I can only really buy seeds and the paraphernalia required in the same places as you. This week I bought [in woodies: i emailed them this post] mustard, pumpkin, carrott, sprouts, cabbage, brocoli, onion and sweetcorn.
I didn’t buy lettuce seeds because the man said: ‘did you see them there?’ ‘no, I couldn’t find any’ I said. ‘well then they must not be there?’ I said ‘I suppose you’re right…. thanks for being so helpful…’ and then he continued talking to his mate behind the counter. So I asked the girl on the cash register but I forgot [and she reminded me!] that ‘no I don’t do customer services…’
Anyhow; Fill the trays with compost. Pop two odd seeds into each plug cell. Don’t forget to label them! Drop into a sink and allow the water to be drawn up from the bottom. And wait for nature to take its course.
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 gardenis’ [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].
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].
I’m not really one for press releases to be honest but this is worthwhile. The next time your in Smithfield, count the amount of plants, trees or even windowboxes you see? Well some-body is trying to do somehing to change that for the better and dublin City Council deserve applause for it! Not just because i’m involved. I only got involved because I believe something needs to change and this spot is just one of millions of ‘building zones’ with little else but blocks… and more blocks!
Free stuff, markets, inspiration, people smiling, music, dancing and a whole bae of other stuff to brighten up your day – come on! and no there’s no cattle being sold.
Where? Smithfield Plaza
When? Saturday July 12th 2008 12.00 – 6.00pm
And here’s the press release bit:
Dublin City Council as part of their SUMMER IN DUBLIN programme of events are delighted to welcome back URBAN GARDEN to Smithfield. Following on the success of last year’s event Smithfield plaza will become a colourful animated civic space with urban gardening demonstrations, live performances including Barren Carousel’s Aerial Act, dancing butterflies, and talking flowers as well as Australian environmentalist Dale Treadwell’s ‘Life In Your Garden’ workshop.
The innovative, award winning landscape architect Peter Donegan will preside over gardening demonstrations throughout the afternoon sharing his thoughts and ideas on how to get the best out of our urban spaces including using quirky recycling household objects!
Dublin City Council’s Biodiversity Officer, Mairead Stack will also host informative and interactive workshops outlining how we can attract wildlife to our urban spaces and why bats play an important part in preserving the environment.
URBAN GARDEN is inspired by the changing face of our capital – where apartment living is becoming the norm URBAN GARDEN in association with Dublin City Council aims to add colour to outdoor spaces, engage communities and encourage people of all ages to start planting particularly in urban areas!
Smithfield will once again play host to this event as it has a tradition of markets and over recent years has gone through a dramatic urban renaissance. The event is free to members of the public.
“A great example of how a public event at Smithfield can add colour and fun and festivity. More please!!!” – (Urban Garden 2007)
For further information on URBAN GARDEN contact Grainne on 087 2846976.
For further information on SUMMER IN DUBLIN check out the Dublin City Council website www.dublincity.ie
The hedge.org is a voluntary group doing their bit. Their website has more links to relevant sites than you could shake a stick at [!] and brimmed with useful information. It also seems the local heritage councils have spent a few quid here too on grants to the various societies; and rightly so, they are so important.
That said, whilst it is maybe indirectly taxpayers money, it is theoretically free and beautiful! Put on those funky trainers, get outside with those old woolie warmers on you and watch nature changing around you. I love it!
Most of you will remember my herb garden from a few months back. It didn’t look much at the time – but – whlst I had been borrowing a bit hither dither for cooking.. I eventually had to crop the parsley, some chives and rhubarb. I ate all the blackberries.
The parsley I washed and let dry on tea towels over the weekend; then fine-ish chopped and jarred it. It not my preferred type of garnish [dried] but its better than the little bought dried stuff in jars. And its free now, it tastes better and it my crop gives the plant a little rest after its haircut.
The rhubarb – it wasn’t so much of a crop…. I had to move it temporarily so it had kind of a setback but, its ok now and I cropped it a little; that’ll be put in the freezer as will the chives. The strawberries – well I kind of ate them too.
More recently I have planted some apples; The varieties are ‘Johnagold’ [2 no.] and ‘winston’ [3 no.] both 10 litre pot size and for the Plum I chose the variety ‘Opal’ [5 no.] in a 10 litre pot size as well.
Doesn’t it make you so proud when you see it all – and that kettle is really tall!!
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