Multyfarnham Country Fair – April 17th 2011

The Multyfarnham Country Fair takes place Sunday 17th April 2011.

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The audio is with thanks to Anne O’Hara of Mornington House who has featured on the garden blog before and also on the garden radio show.

Not to be confused with The Multyfarnham Field Day, there will be a stall raising funds for the Community Hospice but otherwise it’s all private enterprise.

Never heard of Multyfarnham before ?

Multyfarnhamor in Irish – Muilte Farannáin, meaning Farannain’s mills is one of the most beautiful parts of Ireland I have ever visited. The town first came up on my radar whilst I was studying horticulture in Kildalton [Piltown, Co. Kilkenny]. Multyfarnham had an agricultural college and in the pre-google-able days of old, there weren’t [even fewer today] too many of them about.

I was thinking to myself that some may read fondly this post, in the sense that it may be nice to go to the Country Fair, but they may also be thinking would it fill or be worth a day trip there ?

Wikipedia tells me this much which may just change your mind for the better:

The Irish Franciscan friars (O.F.M.) still maintain a presence in the ancient monastery here which was founded in 1268. During the Tudor reconquest of Ireland (the Nine years War) it was raided six times and twice burnt out by the Crown forces battling the forces of the ‘Irish of Meath’. In 1646, there were 30 friars in residence here. By the middle of era of the Penal Laws there were as few as seven friars, five of whom were of advanced age. The church was unroofed from 1651 and remained so until to 1827. In 1839 a new friary was rebuilt in the grounds. The Franciscan College, Multyfarnham was opened in 1899. There were four pupils enrolled for the first year. This school later became an recognised Agricultural College in 1956, and continued to teach until 2003.

Around the picturesque monastery grounds, among the lawns, around the church and the college buildings, there are 14 elaborate life size Stations of the Cross. This is a focal point for special devotions. It is regarded as one of the finest outdoor shrines in Ireland, and draws many tourists. The college is now used as an educational and seminar centre. It also hosts an arts centre.

Multyfarnham railway station opened on 8 November 1855 and finally closed on 17 June 1963. [It is now a private dwelling]

I like the picture Anne O’Hara paints in the audio. It makes me want to drop by and have afternoon tea and burn peat in the summer time whilst leaning over a half door in an arron sweater. The funny thing is, some talk about promoting Ireland and our greatest assets. Ireland for me was always about being in Dublin [for example] and finding or even better knowing, when your company didn’t, that The Winding Stair Bookshop also had really great coffee. It was knowing the best trad session is in Ballyboughal and knowing it is worth the journey. More than that and to quote Anne:

It was when the community came together…. and you do it for the fair rather than on an ongoing commercial basis

To the bit as to why it appears on the gardeners weblog, like I said before if this encourages you to see a little of Ireland and its great outdoors. Maybe you might just ask Anne how she makes her chutneys. Put that into a calculator and press the square root button. The answer of which will necessitate the planting of an apple tree 😉  Maybe you might just pop by and see Mornington House & gardens. If you do… be sure and tell Anne and Warwick I said hello.

That reminds me…. been too long since I was at Locke’s Distillery ahem… of course I mean Tullynally Castle Gardens 😉

Sonairte Potato Day – Sunday 6th March 2011

Sunday 6th March 2011 saw me head with fellow spud lover Tricia Sheehy Skeffington to Sonairte in Co. Meath. I’ve been there before, many many times and Sunday is supposed to be my day off, but I just couldn’t resist when I heard what was on offer.

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I met many wonderful people there and want to save and savour some of the audio, particularly the chat I had with the wonderful Laura Turner, were it is one might say of greater interest for The SodShow this Friday.

But the day was a lot more than just the 100 plus varieties of potato on show. It was a lot of listening and watching and learning.

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I also met the gentleman, gardener and potato expert that is Dermot Carey who was responsible for the largest Irish private collection of potatoes still grown in Lisssadell House. Dermot was also doing working demonstrations on the lazy bed method of growing.

Another great Sonairte day out for €3. I also bought some spud seed and some [more] onion sets.

For more information check out www.sonairte.ie and don’t forget to tune into The SodShow this Friday to hear my chat with Laura. Well done Sonairte and thanks Tricia. Really Enjoyed that 🙂

Display Gardens & Garden Exhibits

Does your garden attract the right attention for you and your business… ?

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Requests vary from real and permanent gardens created to fit a particular shop face or business premise for a little extra added or just the right attention – to themes of a more temporary and variant nature.

