Building a garden in South Africa

garden of hope site...

garden of hope site...

Part of november will see myself and 45 others and some colleagues of mine] travel to south africa to build a garden with the Niall Mellon trust.

NB: just to clarify – the garden was designed and the build fully organised by Dominic Loughran, his garden of hope team & The Niall Mellon Township Trust.

The sponsorship for this will be paid by Peter Donegan Landscaping Ltd. Turns out the boss ain’t so bad after all. Further information is available here.


The garden of hope project team have set up a weblog. If you’d like to donate tools or anything you think might be useful, make yourself famous. [when I say donate tools I dont mean in the Irish sense and post over people you don’t like]. Whilst the sponsorship/ costs for my trip have been paid by the boss I am informed that people can still give away their hard earned dollars free of charge. If your loaded and reading this you probably don’t have a shovel or know how to get it started so go ahead make yourself feel better.

My original post, on my website said 25 people, this one says 45 – I’m reliably informed it’s over 60 people involved. To those of you who have given a few bob on my behalf – It’s so much appreciated, [check comment from Dominic below] I’m very proud. The pic above is the site we will develop in one week.

Slan go foill agus go raibh míle maith agaibh.


4 replies
  1. Aido
    Aido says:

    That sounds like a really big project if its taking 45 of the Irish heavies over to build it! Do you have anymore details about the project. Will you be posting updates so those who arent as lucky to travel can follow the progress, maybe even a few picture before and after?

  2. doneganlandscaping
    doneganlandscaping says:

    Aido the project at first I thought was going to be a bit of craic but surprisingly – it’s very much a labour of love [pardon the pun]. I know my website has some details on the project itself but it is as always a little taster. I’ll keep you posted on the journey of the garden.
    It will be a bit crazy – apparently they’ve built a village over there that’s nearing completion and this will be the final part to finish it off – nice! The only thing that I believe stopped more people going over is that it costs about 4,500 euros to go. I’m not really good at the sponsorship asking gig so I put a link on the web if people wanted to. Deadline was September 1st by the way and I just got myself to wrrite a cheque. I’m not loaded or anything but fair is fair and you gottas give something back. Seriously though, I think I’m fortunate enough to be at an age where I feel this kind of gig matters.

    My only problem is I believe the heat in South Africa is going to be quite intense around November. ANY advice on climate for a skinny Irish boy would be most appreciated.

    Here’s the technical details to the garden – it says there’s 25 volunteers but I know theres more now.

    The Niall Mellon Townships Trust is a house-building charity building houses for people whom are currently living in shacks in Cape Town, South Africa. It is hoped that the garden will become the central meeting point for the community, a place to play, meet, contemplate and enjoy the surroundings. The garden will be built on a designated site in Freedom Park, Cape Town on approx. 800 square metres. The plan includes;

    1. Two house gables walls with raised stage areas at rear, both gables will have painted murals.
    2. 70 linear metres of walled seating, the walls of the seats will include painted caricatures of the volunteers working on the project
    3. 2 spherical hanging steel garden seats
    4. 5 play areas including, swings slides and climbing frames
    5. 5 circular patio areas
    6. A central solar powered water feature
    7. Timber archways over pathways
    8. Path ways using giant stepping stones
    9. A vast array of mature, semi mature and young plants, shrubs and climbers

    25 volunteers will build the garden in one week from the 2nd to the 10th of November 2007; each volunteer must raise at least €4,000 to participate in the project. This is a very ambitious project, the volunteers will be working from early in the morning until late into the evening to achieve our goal and finish on time.

  3. Dominic Loughran
    Dominic Loughran says:

    Hi Peter,
    Haven’t seen you in a while but I thought I should drop you a line to say thank you, your friends, customers and suippliers for the great support for the Garden of Hope Project 2007. I am more than aware of the great effort and time and vision you have put into this project, without you and unselfess assistance of your team mates we would never have been able to take this project on and complete our task in eight weeks time.

    On 2nd November 2007 60 landscapers including you will embark on the gardening challenge of the decade, to convert an 800 square metre barren sandy site, in the township of Mandela Freedom Park, Cape Town, South Africa into a glorious and lush communal garden.

    These plans can be visited at I wish you and yours all the very best in your continued efforts and look forward to you joining the team in Cape Town, when all the real hard work begins.

    Best of Luck to you [- you’ll need it] and your friends
    take care for now

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