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Trees: Phoenix Park, Dublin

phoenix park trees (5)

Measuring 707 hectares, Páirc an Fhionnuisce better known as The Phoenix Park is Europes largest walled park and to even attempt to cover it with just a wee handful of  photographs simply would not be possible.

And though it has been some time since I noted a park on this landscaping blog, I was there of recent with family having cake and goofing around with a frisbee by my favourite spot at present just by The Visitor Centre where the so very well kept walled garden, the café and the play ground resides. Read more

Bloom 2010 – reviewed

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If you did read my post on Thursday, you would have got my recommendations for Bloom In The Park 2010. And so I went along again on Sunday and Monday.

The weather was cracking for most of Bloom, but the last two days meant the umbrella’s had to come out. But then, this is Ireland… That said, I did notice in contrast to Blooms first year a massive difference in the ‘dealing with Irish weather‘ facilities around the festival. Well done behind the scenes team.

The layout did change slightly to the main area outside the show gardens and for some I wondered why they had a prime pitch, with almost little or no relevance to horticulture. It was however a little easier to navigate than the year previous so maybe there’s method behind the decision. From a visitors perspective it was one I was glad of.

I did like the food area and the tasting and it was nice to see the forgotten crafts speaking taking place. I particularly enjoyed the Burren Smokehouse talk. I Never really knew what went into making a good smoked salmon. I do now. As a by the way, they sold out of every single piece of fish by 4pm on Monday.

To the right of that were some crafted outdoor displays which I felt delivered a nice message. Of note was the Wicklow Educate Together School Tin Man and the display for oil versus renewable energy. This replaced last years Obama replica vegetable garden. Very refreshing.

As always I don’t really like to comment on the gardens, as I’ve built and designed, been awarded medals and not…. That said I do recommend you read this post on building a show garden. It’s not easy 😉 I think I’m personally still suffering the aftermath of 2 years without a sponsor. Anyhow, you can comment, I won’t, but I will say the layout was good and quite relaxing walking around. Well done to all the sponsors and gardeners.

I didn’t make it to taste the crafted beers… but I did get to hear some of the bands in that area and it was great to see on Monday evening families dancing in the rain to a chorus of ‘Hello Mary Lou‘. Next door, the crafts area was nice and open and left places for people to sit and picnic. I also like the arts and crafts dotted throughout and the gentlemen singing acapella were amazing.

I thought the fact that speakers like Shawna Coronado from the U.S. were introduced was a great idea – I also believe her talks went down extremely well. Well done Shawna. [Also: my interview with Shawna Coronado]

There were suggestions that the food was well priced. On a different note, phone coverage and in particular internet phone coverage was poor. This I heard from too many people and from a meeting up point of view I only found afterwards that they’d been there. It also meant I couldn’t do live video’s and picture posting.

From speaking with Aidan Cotter and some of the Bord Bia team I believe numbers were up on last year which is great to hear. Aidan also queried whether I was returning to Bloom 2011 to build another show garden, with a twist difference…. I meant to ask him if there’s a chance of me getting partnered with a sponsor 😉

Overall, some say the direction has changed. Some say the garden judges were a little tougher this year. Others simply say Bloom 2010 has come along way in, what one should not forget, is just 4 years. All in all, I personally and sincerely enjoyed the show. Whether I go back in 2011 as a visitor or as a designer is a question I’ll need to answer soon. Either way, you will see me there.

Well done to all involved. Take a bow and when you find the time a well earned rest.

I’ll have some video’s and information to go up this week. You can also view my other images from Bloom 2010. I personally love this picture taken by my good friend Stephen 😉

What do you think….?


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Bloom 2010

As always you can rss the podcasts via iTunes or direct via audioboo

To all things Bloom, once again, I quote myself from last year:

To only mention the gardens is, maybe, what I should be doing…. but, as a garden builder and designer at Bloom – they are all [seriously] amazing and I simply can’t be pushed to just pick one. Anyone who designs and/ or builds a garden here is a genius in my eyes ;) I will however give an over view of the  entire Bloom experience & some of the interesting people I met on my sabbatical :lol:

My Recommended Bits And Bobs:

As per the podcast…. here are the links to those I mentioned

  • Shawna Coronado – she’s @shawnacoronado on twitter and will be in the garden expert area. A must see.
  • entertainment tent [#20 on the map]- ice creams!
  • imaginosity – loved it last year. Even better this year.
  • Craft demonstration area. Remember the blacksmith Michael Budd and Kathleen from the basket makers association – even more crafts this year.
  • Agriaware area – see the pics below
  • Chefs Kitchen. Nevin will be mobbed 😉
  • Go say hi to Dawn Ashton [she helped on my Niall Mellon gardeners day out] in her garden. All plants there were supplied by my good friend Pat Fitzgerald – remember him from last year…
  • Show times dates and how to get there are below the pics other than that see the bloom website
  • And finally – don’t forget to upload your pictures to the Pix.ie Bloom Group – where you can see the rest of my bloom images

How to get there:

Show times and dates:

  • friday 4th June 10am – 6pm
  • saturday 5th June 10am – 6pm
  • sunday 6th June 10am – 6pm
  • monday 7th June 10am – 6pm
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The Garden Groups First Adventure

war memorial gardenswar memorial gardens

It is official. The first ever outing for the Garden group has been organised is set up and ready to go.

