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Gerry Kelly Talks To Peter Donegan: The Late Lunch LmFm Radio 95.8

peter donegan, garden radio, gerry kelly, late lunch lmfm

Thursday October 9th, I was on LmFm’s PPI award winning radio show The Late Lunch with all round happy fellow and nice guy Gerry Kelly. It was unsual for me to be the far side of the mic and morseo that Gerry went all the way back to where, how and just why it all started for me. Interesting – I’m told, all good and a real genuine pleasure.

Thanks Gerry and Louise. Enjoyed that 😉

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The Gardener

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I’ve had an odd week of sorts [last week] in the garden. Well, it’s a little of the usual or, more of the same but it’s been an odd series of tasks that have taken place I suppose.

The weed pulling enthusiasts versus your and my chemical romance aside, it was a case of trying to dodge the showers, in part to kill of some weeds that were growing in lawns. Sticking with that for the moment, this is a very simple theory as to how that all works. There are two shapes the leaf of any plant can have. Narrow, like a grass leaf – or of a more rounded shape, in short. The molecular make up of the chemicals that kill only that of a more rounded leaf in lawns [ie daisy, buttercup etc.] is that it cannot attach itself to the narrow leaf of the grass plant and therefore only takes effect on the weeds ie. the plants we don’t want in our lawns. Problem solved.

If you are intending on doing a little of that be sure to use a hood for your napsack or calibrated sprayer. Better know as a cowel, it prevents wind drift and droplets of the semi selective [translocated herbicide – one has to be very specific] weed killer from hitting other plants and killing them off. Like hens, chemicals aren’t very fussy about what green leaves they have a go at.

The chemical brothers aside [wondering if I can sneak one more band in before the end of this piece….], hedges were cut. A little reticent of nineteen eighties Ireland to an extent, in my opinion, the symetrical boundary plantations did go out of fashion for a while but, it is nice to see them coming somewhat back into fashion. In part, I always had a little of a soft spot for en mass Grisilinia and the like. There was and is something about them that is just that little friendlier than the timber fence or the coldness of a grey and internally angular brick wall.

That aside I know a lot of the hedging in Ireland took a serious beating these winters just past, so now really is the time to start ‘ripping’ them out and getting the soil ready for some new ones to take place. If you are unsure of what type of hedge plant to use – I highly recommend a walk locally with a camera in hand and as you pass the neighbouring hedge and plant types that take your fancy simply snap away. Do remember that this is the year two thousand and eleven and one can buy plants at any height and size that you pretty much wish to, something that was almost unheard of over thirty years ago.

Looking for something a little fancier and a change from the usual that may potentially be considered garden chores. Then how about making something for yourself with your own hands ? Over on The SodShow, Dublin’s only garden radio show as a by the way [and also available in Galway – you can listen online], is starting a new feature running every Friday for the next ten weeks. There I will chat with resident civil engineer John Farrell about everything that is hard landscaping.

This Friday starts with concrete, the basics and how to mix it. Simple for some, complex for others, the idea is to start at the bottom and work our way through anything that concrete could meet in your garden. From putting in a washing line, building a barbeque all the way to garden walls and beyond. Every Friday live at three pm we will guide you through all of the things you maybe thought of building but never did. Of course you can catch the podcast version of The SodShow in iTunes and/ or live on my garden blog.

With a softer version of hard landscaping in mind, this week saw me build some quite large, robust and yet pleasing to the eye raised planters for growing some of your own vegetables, herbs and soft fruits. With the structures built and rubber lining stitched in place, the next phase is to fill them with soil and then it will be a case of choosing the crops and produce to grow for the coming months.

Some seem to have a notion that the clock stops for this gardener come the return of the nippers going back to school. Not on your Nelly Furtado [that’s three bands – although I couldn’t tell you one or any of her/ his songs of the top of my head].

I like the allium family [onions, leeks, chives and the like] but, I’ll browse the seed catalogues in the coming days and see what takes my fancy. Before I do that, I’m going to build a bench into the new part to this garden. This is a place as versus being thought of as labour intensive, I would like to be renowned and considered for being one of retreat, relaxation and escapism. How many can say that about their garden ?

Plant choices of the more outdoor type aside, it is quite funny when you think that just up the road from me pumpkins, grapes, tomatoes and aubergines are growing quite happily in abundance under glass….. maybe, just maybe I need to add a new structure to my garden.

Contact Peter Donegan

The Gardener, originally published in The Tribesman week Monday 22nd August

The Growing Season Has Officially Started

It may well remain a little chilly for some to brave the great outdoors but weather whether some agree or disagree, it seems the growing season has started in Ireland.

