casino royal, the pink boat & electric picnic

The casino royal boat has an amazing story. Why didn’t I use it, to my [possible] advantage? The boat was a ruin. Inside-less, sideless & due to be dumped. Could I/it ever have been fully restored – no.

It was next to consider could I give it *any* use other than a skip? yes.

The question now was how does one restore the boat – to a use. The timber replacing the gaping holes would never look right. Pink was the obvious choice. It was perfect. I wanted recycling to come out of the doldrums and to be seen by young an old as something not of a rhetoric ‘wellies and cabbage patches’ of The Good Life style tv days of old. We did that. Not accepted by the Judges of Bloom or the horticultural critics… but that wasn’t the intention [ie. medals].

The pink boat became a part of my garden design for Bloom 2008 ‘pour l’amour de jeux’. A fully recycled recylable garden. Something not for the cricket judges, but for the people – a ‘show’ garden.

The problem was we had no home for the boat after. We had no sponsor [this also upset the Judges, i’m sure]. We couldn’t afford to move it again and it would have been ‘immoral’ to smash it up and put it to landfill.

The pleas went out on 2fm courtesy of Rick O shea. It was never for the money as I think you can gather by now. Hence the name – translated as ‘for a love of the game’, the reason why I put an entire company almost to financial ruin. Some critics say attention seeking – I say it would have been cheaper to put my face on billboards all over Dublin City for a year… it would. Electric Picnic were all of the right answers. It was a boat I’d got free. They took it free. They gave 2 tickets to me and 2 to auction. I outbid the highest bidder.

The casino royal bit – I knew. All involved did. At Bloom, I met a lovely guy Bill and his wife Ann at the show. Bill was a boat builder by profession. He was contracted to rebuild ‘casino royal’ all those years ago. The name had to be erased. The guy who contracted Bill went broke and the boat stayed in storage already stripped, empty and getting worse. In the meantime the name had to be removed [legally] from the boat… and it was.

A letter from Ann after the show explained:

Of course the name has been erased from the boat because of copyright. Once the film was made, it was then only permitted the use of “Casino Royale”

This is what electric Picnic says on their website:

11). ‘Casino Royal’ Boat – donated by Peter Donegan
The 1957 Royal Cruiser Mark II is reported to have been originally christened Casino Royale and allegedly featured in the James Bond movie of the same name in 1967.

Fast forward to 2008 Peter Donegan gives it it’s inaugural land trip to the Bloom Festival where it featured, freshly painted pink (“to make people smile”) in his fully recyclable garden that he designed & landscaped for the festival. Wanting to find a good home for it after the festival he launched a national campaign on 2FM which is when we heard of it and were happy to adopt it in exchange for some festival tickets which were auctioned for the Niall Mellon Township Trust www.irishtownship.com where they hope to build a Garden of Hope community garden.

That said it all still comes down to a very large list to whom I still say thank you.

All Posts related post and the Pink Boat Story can be found here.

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silicon republic review…

peter donegan landscaping weblog

irelands very own silicon republic

I started ‘blogging’ around October last year. I blog passionately. I try to. I never really worried too much about what I wrote – as long as it was from my heart. I hope[d] this [would] shine through.

I never for one minute expected that my experiences of ‘my’ horticultural world would be reviewed [?] by Irelands Technology News Service – Silicon Republic – and the great writings of Marie Boran [It was never my intention].

This, to me, is like my very own little oscar. A big deal for 5 horticulturalist in a meeting this morn! It’s not a blog award. It’s not a blog post award. It’s not an award. It is for a horticulturalist. It is to be posted on the notice board in the office – possibly even framed! It is more than an award, to me. Thank you Silicon republic. Here’s what Marie [flowers are on the way] thought:

Move over Diarmuid Gavin! Peter Donegan is a complete gardening nut and blogs religiously on the topic. It is obvious from this blog that it is not just his profession but his passion.

I particularly love the post where he tells us about his deep-rooted (no pun intended) love of gardening, which started with the growing of bulbs under his bed at the tender age of four!

There is something wonderfully captivating about holding in your hand the power of life within a tiny seed and having the responsibility to nurture this living thing. Unfortunately, I bored easily as a child and was apt to let my precious plant die.

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an oldie but a goldie…

this was around the time of bloom ’07 [click here] and was a feature done for Capital D featured on rte. This was so much fun…. [I think it was my first time on the tiny screen]

selfbuild magazine, garden time…

selfbuild ireland magazine - peter doneganThis magazine is really good. I like writing for them. In fact I’d have to say my editor Gillian is really cool too! Is that unusual? That said I enjoyed writing this article. Check out the exclamation marks and you’ll understand why!!

This article for Selfbuild is in summary:

Trees are your best antiques

Working from a blank canvass is not alway the best approach to a site. Don’t rip up what could be a valuable asset and learn how to invest in antiques for the future

Just pop into any good bookstore if you want a free read to grab yourself a copy. Enjoy!

Considering the hours, effort and mental anguish that go into the design of your new home, it is extraordinary that the exact opposite is true of the garden and wider surroundings. Most of us give it a passing thought, amounting to not much more than remembering to ask the digger driver to cut a swathe through the mud up to the front door, to be lined with concrete edging and covered with tar later.

Whilst the main thrust of environmental legislation is concerned with energy conservation, there is an increasing requirement to pay attention to the surroundings in two ways. Firstly, to do as little damage as possible to intrinsic features and wildlife and secondly, to create a setting that enhances what is there and helps to blend the new house in with the landscape.

