as it sounds

hedges – formal or informal

formal

formal

 If cutting nee maintaining fine lines of pristine planting isn’t for you then a formal hedge is not what you want. If however you like trimming or cutting from time to time and don’t mind ‘organised chaos’ then maybe you do! But a hedge as we [becoming elder] Irish know it, is something that requires looking after one sunny Saturday per year or so.

For the record and for clarity in this discussion please note the dictionary reference and definition: hedge n 1 a row of shrubs or bushes forming a boundary [source Collins English Dictionary]

informal...

informal...

If you do follow the dictionary (that I am so fond of reading) translation, then the logroll etched license interpretation that we inherited from the 1980’s becomes something delightfully and excitingly different. The science is that the internodal distance [distance between each set of buds] doesn’t really allow the plant to become ‘formal’ and so informality reigns though anti-symetric uneveness.

In theory if the correct horticultural decisions are made pre-planting then those hedge cutting fathers days can be spent on the golf course or playing croquet rather than bringing green waste to landfill. To clarify, all plants require some maintenance – just not as much, as often or as costly of your time or someone elses. In this day and age they can be bought in as established or mature plants. The two informal hedges above are one year old – to its new owners.

rootballs, bare roots & whips

tree planting

tree planting

All across Ireland on motorways, farmland and construction sites planting is taking place – but time waits for no man, to plant. Some say winter is the quite period for landscaping – I don’t really agree.

There are exceptions to every rule but in general, plants [bare roots/ whips] are dormant in winter. This allows, within reason the plant to be lifted out of the ground and planted without too many concerns apart from keeping the wind from the roots and/ or preventing them drying out. Because the plant it is lifted and sold [no potting] no added maintenance, costs can be reduced […there are exceptions].

There is one thing to remember – most bare roots and whips are native Irish so if you’ve been following my articles on design, you’ll know you pretty much need a large garden if you wish to buy in larger numbers – or else you’re a big bonsai fanatic! Native Irish [in my Moms language] meaning they’ll generally grow over 30′ tall. If you live near Griffith Avenue, you can have them but be sure you know what you’re buying – intelligent horticultural purchasing is required here.

If you dont fancy maintaining a matching hedge of beech [fagus sylvatica], a row mountain ash trees[fraxinus cvs] or a few specimen hollys [ilex cvs] then you can plant pretty much anytime you want, with anything. Now you must decide if you want formal or informal.

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building a[another] garden in south africa [4]

the team...

the team...

 these are just some of the amazing people [sorry garden of hope ladies but it’s the only pic I have at the moment] who were involved in the garden that was built in South Africa. In the centre [wearing the brown hat] is Dominic Loughran who designed the wonderful garden and the person who also introduced and convinced [easily] me to make the trip with the Niall Mellon Township.

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Whilst the garden was a fine part of the freedom park township challenge it was not the only part and I believe 2008 will see 2008 people travel to South Africa [interested? – click here]. Some people have called me wondering if they would be of benefit to the trust and I proudly tell them that I did a stint helping the good people of the painting team, the plasterers & even the lads who put in the ceilings! Believe me your help will benefit people who need it. I was just so proud to be there.

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The garden is where my heart has always been as discussed in previous posts – but I must admit now that I am just so proud to have met so many wonderful people and to know that as 1 of 1500 people, every person made a difference.

To those of you who donated money to the charity because of knowing me. Thank you. I’m sorry it took so long for me to get the pictures up so you could see what the team and your money did. No matter the amount it was well spent and once again it made a difference.

the media frenzy…

peter donegan television

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After receiving our second & third awards both as designer and contractor this year, RTE’s Capital d did a show including the much celebrated and historical Brackenstown House Gardens. It’s our second time on the show this year and I know I was asked to put this up some time ago. You can watch it here and I’m really sorry for the delay.

Brackenstown House also featured in Thursdays Irish Times last week but as usual it was sold out. If anyone has a copy that would be great. It always nice to know what was said.

Whilst the media does play a great role in my work, when I have appeared it’s been for my designs or my writing for publications, only. I think I’d prefer if media frenzies were kept relation to my ability to design gardens for the moment anyway. I don’t think I or the world is ready for my personal life on tv [or my sense of humour] just yet! The last capital d show apparently allows some insight into my mind, I’m told & disagree… but good luck getting lost in there! enjoy.

building a garden in south africa [3]

Everything is going really well in Cape Town. For the people of this township and the 1500 volunteers involved, it is an emotional event and one I am so proud to be part of. My previous articles on this blog will give a little more insight.

We arrived late on Friday due to Monarch airlines most contrary organisation knowing little of what reaity was about to hit us. But it was a visit to a shack owned by a lady due to move into one of the new homes that instilled inspration with full reasoning into the hearts of every volunteer. I know I cried. I know I wasn’t alone. It wasn’t bad, more a positive tear that made me fully understand why Niall Mellon does what he does and why. I also now know why this is the largest people movement, for charitable reasons, since world war 2 to help another country and around 1400 are Irish. Proud is an understatement.

Honestly, if I could get those of us Irish besotted by interest rates and celtic tiger property prices to visit here [?!??] one might just realise how precious life is and how miniscule our troubles really are. To have left families, businesses, money aside and country to help another who needs it so much more is angelic but to build 200 homes each painted, with a solar panel and a community garden surprisingly in just seven days is truly miraculous.

If you saw what I have seen, you would understand why I and the other 1499 people get applauded and welcomed everyday we go to work. Tear-jerker, you better believe it! I’m beginning to think I have a feminine side…. We also are cheered and thanked on our way home. Amazing. Any slight upsets since I got here [click here]? No. I love every second and I thank whatever religion one may pray to that Dominc Loughran made me realise that my horticulture could make tears come to many a grown mans eyes.