Peter Donegan, landscaping dublin, garden design

finding inspiration…

If garden making and the design of was only considered business, I’d never be inspired…. sometimes i think we simply need to stop [a little more…] and take a look around. Isn’t this a wonderfully beautiful country we live in….

This is Enniscorthy in Wexford.

picture perfect lawns…?

The grass title maybe misleading. Need advice? [click here]. I may have constructed unusual lawns, [topographically] but never seen anything like this. Thanks to Will who got it from brandflakesforbreakfast who got it from this guy.

lawns wimbledon different peter donegan

Lawn care enthusiasts take note — it’ll take more than a riding mower and a thrice-daily waterings (for shame) to outshine artists Heather Ackroyd and Dan Harvey this summer.

The pair have perfected their talent for manipulating the light sensitivity of ordinary grass. Black and white negatives are projected onto the grass, 12 hours per day, for over a week as the grass grows in a dark room. Different blades get different exposure and the results are photographs, like the recent Wimbledon portraits shown above.

Find more of their grassy experiments at this gallery at Arts Admin.

have you ever wondered

wondering in your garden?have you ever wondered in your garden, lying down looking at the sky. Life bustling somewhere, nature surrounding you…

A truly amazing feeling.

budget + designer = hot air??

hot air balloons and the great oudoorsI written many times about low budget gardening or gardening on [what you may consider to be] a low budget.

Although not unusual, sometimes *it is* a case where the client cannot see what the end result will be. This is the first usual when one does not wish to employ a full design service.

A quick outline sketch? will not [usually] sell it to you. So what will? This is where it gets tough.. not for me I can see it in my head. But for you, the client.

Like a wedding planner, a web designer [eg.] or any other service, I firmly believe one must *trust* the person they [you] empower to spend *your money* wisely – and there lies the first principle.

You may never be able to visualise your garden – but do you trust in me. Do you believe that what I say will be. At some stage you will have to. No amount of pencil lines can describe a feeling and no tree is ever exactly the same.

ROUND TWO: I want a ferrari. I don’t personally – I also know I can’t afford one. You know this too.

Client: we want two ferrari’s, a porsche and and and…

Designer: that’ll be two euro please

Client: Gees, you’re very expensive!

Designer: hmmm….

peter donegan landscaping ltd dublin

Is it not better to say we’re thinking of getting a car. We have around [eg] 100 euros – what do you think? Is that not where experience will start to pay off? It is never the amount of money that you have that will make a garden great. it is what you do with it.

Two examples: First – The Rolling Stones [great band by the way] on CD double album or on vinyl 2nd hand. Which is cheaper & which is better? Secondly – My garden for Bloom 2007 with the morris minor. Could that be visualised by you? It was the ultimate in recycling, it was free and pretty cool! Would you have bought it – before you saw the garden complete?

Small gardens or large. All the money in the world or not. The best gardens are always built with passion, the amount of money is secondary tertiary. All relationships are built on trust. No matter how long a duration or the basis & reasoning they are founded. It may be a garden. It may be a marraige. But if trust exists between a client and the designer/ contractor from the very start… life for that duration and the final outcome of something that will be so personal [ie *your* garden] to you will shine through.

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Small Gardens – good design

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The key to ‘good’ small garden design is to make the most of your small space or to make it look as big as possible.

The first step in this is to eliminate symmetry ‘that can tell me how big your garden is’ [by just looking at it from a window] and also to use the brightest colours possible to increase light movement and therefore enhance the feeling of space and movement around you.

Consider it a little like a bathroom [?!!] ie. a small space. The smaller the space the smaller the tile, the brighter the colour and also the brighter and airy it becomes!

The second step is to ensure that the distance between fixed features and/ or hard surfaces is that of a meandering nature ie. it takes ‘time’ to get there visually or they fade to the background so as not to take precedence over those things that give a sense of distance [ie. black/ dark].

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Be careful not to want to cram too much into that space. I know you might not like white; or you want a water feature or decking and ‘I want and I want….. and can we not?’ – the answer is always ‘but of course!’ But if the question is how do I best spend my budget to get the maximum return [both monetary and aesthetically] then you may feel it a good idea to take an experienced garden designers advice. That said client is king! I always suggest that for my free advice I can always give you a full refund!!

At the end of the day – gardens should be fun and the process for both me as a designer and also for the client should be one not of stress but of excitement. I know I have spoke about costs before but generally speaking [in conversation with a fellow garden designer yesterday] one should allow about €100 per square metre not inclusive of ‘fancy stuff’.

Consider it a little like buying a car. Can you buy one for a five hundred euro ? would you?

Other information on garden design:

If it’s not on this list. You can leave a comment and ask or take a browse through the categories list [over there on your right].

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