bloom 2008 [4] – garden design is fun?

Friday 4th April saw a host of garden designers meet at the site where the bloom show gardens will be built. If you are near the visitor centre in the peoples park, the garden will be sited just in front of the playground and next to the walled garden of last years Bloom.

So how is it going since I last posted? Well, mixed feelings on my part to be truly honest. Akin to an emotional rollercoaster….! In saying that, the people working with me are truly the finest in this small island I am blessed to live on. Gormleys with Paddy Campbell [and thank you V.!] have hand crafted a sculpt especially for the show which came in from Florence last week. Paddy named it La principessa e la Rana. She is truly magnificient and glorius!

The Gentlemen of Whitten’s Road Haulage in Offaly are booked to deliver on May 8th 2008, the day we start to build our garden, Pour L’amour de Jeux. John tells me we may need a Police escort to the park […now that made me smile!] and although he will have to come down the night before to load the boat [it takes about 4 hours to load it depending and it may take about six hours to unload] – once again it is the people by my side who are really building this garden. As a by the way, we are still without a sponsor!

And with that in mind the Atfar Constuction civil engineering team are booked to manage the sinking placing of the boat before Whittens arive!! With the help of some of the greatest minds of this country, a garden that started as a sort of a “imagine if we did ….” which turned into a sort of “I dare ya…” is almost there. I’m getting used to it now after Bloom 2007 and the No Rubber Soul Car-Den [car garden]

Some say it career threatening? Some have said it’s completely moronish? Some say it is inspirational? The truth is it is simply a garden for whch the equation should at all times result in a persons smile. Criticism accepted, opinions all appreciated – the question still remains for you to answer – is gardening & garden design fun? You better believe it!

8 replies
  1. Ann Shea
    Ann Shea says:

    Very lovely sculpture by Paddy Campbell…graceful, serene with a touch of whimsey! Is the frog really a prince?

    And WOW that pink POPS!

    Can’t wait to see more installments.


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

    A Chara Ann,

    Paddys sculpt is absolutely amazing sculpted from a solid piece of marble. Re: is the frog really a prince…. I think thats probably a question all four of my sisters asked at one stage!!

    re: Pink – but did it make you smile?!! and I know you wont see the garden in its entirety until the show but – sow far so good??

    re: installments – looking forward to your response!!

    have a happy wednesday!

  3. Paddy O'Hanlon
    Paddy O'Hanlon says:

    The sculpture is beautiful, congrats Paddy and Peter.

    Is it true there will be a poker table set up in the boat?

    If you’re looking for a crew to tux it up and play for the show I know a couple of very interested people, very good hold’em players too 🙂

  4. Ann Shea
    Ann Shea says:

    A Chara Peter,

    Apologies for letting silly stuff intervene between my visits at this virtual Eden.

    Haven’t forgotten about your question about the POPPIN’ PINK! Initially I was, I confess, a bit shocked. But the more I thought about it, I realized it was probably the ONLY color that would work. The rest would make the whole project mundane, and just another discarded boat. And all of your projects come to such a beautiful culmination, I have complete and utter faith in the color. Now, down the road, if the pink pales (sorry, I always think of the force of our tropical sun here), you could consider letting some Creeping Fig (Ficus pumila) grace the boat. Is that what they use for topiary? Ha! When I was a kid, my best friend and I actually fertilized the local kudzu in an attempt to camouflage an old shack we’d discovered in the grounds nearby her house (this was in North Carolina, near where they kept slaves in the day).

    But going back to the pink, I do think it would marry the shock value of the pink to the greens if you could find something blooming at the time to mirror the same hue. Maybe some New Guinea impatiens? And maybe some ivy to trail down the sides? Just thoughts. I can’t wait to see some pictures of the progress.

    Regarding the wood burning apparatus, I have a friend who works for a company in Uruguay who manufactures wood pellets that are mostly exported to Europe for clean burning fuel…always wondered if they smelled nice when burned?


  5. peter donegan MI Hort
    peter donegan MI Hort says:


    good to have you back Ann – re the plants; I assume you’ve never experienced Irish weather!!! this country could ensure some plants extinct within one day… even in the summer. In fact at this moment we are 15.4 celcius and I can count on one hand how many trees have venured an attempt to leaf!!

    re the wood chips – I just found it slighly contradictory that I would do my bit for the environment by burning wood pellets but cancel this out by buying those ‘driven’ all the way from canada.

    to be onest I miss the old open fire but when I do the blog on how I heat the office – you’ll see what I’ll use to replace that.

    the sculpt is amazing – truly. and with thanks to the genius od Paddy Campbell and the staff at Gormleys that this has been made possible.

    re the poker table – no! ‘like most man of genius he needed to constantly to occupy his mind’ said Freud of Da Vinci – I fear I can often over indulge on the over-occupation of mine!!!

    great to hear from you both again.
    slán go foill

  6. soulseeking
    soulseeking says:

    Hey Peter,

    Actually, I did once get to enjoy Irish weather, but I think the sunshine followed me over. I even took a dip in the briny (would that have been the Irish Sea, I wonder?…it’s been eons and I’m geographically challenged in typical Yankee style) which was COLD as I remember, on a sail to Shirken Island.

    But yes, I’m ignorant as to your plant selection, and I know it will be beautiful, and I know I have to be patient as all is under wraps for the moment.

    Now I can’t believe you’re still lacking a sponsor. What about some of your larger suppliers?

    I need to get up to speed and move to some of your more recent entries…sorry to keep muddling ’round here.


  7. peter donegan MI Hort
    peter donegan MI Hort says:

    Hi Ann,

    ah Shirken – just off west Cork! one of the many beautiful places in this little coutry. It should have been freezing?!!

    Re: sponsor – not a bother – the reason for the garden build is as the title suggests ‘Pour L’amour de Jeux’ – for a love of the game!and I am so greatful to the people I work with for all they are doing for me… a lot of them not in the horticultrural trade at all – I think we are working with about fifteen different companies [wahay! as I listen to the radio….sunderland 2 mddlesborough 1 – well done Chopra come on sund-ireland!!… eh sorry..]. Seriously Ann its not to do with money and everyone ha been absolutely brilliant and so kind to me. I am so proud and smiling from ear to ear.

    As I said before it is a garden show – and my role I suppose as part of that is to give the visitor reason to smile – take some criticism, some abuse, some laughs and possibly some compliments…all par for the course!!! but as long as I make the paying punter smile I’m happy.

    The big move will be interesting with the boat travelling across our ‘motorway’….
    great to hear from you again – looking forward to seeig you again

    have an inspirational weekend and enjoy!!
    slán agus beannacht

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  1. […] peter donegan MI Hort  I recently got the wood chip pellet boiler installed with thanks to the [Atfar Construction team – again!]. To my amazement I could buy wood chip pellets as easy as a bag of coal. Thats good… […]

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