Investing a minimum of 3% of the value of your house on your garden should add approximately 10% – 13% to the value of your home, so read on!

The logical suggestion is to allow for the garden within the entire building budget, and like your house, it can be priced and scheduled prior to work beginning on site. The trouble is, that rarely happens. The ‘oirish’ way, outside of the building budget, used to be to build the house and ‘throw down a bit of seed’. But this is changing. We as a nation now spend over €2.33 billion annually on horticultural products and services. So, is it not rational that the garden receives the same attention as the house itself?

The Landscape Designer

A landscape designer will charge for their design, and also a percentage fee to oversee. Designs will be detailed and will come with a planting plan, complete with a visual impression of what you can expect to see. It is important to let your landscape designer know how much time you wish to devote to it and what gardening tasks you are willing to undertake. No less important is ensuring that your requirements are met, in order to avoid the planting of your designer’s very own memorial. The first step is to get a cost estimate for the landscaping of this wonderful design before you pay for the actual drawings; otherwise you might end up with a very expensive piece of paper that will never become a reality.

The Landscape Contractor

Landscape contractors provide a design and landscaping service. A reputable firm is likely to charge for a consultation, but this is a wise investment, you are paying for a professional service to help you to design the garden. Given the importance of this element to the success of the whole project, the design, build and budget should all be as agreed with you. “Approximate” and “estimate” are not words you want to hear being used. If, on the other hand, you know of work done by the contractor and feel comfortable that they will produce a suitable final scheme, you could start with a rough ‘outline overview sketch’ of what the garden will look like, on headed paper, saving you the cost of the full design service. This should suffice, with a little vision and trust on your part.

Remember! Only use a contractor from a registered list! The association has a rigorous vetting procedure and ensures that all members meet strict guidelines. This also eliminates the rogue trader, the cheaper quotation and the tears that might result from a possible ‘rogue-contractor’. Ensure that your landscape consultant has a qualification in horticulture.

Planning

The site assessment with your Planning Application is a look at how your house will affect its natural surroundings and what you intend to do to ensure that it does not look out of place within its habitat, by planning additional planting. Whilst this is something that is a requirement more often for sites in rural areas, the site map will possibly require you to show what you intend to do with the existing hedges, stone walls, trees and shrubs. Certain species of plants and wildlife are protected, whilst trees are a particularly emotive issue to which we will return later. Very often, as a condition of Outline Approval, the natural features must be maintained. Additionally, building materials should not be stored on the root crown area of the tree and you are likely to be asked to re-plant if shrubs and trees are removed in order to build.

The extent to which you will be required to do the above very much depends upon the attitude of your local council and the area in which you are building. It is however an aspect that should be covered by your architect, preferably working with a landscape architect, before your Planning application is submitted.

Tree preservation orders are increasingly being issued as trees are rightly seen as being central to the character of the landscape, at the same time there is a desire to maintain indigenous species. Taking a tree survey as an example demonstrates the range and depth of information that can be obtained; it can sometimes read more like a medical chart! A tree survey should only be compiled, via your architect, by a suitably qualified arborist [in theory a registered tree doctor] or horticulturist. It’s an outlay that you probably haven’t thought to budget for, but it is an investment in your house in exactly the same way that you are paying your architect. The cost will depend on the complexity of the site but will not include a landscaping schedule; that is a separate piece of work. Remember that this is a professional service and one that will pay dividends in the final look of both house and setting.

Below is an outline of what a tree survey covers:

Introduction

To include brief details of all other significant vegetation, for example hedgerows, a general commentary on tree related problems, tree measurements (which because of their shape will be approximate) and the suitability of trees for retention, but not their history.

The time of year will have a bearing on the above as some signs symptomatic of ill health within a tree may not be obvious in certain seasons any conditions Ivy can also obscure defects and ill health.

The Survey

This will cover the age, from established through to senile, the condition, from good to dead, height and spread including the canopy separately. It accompanies a description of the site based on a scale drawing.

Trees are sorted into categories ranging from A being a tree of outstanding merit to C, one which is dead, dying or dangerous and which should be removed.

The action to be taken covers:

Clean out – removing anything detrimental to the tree’s health, including dead and broken branches.

Crown thin – removing living branches to reduce the weight of the crown and thus resistance to wind, admit more light and improve air circulation.

Crown reduction – shortening the canopy limbs.

Remove dead wood – pruning all dead and diseased branches.

Address imbalance – as the result of deformed growth trees develop an imbalanced crown system. This may not be important except where the imbalance lies towards the house, road or pathway.

Conclusion

The report finishes with a section covering the overall and general future management of the trees and site factors influencing this.

The above is a very detailed survey, but it does demonstrate the extent of the information you can obtain. It’s an informed approach providing the best possible outcome for your trees, which could result in saving the tree – and the expense of removing and replanting.

As always when employing anyone, it’s best to contact a recognised and reputable trade association and choose a registered company with a track record in this sector. Whilst a local gardener or college graduate may be knowledgeable, this is not something for the faint hearted and a legal document is really what is required.

Prepared in association with Peter Donegan Landscaping Ltd., Co Dublin 01-807-8712 Mobile: 087-659-4688 www.doneganlandscaping.com

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Talking Gardens on your Radio – 103.2fm

garden talk on the radio - peter doneganToday 10.15am – 11am [approx] I will be on Dublin City fm 103.2 on your radio dial – for those of you with a computer click here and click listen. I will be on the Good morning show which you can also email… easy!

Of course the last time I was on the radio was with Rick, but then I was giving something [little] away!

[If you use firefox – click here]

If you dont like that of cours you could always watch the chickens!