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10 [Wo]Man Chores For Your Garden

garden works in progress (8)

Before you get thinking or reading the very little that I have written under each heading below, please note, these were all tasks that were all done in almost all cases as one part of a much bigger picture.

And though some may wonder the whole point of this post [?], well, it might just get you outside, in the garden, improving or removing something that for so long has got on your nerves or could look so much prettier. And that might just make you smile. And that’s a good thing. And then you might bake me a cake. And now we’re all smiling. And that’s even better.

Also it’s the little things that matter, or some such cliché. Also, of note there is a comment box thingy below should you have any Q’s. Go forth and make your garden better looking. You’ll thank me for it. Or maybe you won’t. Either or, enjoy 😉

donegan landscaping

1. Home Made Garden Planter

garden planters

I’ve made garden planters before for shops and offices and the like from ‘good’ woods. But at really short notice a good friend wanted a favour for a special occasion. With not a speck of hard wood in stock, I came up with the above. Pictured below is how it originally looked.

The key to this is very pretty planting on top to take the eye away from what merely serves as retaining compost beneath, painted black.

diy garden planters

2. Soil Replacing For Planting


A tiny but equally very important part of an overall landscaping project. The soil here right outside the front door was nothing but inherited hardcore with about maybe an inch of soil on top. Not in any way ideal for planting into. I chose to replace it with great soil.

Put simply, it would have been an entire waste of money planting into had I not done this. Also please, don’t go asking for cheap topsoil to replace, erm… cheap topsoil.


3. Over-Grown Rear Garden


More a space at the rear of a commercial building, than a garden. Here the minor problem was that parking to the road front was at a premium and access to the back was through the premises only. For varying reasons, the best value option was a semi permeable membrane and bark mulch. Far from the Taj Mahal I hear you say.

It’s a start. It’s an improvement. It’s not concrete. Baby steps better than no steps. Also, it will still require some maintenance, but for now it looks better and is a lot easier to manage.

weed control, dublin


4. No Garden Drainage


Again, here everything had to go through the house. More importantly regarding the end result, the soil inherited from the building boom was pure shite – there’s no other way to describe it and nothing new there.  Throw a dog in for good measure and some delightful Irish weather and you get this pictured above.

Budget wise and horticulturally the answer was not soil replacement. However a free draining surface was required and something that looked clean. The answer, a semi permeable membrane, some paved steppings to the rear of the garden and pebble.

pebble, back garden


5. No Manhole Access


As part of a garden completed recently, I nearly fell off my invisible stool when lifting up this deck I unearthed this man hole cover. Beneath, the connecting sewage outflow for 2 adjoining homes about 18″ below surface level.

Cover raised to surface level a scattering of pebble over allows very easy access to should and when it may be required. Worth watching out for if ever you are getting work done. Easily fixed with a saw and 2 lengths of wood.

note: you may now need to go buy man tools and yorkie bars.


6. Tree Roots

tree roots, dublin

I honestly believe you get what you pay for and so many times I’ve seen [for example] the Phyllostachis aurea confused with something a bizillion times less vigorous like the Fargesia; both commonly noted as bamboo.

In this garden it was very simply a case of too many badly chosen plants that got too damn big. Note: Big machine not always necessary. That said, the right tools for the right job.


7. Pallet Garden Furniture

Two pallets required. 12 screws. A hand saw. And some leftover paint if you have it. I could make this sound like it took longer, but that’s not necessary. Any Q’s or you hit a spot of bother, just ask or leave a comment below. A closer look…

Of note:

When going through the house, with 5 tonne of pebble or more, it generally works a little like so, below. Either that, or it goes over the house. 😉

works through a house


8. Make Your Own Gate

Better known as create-A-gate, this is as simple as it sounds. They cost about €150 depending and come with all of the various galvanised brackets and screws. Not a whole lot more is required other than a drill. Also Irish made and borne.

Note: [wo]man tools required. And another yorkie 😉


9. Lose That Old Garden Shed


I used to put these up when I was putting myself through hort college aged about 17. Top tip to remember is that they come down [and go up] as 4 sides, 2 parts to the roof and a base.

Again, there’s an element of buy once and buy right and also be prepared for the inevitable if you choose not to maintain it year on year.

Of note: there’s about a 2 week lead in on getting a new replacement shed from first placing your order.


10. Pretty Plant Up That Front Garden

planting, front garden

This above will take a little to come into its own, but the investment is more than well worth it.

Low maintenance, slower growing plants, flowering at varying months throughout the year. This season next year, it’ll be the friendliest happiest front garden on the go.

And that’s your lot for the moment.

Peter Donegan:

peter donegan garden

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