All Posts Gardens by Peter Donegan Garden Design

Private Garden Landscaping: Swords, Co. Dublin

swords dublin landscaping

Of note: garden build completed late December 2014

It may be, a little naive of me to publish images of gardens made by Peter Donegan in their over wintering state. I say may be. Logically, all of the gardens I create are good and great, of course; but here I refer solely to the photograph of the garden and [again] here, it is quite visible to see that the trees are leafless etc and I guess it doesn’t paint the full complete picture, in its finest hour.

As I noted, it is a brand new garden and quite young by way of planting. And with that and season in mind; this is as naked, or as bad [?] as it can possibly look.

Based on that I was a little hesitant to post this garden here, but some suggested that it would be honest, or even refreshing to see December made garden images – its not the done thing for a professional landscaping company – whilst others noted that maybe I’m being a bit harsh on myself. I think I’ll leave that for you to decide and, I haven’t really thought about that too much.

swords dublin landscaping

The reality is this is not a show garden – to clarify – a garden that is built as a stage for 5 days only. And in reality [again] the new owner must like this, their new garden for 12 months of the year, every year – not just in the summer months. And that, that loving it all year round part – that comes down to very good design, good plant choice and great planning. A little like you, gardens in mind…. seeing me in a tuxedo and thinking he’s a handsome fellow. But should we live together, for ever and ever…. you’d quickly find out that that is not the attire I might wear whilst I eat my porridge or bring you up a cup of coffee in the mornings and kiss you gently… or make your garden. Even though it is what first attracted you to me; or in this case to a garden I made. If that makes sense. Does that make sense ? I hope it makes sense. It should….

And back to all things great outdoors….. some before garden images ?

The brief on this garden was in short to make it feel like home. More than that, it was to look like it had already existed there, yet been very well maintained.

What existed pre Peter, was a congested grey and pink symmetrical very large dated patio [paving, or stone by its very nature a very cold surface] with a back drop of stone beds built with no foundation and grey walls that were not spirit level level [they rise at an angle] and the new walls were to be/ are and again, things would not feel right, even though you may not entirely understand why it felt incorrect. Also it is fair to note that the existing planting in short, made no sense at all.

By the clients [I hate that word] wish, the layout of the peripheral beds were be reduced in size – this, resulting in a reduction of approximately 1 metre along the right hand side and along the back by about 3 metres – and were to totally change in finish height and layout. Again, a new garden. Note change in levels, heights and capping finishes. Continuing on….

Existing patio and its base [if you may call it that…] out, entirely; slabs to be reused cleaned off; all existing stone walls out; removal of about 7 tonnes of soil; build of brand new foundations, double block high [single prior to] and capped walls; soil levelled; plants chosen by hand and planting; a hand made timber screen to the bin/ services area; a new base for an intended glass house and the painting of the walls and out building and a new rolled lawn. And breath…. Did I leave anything out ? Possibly. Obviously there’s a little more to it than that, I know.

In reality there’s only one thing that really matters about this garden; and it is the reason why I utterly love what it is that I do; and that is that something I made made somebody else smile. And that, that smiling thing as I explain to wee 4 year old smElla is so very very beautiful.

Any thoughts or Q’s [?] leave a comment below or drop me a line.

Peter Donegan:

peter donegan, kevin rowe, david laird

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