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.

building a garden in south africa [part 2]

south africa...

south africa...

 Most of you know my trip to South Africa is taking place this Thursday. Since my last post Dominic Loughran came as my guest to the ALCI awards and gave a fine, appropriate and very rousing speech. I was very proud to sit with him.

I also roped in genius my good pal freelance photographer Maura Hickey [applause!] to travel with me. Maura, like so many of us, has sponsored herself and given up her very valuable time to document & work as part of the garden build. I also gave Maura three weeks notice!?

Most of you know the company sponsored me so if you are donating or sponsoring me the money will go straight to the trust & will be most appreciated. To those of you who work with me, on any level, without you Peter Donegan Landscaping would not have been able to sponsor me, a representative of the company to go. You have already helped so much and again I applaud you. You should be very proud. As best as possible I’ll keep everyone up to date here.

Judges Comments On The Garden Maintenance Award

herbaceous borders

I received the Judges comments on the recent award winning garden today.

They said for exemplary standard of landscaping the judges’ commented on the Private Garden Landscaping [award of merit] & the Private Garden Maintenance [overall winning garden]

the work illustrates a consisted commitment to horticultural excellence in a restoration project that requires a keen understanding of the client’s requirements. The herbaceous beds in particular deserve special acclamation for their restrained but inventive interplay between colour and foliage texture.

Commenting further on Brackenstown House Estate the judges’ noted the award goes to this project because the judges…

…believe it demonstrates a discernible excellence in maintenance.

donegan gardens