bloom 2008 [2] – the boat

pour l'amour de jeux - the boat garden


yesterday was not the most usual of days in my horticultural career! This 1957, 33 foot, 7 tonne boat is the model Royal Cruiser IV that will be used in Bloom 2008, the garden show extravaganza in the Phoenix Park this June Bank Holiday weekend.

It took 7 men, a 30 tonne specialist marine transporter and 6 hours to lift and move it 6 km. Working with me on the boat will be John Friel and his team who also who rebuilt the morris minor for last years garden.

we got a lot of strange looks when word went out that this was the boat for our show garden but.. maybe ‘show’ gardens should be just that….


9 replies
  1. Miss Green
    Miss Green says:

    I think we could do with more landscapers like yourself who will go that extra mile in making a show garden exactly what it should be – a show piece, you are certainly turning heads – well done to you and the good team behind you!!

  2. peter donegan MI Hort
    peter donegan MI Hort says:

    @ Nancy

    it is an absolute mammoth task now that I actually consider what I have actually started – but our timelines are good so all should be grand on the day! I’ll keep all updated via blog-land! hmmmm… ??? Thanks so much for your thoughts of encouragement !

    many, many thanks
    slán go minic

    @ms green

    made my day! as the t-shirt says: its not the winning that counts – its the arsing around. It’ll be fun getting there and whilst it may turn heads – too true it is a show [garden..] for the public.

    many thanks for your very encouraging words – sometimes I wonder if I’ve lost the plot entirely… just sometimes?!!

    slán, beannacht agus go raibh míle maith agaibh
    auf wiedersehen[!]

  3. aido
    aido says:

    Did you start painting it over the weekend? Sorry I didn’t get up to Qik it ended up jumping a ditch and crashing into a sign post you know how it is on those boughal roads. so no transport at the minute, too wet to get bike dirty, but I’ll swing be over this long weekend.

    Congrats on the shipping, now I wonder how many people are trapped under it already!

  4. peter donegan MI Hort
    peter donegan MI Hort says:

    A Chara Aido,

    Firstly I hope your health is alright?

    @ boat: no problem – the painting is pretty much Nicki’s task and she has left Galway for 2 weeks to help us and paint it up, theoretically I’m alright [?] for the moment!!

    The shipping was a concern! When I explained to the lads at Whittens Transport [deserved of a mention…. brought with amazing expertise and of Birr, Co. Offaly] there was a bit of a giggle and a ‘ye wanna what ???!?’. But they were amazing! Specialists to be sure.

    Re the long weekend – the coffee is already on my good friend.

    Slán go minic

  5. Ann Shea
    Ann Shea says:

    Hi Peter and the greenie forum,

    This is an exciting project that will be fun to follow. It would be great if the former owners and voyagers on this vessel could know of its new destination. Kinda of a horticultural Noah’s Ark? Do you know the boat’s previous monikers?

    Wonderful to find new salvage uses for old things!


    PS…still hanging on to my silk orchid in its original incarnation, besides a few living green things. It’s really not THAT bad, and besides, when she and I do part ways, it will be to give it to someone else who needs a faux floral cheer. : )

  6. peter donegan MI Hort
    peter donegan MI Hort says:

    A Chara Ann,

    great to hear from ou again. Exciting! is not the word!! The boat is 1957 [??!] and its history varies extremely from person to person. It was in dry storage for approx 9-14 years [??!]. It was meant to be a restoration project as you can see [similar to the morris minor of no rubber soul, last years garden] but obviously the gentleman/ men never actually got there!

    I’m told it was on the River Shannon at one stage but i’m also told its not originally Irish. Again and with time some replacements – whilst still original parts but not those from the boat – have left the actual full story/ family tree in some doubt. Then again the Morris of last year was a similar story?!! However at the show a gentleman came up and told me it used to be his uncles! That really was a good day!!
    Ireland is still a very small place – as always Ann I’ll keep you posted.
    Great to hear the orchid id still alive, so to speak!

    slán go foill

  7. John Cribbin
    John Cribbin says:

    Ahoy Peter,
    Hope all is going well with the boat project, your are certainly thinking outside the box with this project.
    Looking forward to seeing the finnished project in the park.
    Let me know if you need any roll out lawn for the project.
    We have a stand in Bloom this year so I will meet you for a cup of coffee over the weekend.

    Keep on sailing.


  8. peter donegan MI Hort
    peter donegan MI Hort says:

    Very Funny John… !??

    I could ‘sea’ that one coming?!
    ah boxes are square and quite boring anyway John!

    For those of you who don’t know John manages a company called Summerhill Lawns. John grew the lawns specifically to our requirements for Bloom 2007 in the Phoenix Park and our ‘No Rubber – Soul’/ ‘car-den’ [car garden]garden and will do so again for Bloom 08.

    Funny thing is when I set up 7/ 8 years ago John was there and as you can gather still is… a pleasure mate and I thank you sincerely for everything.

    Genius John
    slán agus beannacht

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