The problems that usually arise, garden wise, are best described with hindsight being that of 50:50 vision, in the context that once one sees the plant in its fullest glory one may wish they had planted some of this or that, that could only be there if planted some months previous.

As I look over my own garden, not entirely in all its glory, its clear to see the trees have all started to produce buds. The new growth on the lime trees in particularly amazing to see. Although not as visible, it is quite qevident on that of the Gleditsia too.

This a clear sign that if you wanted to have a ‘I’d love one of them‘ in your space outside, you really would want to make a call on it and have it done sooner rather than later. This timeline also includes trees that need to be moved.

But it’s not just the trees. It’s in the ‘shrub department’ too. Last week at the nurseries the hellebores were just a wee while away from bursting into flower, while the dwarf Photinia was producing some nice new red growth.

My rhubarb still grows were it was first planted in the darkest and dampest parts of the garden. Sidetracking slightly, it is also one of the few that has never been involved in the Peter Donegan relocation programme. In a slightly brighter part, my sorrel, now 3 or 4 seasons old tells me salad may just be on the cards that little bit earlier than expected.

In the beauty spotting category the Jasmine [jasminum nudiflorum] was looking really great and for good reason it remains one of my favourite climbers. On the flip side the hydrangea’s from my friend Philips garden that I planted about 2 seasons ago are just ripe to burst open.

As if I’d nothing else better to do on a Sunday, when I was at Michael Nugent’s garden on Sunday just gone, Michael was proudly showing off all of the bulbs he had planted in his front garden. And when I say all… I mean all of them. Think in tonnage here.

All grown in pots. In anything that could be even mildly considered definitive of the word container and of every type available to mankind in Ireland.

But it’s not just Mick Snr’s garden. Philip has them growing too and not in pots… just willy nilly planted and left to pop back up year after year. The same way I do it.

Rummaging around my shed I found some left over garden bulbs… don’t ask [?] that some how I forgot to plant. I finished dealing with them on Sunday – but from the garden type bulbs to growing your own food, from bulbs, I was also busy planting garlic and onions from sets.

The funny thing is that once the hammamelis goes out of flower the leaves will appear, the lime trees bright new growth will become hidden with it’s large oval leaves. The bulbs will become more prevalent and produce flowers for the kitchen and my onions will produce food. The red growth that spans the motorways of Ireland will turn to green and an entire new range of whats hot and en vogue will appear for us to admire.

The question is will you be braving the elements so that you can have that little bit of glory in your space outside that for very good reason I call the great outdoors ?

note: *all images taken within the last 7 days

The Sodcast – Episode 16

sodshow, garden podcast

The Sodshow Garden Podcast – every Friday – in iTunes, www.sodshow.com all good podcast stores.


Listen to The Sodcast in MP3 – or subscribe/ listen to the podcast in iTunes. Alternatively, subscribe to the blog and listen to them right here. Missed Episode 15 of the garden podcast ?

First Up:

Always nice to know people are listening. I got this from Bernie Goldbach who heard it all the way from the US of A. One can be inclined to forget this is the worldwide web.

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As regards garden sizes I work on….. I sincerely don’t mind what size your garden is….. as long as I am in a garden I’m happy 🙂

This Week On The Blog:

Links For The Podcast:

Images For The Podcast:

This Weeks Oddities:

Development of 3 x 40 minute colour coded self guided Tours / walks consisting of audio commentary, music and digital images which will be available to download at the visitor centre, online and also preloaded onto reusable media cards for insertion into mobile phones

And Finally:

Courtesy of @SeanMcDGrange alias Sean McDonald

It’s North Sligo. It’s mid-November. There’s a storm brewing. It’s 9 degrees. And the Ice Cream Van is here…

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And finally, finally…. There were a few people who were simply amazing the last two weeks…. those who know, know the story. Thank you. For the rest of my life you will be forever remembered.

The Sodcast – Episode 15

sodshow, garden podcast

The Sodshow Garden Podcast – every Friday – in iTunes, www.sodshow.com all good podcast stores.


Listen to The Sodcast in MP3 – or subscribe/ listen to the podcast in iTunes. Alternatively, subscribe to the blog and listen to them right here. Missed Episode 14 of the garden podcast ?

First Up:

To answer a query that arose mid week….? Yes I do do small gardens. In fact I’m generally extremely content as long as I am in a garden 😉

You can contact me on….

This Week On The Blog:

A long story, but there were no blog posts this week….

Links For The Podcast:

Images For The Podcast:

This Weeks Oddities:

And Finally:

courtesy of Mr McGuinness – Bord Bia ? How many of your videos are on my or any weblog ?