rather than quantity has relevance here’.

All that aside, [as the favourite of Uncles!] I promised my niece Lilly that I put a pic of her in one of my posts. So here she is….. I’ll make a gardener out of you yet!

Slán go foill

peter

building a[another] garden in south africa [4]

the team...

the team...

 these are just some of the amazing people [sorry garden of hope ladies but it’s the only pic I have at the moment] who were involved in the garden that was built in South Africa. In the centre [wearing the brown hat] is Dominic Loughran who designed the wonderful garden and the person who also introduced and convinced [easily] me to make the trip with the Niall Mellon Township.

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Whilst the garden was a fine part of the freedom park township challenge it was not the only part and I believe 2008 will see 2008 people travel to South Africa [interested? – click here]. Some people have called me wondering if they would be of benefit to the trust and I proudly tell them that I did a stint helping the good people of the painting team, the plasterers & even the lads who put in the ceilings! Believe me your help will benefit people who need it. I was just so proud to be there.

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The garden is where my heart has always been as discussed in previous posts – but I must admit now that I am just so proud to have met so many wonderful people and to know that as 1 of 1500 people, every person made a difference.

To those of you who donated money to the charity because of knowing me. Thank you. I’m sorry it took so long for me to get the pictures up so you could see what the team and your money did. No matter the amount it was well spent and once again it made a difference.

building a garden in south africa [3]

Everything is going really well in Cape Town. For the people of this township and the 1500 volunteers involved, it is an emotional event and one I am so proud to be part of. My previous articles on this blog will give a little more insight.

We arrived late on Friday due to Monarch airlines most contrary organisation knowing little of what reaity was about to hit us. But it was a visit to a shack owned by a lady due to move into one of the new homes that instilled inspration with full reasoning into the hearts of every volunteer. I know I cried. I know I wasn’t alone. It wasn’t bad, more a positive tear that made me fully understand why Niall Mellon does what he does and why. I also now know why this is the largest people movement, for charitable reasons, since world war 2 to help another country and around 1400 are Irish. Proud is an understatement.

Honestly, if I could get those of us Irish besotted by interest rates and celtic tiger property prices to visit here [?!??] one might just realise how precious life is and how miniscule our troubles really are. To have left families, businesses, money aside and country to help another who needs it so much more is angelic but to build 200 homes each painted, with a solar panel and a community garden surprisingly in just seven days is truly miraculous.

If you saw what I have seen, you would understand why I and the other 1499 people get applauded and welcomed everyday we go to work. Tear-jerker, you better believe it! I’m beginning to think I have a feminine side…. We also are cheered and thanked on our way home. Amazing. Any slight upsets since I got here [click here]? No. I love every second and I thank whatever religion one may pray to that Dominc Loughran made me realise that my horticulture could make tears come to many a grown mans eyes.