Client sometimes wish to add a slightly different route to achieve and attract that greater amount of PR and media for their product, clients theme or business launch.

Whilst some choose to install their uniquely themed garden permanently, for others the benefits of display and exhibition gardens are that they can be created largely off site and slotted together within the time frame allowed on site and to suit you and/or your clients budget and theme as it changes. The ‘garden installation’ can also be easily dismantled, should you wish and removed after your event or launch.

There are many other means in which I have used gardens to promote a Client or sponsors product or service. The weblog and podcast makes it easier now to catalogue and are used to great advantage, but here are three examples a little more recent and that little bit different that may just allow your mind to wander.

1. The Green Up Smithfield Garden:

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Designed and built for the Smithfield Festival in Dublin. This garden installation took just one day to put together on site. Smithfield itself is an entirely cobbled area of Dublin City and the garden did not require any lifting of any street stone. It used and reused the following ingredients very wisely:

  • domestic appliances that came from a Dublin civic recycling centre – they returned there after to continue their journey.
  • The plants after the display time were donated to and reused by community garden groups
  • The furniture came from a group that recycles furniture and returned there also
  • The satellite came from my garden and was used in the PR photos [see below]

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*pictured above with the red satellite are [l-r] Peter Donegan, Lord Mayor of Dublin Emer Costello and Liam Reilly of Bagatelle

2. Repak Recycle Week Garden 2009:

Put together for repak recycle week 2009 it was built in the front window of Dunnes Stores Shop on Exchequer Street in Dublin City Centre.

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Once again the build time on site was just one day. But this did not pose any issue.

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Essentially it simply means that a lot more time is put into the behind the scenes to ensure that everything fits together just perfectly in its timeline.

Possibly more unusual than that the space allocated measured just 6′ x 4′ and the garden was not allowed to use any products that were live or living.

Taking place in October each year this meant that weather didn’t hamper any of the planning.

It was named the greenhouse effect and used a greenhouse frame which contained products that are used by Repak Recycle members.

Once again all objects used within the garden were returned, reused and recycled including the greenhouse frame.

*photograph with model Pippa O’Connor and used for launching the annual event.

3. The Pink Boat Garden:

This show garden was built in the Phoenix Park and had a build time of 3 weeks. The story is very different to the two above  but shows just how differently things can be done.

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In the end all plants were [re] planted in various gardens in Dublin, the sculpt returned to its original home, the timber was re-used and the 1957 pleasure cruise boat that I prevented from being scrapped was given a home for life at The Irish rock festival Electric Picnic.

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*Pictured above at the garden are [l-r] Peter Donegan, Dr Martin and President of Ireland Mary McAleese.

There are others but these three have always stood out as those that may be better known and also a little more variant from the norm.

If you would find out more you can as always contact me in the following ways:

  • send an email to info@DoneganLandscaping.com
  • telephone me direct on 087-6594688
  • or enquire via the contact page on DoneganLandscaping.com

*The garden at the top of the page was called No Rubber Soul

Gardening Courses & Classes

peter donegan

Garden courses and classes started taking place in March 2010 after I was asked if I would run one. Primarily, it was very much a case of as demand came in and so on they continued. The immediate demand seems to be of the grow your own subject, but other types are covered too.

Some have decided to get the interest of a group of 6 – 8 people [plus] together and then ask me to run a class on a specific date in a specific place and that has worked very well. Other than that, I don’t really have a set date or timeline upon when they happen it is more a case of if I get about 4 plus names in I will put a post up on the weblog and fill the group up to run one.

peter donegan

If you are interested and would like to join in the next garden class/ course there are a few ways to do so.

  • they can be done at your home or place of work for your group of friends/ colleagues and be specifically tailored to suit
  • you can email/ call me and be placed on the list. When I have 7/8 names I will announce a date via the blog
  • contact me via email me info[at]doneganlandscaping[dot]com or call me on mobile 087-6594688 or simply keep your eye on the weblog
  • drop by and have a coffee and a chat. You are always welcome. And I only use fresh ground beans
  • I do travel outside of Dublin & Ireland. I always did.

The course structure:

  • Times are usually run 9.30am to 3/ 3.30pm and can include lunch and morning/ aternoon tea
  • All materials can be supplied and can be brought home by those attending. The only thing you may wish to bring is a notebook and pen…. and yourself.
  • Costs per person start at €60 for a half day class

Of Note To You May Be

Contact Me

  • by email info[at]doneganlandscaping[dot]com
  • via this website: click the contact page
  • call mobile – o876594688

peter donegan