The trip is to The National War Memorial Gardens [Dublin] and it will cost you absolutely nothing.

We will have a personal guided tour and if you have never been here before… the towers will be made open and available to us so if you had [or think you had] a relation in World War 1 we will be able to go in and get printed copies from the original books of the records. The fact that the entire gardens were built by hand…. is amazing just to look at and for the pure gardener there’s a collection of over 5,000 roses. There literally is something for everyone and this is not about ones ability to horticulture….

Date and Time: Sunday 7th February 2009 at 12pm midday. Depending on yourself this should take no more than 3 hours [at a max].

To Book Your Place: Places are limited to 18 people maximum. Whether you showed interest in the previous post – or not – this is the list I will use. If you would like to go enter your details and note: ‘ i’m in ‘ – or – ‘keep me on the shortlist’

Any Other Details: My suggestion is we bring some sandwiches and a flask and maybe have a bite to eat/ picnic there [weather permitting]. This can be organised through the comment section below.

Anyone who travel-wise can only get so far – note it below I’m sure some of us will be driving and would be more than happy to pick you up en route.

Location: South Circular Rd, Islandbridge. Opposite the army barracks Entrance from Con Colbert Rd. and South Circular Rd. (Phoenix Park end) enter via school gates and drive through to the car park

Bus Route(s): No’s. 51, 68 and 69 from Aston Quay.

* a note of thanks to Michael Herbert [and Margaret Gormley] and his team in the OPW park department – really so very much appreciated

put your name down...

put your name down...

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outdoor events and greeny gigs

Thanks to my good friend Joerg for some of these…. I’ve got a long list of free events all outdoors and green related that are on over the next coming days….. so go on get outside and enjoy yourselves 🙂

first up…

The Ballymun farmers market takes place on the first thursday of every month. I’ve never been to this one before, so if I can make it [fingers crossed I will] I’m really looking forward to it. If the weather is bad it takes place inside if the Civic Centre – thats the one directly opposite the Tesco shopping centre [scroll below the images……….. ]

phoenix-park-dublin walled-kitchen garden phoenix-park-victorian walled-kitchen garden phoenix-park-walled-garden- kitchen-garden-phoenix-park coultry-park-ballymun coultry-pk-ballymun

The Phoenix Park Summer/Autumn Programme is almost at it’s end. That said, they still have some really cool gigs still on the go. Get the calender out and mark these down…. here are my choices. If you’ve gotta bit of time to burn – a must is the €2 [adult] and €1 [child] bus journey aroud the entire park…..

For Children: 10.30am – 12.30pm a workshop for children [5+] parental supervision required

  • Sunday Aug 30th – medieval life including a visit to Ashtown Castle.
  • Sunday Sept 6th – birds in the park
  • Sunday September 13th – animals of the park

For all ages – from the visitor centre starting 3pm

September Sunday6th is a guided tour of the kitchen walled garden with Margaret Gormley and Declan Birmingham. I highly recommend this if you fancy a bit of grow your own.

Also note the gardeners of the Phoenix Park are in The Walled Garden on the first Saturday of every Month – The next is September 5th btw – from 10.30am to 5pm.  They are all really nice guys…. really 😉 You can go and ask any of the questions and also see how and why in person. I recommend going when the weather is really bad so you get a good one to one information session.

courtesy of the dublin event guide [email dublineventguide [at] gmail [dot] com to subscribe ]

on saturday 29 th august GUIDED HIKE – DUBLIN MOUNTAINS
A Guided Hike along the Dublin Mountains Way is taking place on Sat 29 Aug. A special Dublin Mountaineer bus service is departing at the Sandyford Luas stop at 11:30 and you will return in the 16:08 bus from Grange Road (Marlay Park) to the Sandyford Luas bus stop. The hiking is taking a route through Cruagh Wood and Tibradden Forest and Mountain, joining with the Wicklow Way back through Kilmashogue to Marlay Park. (Length: approx 12km (linear walk) and Duration: 4hr (strenuous walk)) You need to bring good hiking boots, rain gear, hat, water, lunch. Booking is essential. The guided tour is free and there is only a bus fare of EUR 5 to pay for the return trip. Contact karen.woods@coillte.ie or info@dublinmountains.ie
(Phone: 01-2011187) to book! http://www.dublincity.ie/RecreationandCulture/Events/SummerInDublin09

also on sunday IRISH GRAND PRIX – RADIO CONTROLLED CARS

The Radio Controlled Car Association of Ireland will run the Irish Grand Prix – a festival of r/c-racing at St Anne’s Park, Raheny, on Sunday 30 Aug. Racing will take place from 10:30-18:00. The event will feature participants from all over Ireland. All are welcome. For further details, phone 087-2512422 or visit www.orcaireland.ie

and…. also on sunday

the festival of world cultures are on in Dun Laoghaire is on with loads of free events and things on…. too many to mention http://festivalofworldcultures.com/ If you are going my good friends The Riptide Movement are playing the buskers corner [their playing on saturday!!!…] make sure and check them out…. free gig btw 😉 have a listen to theri newest song while your reading away…..

