The Sodcast – Episode 16

sodshow, garden podcast

The Sodshow Garden Podcast – every Friday – in iTunes, 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.


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…


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.

Audioboo Deep Dive @ The Dot Conf

bernie, mark and myself

image courtesy brian greene

For those who don’t know what the dotconf was – this post on the dot conf may explain better.

But, it is not until after the hindsight has kicked in that one really realises just how and what audioboo has helped. This was kicked off by Bernie, via podcast of course.

I followed Bernie’s path with my thoughts on podcasting and in particular audioboo as my tool of choice.

So what can you take from this? A good start, from a gardeners perspective, can be made by taking a trip over to and after that it’s up to you whether you choose to add to the conversation or simply listen. Either or one cannot disagree that the listening to alone is giving radio, maybe of a different format, an entirely fresh and most welcome new lease of life.


Of course it would not have been possible without the people behind the scenes….

Personally, I like this little chat of a podcast that was recorded just after Bernie, Mark and myself had completed our deep dive audioboo sessions. On top of the National College of Ireland. 🙂

Still unsure… my numbers below, the coffee pot is on or you can send me an email or leave a comment below 😉

For me personally, I just find it amazing that an entire post is put together by seperate audio clips, taken over varying days that join together and make complete one blog post. Could I have done this one year ago ? Possibly….

Update: I really like Emilys take on the dot conf

An Irish Social Media Garden Centre Campaign…?


I got a press release in last week for Irish Garden Centre group Connacht Gold.

Connacht are using /starting to use the social media tools of Facebook and Twitter.

Smart move….? Nothing new there, you may say….? Well it a first for the horticultural sector in Ireland, that I am aware of.

Is this the start of the green sectors online evolution Revolution? The ersten exemplary case to base growth upon…?

Many times regarding the green sector and online media I have mentioned the need for change. The tools maybe are being used, but it’s still done so very badly and that is if it’s done at all. Most I know of won’t blog because it doesn’t make you money etc…

What the Connacht Gold Garden Centre Group are doing online maybe isn’t my choice of style nor how I would do it – ONLINE – but then I’m not 6 garden centres…. 5 of which don’t open on a Sunday 😉

But, they are doing something to embrace….

The promotion is running for 8 weeks in Connacht Gold stores nationwide and each Saturday a “fugitive” will visit a different store. Hints, tips and suggestions will be given out on Facebook and Twitter to give fans clues of where the fugitive is going to be. The first person to decipher the clues and find the fugitive in the stores each Saturday will win €300 cash.

You can find out more information on the promo itself on and The competition will be heavily promoted via Twitter and Facebook and a blog has been set up on to post information about the stores etc.

Have they got the mix right ? Would you do anything different ? Maybe, that’s exactly what’s required to stir it up around Tubbercurry… ?

In case you are wondering…. here’s what the fugitive looks like

he's the one on the left...

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Irish Gardening Online…?


I remember reading an article posted online by good friend and nursery man Pat Fitzgerald. It was about trying to promote the gardening industry. Here’s a little taster of what Pat had to say….

…we collect last years good condition gardening magazines and make some beneficial use of them instead of hoarding them. Why not distribute these magazines into as many hair dressers, doctors, chiropodists, dentists, nail bars, beauty salon waiting rooms as will be agreeable to accept them…

Before I go any further, Pat does say himself that it is…

a possibly nutty, naive or optimistic idea

I was talking about this over the weekend with some friends of mine who work in the media industry. It wasn’t that we were laughing or being disrespectful in any way to Pat or the idea… far from it. In fact the point that seemed to be made was more is this as good as it gets for an industry that I have another 30 years odd to work in. I shall rephrase…. Is this what the amenity horticultural sector is resigned to in order to promote itself…. I know for sure the farming industry would never be seen even suggesting this nor the building federation…. isn’t that right Tom Parlon ?

I am fully aware that there exists ‘industry bodies’ but whether they will ever chose to form an opinion and be perceived as industry leaders is possibly a land very far away from here. I guess in that, what I am trying to say it that my next door neighbour could not name me one garden related association…. I think that’s a fair point.


To there I suppose one could turn to government bodies…. but the green party aren’t really a green party anymore and being that I have never received even two bits of encouragement by way of payment acknowledgement for my role in online green sector….. I am beginning to wonder who’s the promoter of who and what on earth I am doing this for. But, like I said before it’s not like I get paid to write this Irish Green Blog. But then again, it was never about the money.


I hear friends of mine calling their children the facebook generation…. I saw myself last week reading a blog post on generating electricity I also found myself reading some gardening articles on different things to try out in the garden. There are literally blogs to cover every subject available…. but very few in Ireland on green related matters. There are people who have set up websites that sell gardening related products. A quick google search will show just how many…. But that said I still prefer the peronal touch. I also know that every gardener in the country can supply me with plants and drop out just to make sure they’re doing alright after the transaction. I also like to know a person before I buy anything… but again thats just me.


But with very few Irish television programmes dedicated to gardening [if at all any] on the production line and what seems like also a few less publications [particularly magazines] dedicated to the horticultural industry I guess I am beginning to wonder if the follow on effect will be that of a demise or at least a fall in interest in the great outdoors. Being honest, not even I can get a gig writing about gardens weekly… or monthly for that matter.

On the flip side… it is very easy to point fingers. And this is not about figuring out who to blame. It is the realisation that something should be done. Needs to be done. Has to be done. And now.

When I look at the online side of things I see very few Irish gardeners with an online presence. I see very few weblogs. I see very little of a presence on even something so huge such as twitter. Recently I found it impossible to come up with 20 Irish green people using the tool [properly or at all]. It’s not like I keep it a secret. I have posted and explained on every online tool I use and I even publish my statistics.

the stone age...

Considering it is the year 2010…. one would think with the upcoming Irish Blog Awards that it would be possible to have a green/ eco/ gardening category….? I think I may know of four weblogs that could enter… but nothing more. Put in that context what can I say.

I’d like to think that the various efforts such as the garden guest sessions and of more recent times the garden group would/ could and did stir the interest a little. It seems to…. surprising?

The reality is I will continue to do my instructional gardening videos and posts. I’ll continue to do so of my own time and money. I’d like to think Irish garden related companies gave me some support… To put that in context…. Recently I could not get a company to send me some products for review – although they did samples…. just not for review??? I explained I would buy it in the shop and review it anyway [ 🙄 or do I use this one 😆 ]. which is what I have done to date. Maybe some feel I may actually be honest or that its better not to have it mentioned, photographed and video’d…? And for the record I have never received any products for free for this blog. Not even a book. Not a complaint. Just so you know.

The question that remains is…. should the Irish Horticultural Industry invest all of the resources available to it and go place those magazines in the doctors surgery?

where do we go from here....?

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Top Statistics For Donegan Landscaping In 2009

peter donegan

The statistics below do not refer to my website. They only refer to the weblog. The weblog uses wordpress stats.

  • The website itself averages over 2,500 hits per day as a by the way, so I’m told. I’m sure this can be checked out and corrected if necessary.
  • The busiest day on the weblog for reads of one article in 2009 was Tuesday September 9th with 1,412 reads of one article. The busiest month was May with near 10,000 reads of articles.
  • At the time of writing this post, this year I have done 37 horticultural related reviews on loudervoice
  • You viewed over 20,000 of my photographs over on in 2009. But the picture with the most views was:
the pig

the pig

  • The top 10 blog referrers for 2009 were:

The Top 10 Links clicked for 2009 were:


The most viewed video was:

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