There are only two things that matter when making any great garden – What the client [I hate that word…] wants and equally as important the end result. In short, whilst I would love, that every garden is a Peter Donegan memorial, the reality of how happier I have made someone because of their new space outside kicks in in two parts: the minute I finish and handover the picture perfect postcard garden. And secondly in the months and years after I am gone.
In the non-cheesiest way of saying, it is a real honour to get to make people smile because of what I do, but that latter happiness factor requires much smart thinking and it is only then that you really notice, horticulturally what you have [I guess] paid for.
That aside, I could not have wished for nicer people to create this garden for and that very simply makes my work and this northside Dublin garden just that extra little bit sweeter.
Wanna see what it looked like before hand ?
And so phase 1 was the removal of what was not required. Which was pretty much everything, that can be summised as an overgrown mass of green with a deck. No offence. What I wanted it become was a bright airy [note: simplistic, in a sense] spacious relaxing room in the great outdoors – the opposite of what it was before hand; and the reason I guess it was being [un/re] done.
In the how it would feel department – I wanted it to feel like it had been there for some time, yet extremely well maintained. I wanted people to walk into the home and without even thinking, just wander out doors into the garden and stay there. And then have people ask ‘where did Jim get to’ or, ‘what took you so long’, because without even thinking they stayed too long[er] and unwound and relaxed, but yet they didn’t entirely know why. Like the time you went out for ‘the one’ with Mary [or Jim ?] and found yourself strolling out of Bruxelles at 3am and down Grafton Street, trying to type ‘Sorry….’ into your phone.
Sorty. I’m Sozzy. Really Soggy. I’m really Sammy. You had to be there…. It’s all good 😉
Back to gardens, and as noted in the opening paragraph the main thing to remember here is that the new garden is not owned by a team of horticulturists and that in mind the chosen planting is really quite smart in its thinking and layout. Again, the after Peter is gone factor comes into play here.
In my plant selecting Crocosmia lucifer, Primula vialii, Acer palmatum Sango Kaku and Penstemons are just some of them that play a role, but overall my thinking was minimal growth per annum meets a mixture of scent, colour, evergreen and flowering with a little herbaceous thrown in for good measure. And the layout is such that [again] a planted bed separates the patio [sandstone with a granite cobble surround] from the main lawn; just enough to make getting up off that chair a little more of a challenge and your want to stay longer than you had intended that little greater.
Client. Happy Peter. Happy.
Update – these pics in from Paul. He owns the new garden. And he says:
Hi Peter ! A few pics with the furniture ! The Show house touch 😉
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