MUSIC IN THE GARDENS – FARMLEIGH HOUSE Sun 30 Aug from 14:00-16:00 the Ardee Concert Band will play in the garden of Farmleigh House. http://www.farmleigh.ie/culturalevents/currentevents/summerprogramme2009/august/#d.en.10372

TREE WALKING TOUR – FARMLEIGH HOUSE
On Sun 30 Aug two Tree Walking tours with guest speaker John Mc Loughlin from the Tree Council of Ireland will take place at 15:00 and at 16:00.
http://www.farmleigh.ie/culturalevents/currentevents/summerprogramme2009/august/#d.en.10372

ST. STEPHEN’S GREEN ENTERTAINMENT
On Sun the entertainment in St. Stephen’s Green will be Mary McEvoy from 15:00-17:00 to celebrate Heritage Week. This event will conclude the Summer Entertainment in St. Stephen’s Green! http://www.phoenixpark.ie/media/St%20Stephen%27s%20Green%20Bandstand%20Summerfest%20August%202009.pdf

I really like this one…… on tuesday 1st September

GREEN DRINKS – SCIENCE GALLERY

Green Drinks is a simple idea that’s gone global. Once a month in 448 cities around the world, people with an interest in green issues get together to chat, share ideas and raise a glass to a brighter future. In Dublin this will take in September in the Science Gallery Café (Naughton Building, Trinity College) on the first Tuesday of the month and (with the exception of October when the event is on the 2nd Tuesday) every month after that. You are invited to a fun eco friendly evening with free admission, drinks and snacks. This event is organized by www.leafliving.com. At the event on 01 Sept (from 18:00) the discussion will be about recycling: Ever wondered what happens to our waste after we throw it away? How much is being recycled compared to the amount incinerated or shipped to the developing world? What’s the scale of the problem and what can we do about it? Robert O’Shea, Secretary of the Irish Waste Management Association (IWMA) will shed some light on the issue. http://www.greendrinks.org. The organisers ask you to confirm your attendance via their facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Green-Drinks-Dublin/73308564711

On thursday OPERA IN THE OPEN – CIVIC OFFICES, WOOD QUAY
“Opera in the Open”, the free lunchtime operas return to Dublin city. Now in its tenth year, ‘Opera in the Open’ returns with five free performances of well-known operas each Thursday at 13:00 from 06 Aug – 03 Sept. Do something different at lunchtime this summer and listen to opera in the informal and intimate setting of the grounds of Civic Offices on Wood Quay in the city centre. ‘Opera in the Open’ is an initiative of Dublin City Council Arts Office as part of its remit to make the best of art and culture accessible to all in the city.
03 September: ‘Idomeneo’ by Mozart
The performances feature Janyce Condon, Stephen Fennelly, Mary Flaherty, Victoria Massey, Simon Morgan, Niall Morris, Sandra Oman, Donna Gallagher and Liz Ryan. Musical direction is by David Wray, stage direction by Niall Morris and narration is by Ted Courtney. http://www.visitdublin.com/events/AllDublinEvents/Detail.aspx?id=237&mid=6152

on the way

WHAT IS LIGHT? – PUBLIC LECTURE
Albert White from www.LightPollution2009.eu alerted me to a lecture that is taking place in September but for which you need to book one of only approx. 120 tickets, so you better decide soon and book early. The lecture is part of the 9th European Symposium for the Protection of the Night Sky and is entitled “What is Light?” Lecturer is Leo Enright. Leo Enright, a broadcaster on Space Exploration and Science, explores the history of Ireland’s sometimes tenuous connection with luminosity
– while naming and shaming some modern big wicks. He will focus on the importance of continuing public access to dark skies, especially during the present ‘Golden Age’ of astronomy, whilst noting that historically Ireland has sometimes been defined by the absence of light – why else would the Romans have called it Hibernia?
The event will take place on Wed 16 September 2009 at 19:00 in the Royal Irish Academy, 19 Dawson Street, Dublin 2. Admission is free but places are limited. For booking please visit http://shop.ria.ie/shop/shopdisplayproducts.asp?id=22&cat=Event%2BRegistration

Whatever you do – enjoy your week outdoors 😉

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