Talks, Speaking and Event MC, Ireland 2016

peter donegan television

Bookings Now Being Taken for 2016.

Peter Donegan – A Very Short History:

I started growing plants from the age of 5, created my first garden aged 10 and of now have won national awards for the design and build of 17th and 18th Century estates. I have also built and designed show gardens for both display and at national competition. And whether I am creating gardens privately, advising, teaching or talking about a particular horticultural subject, horticulture and gardening has been my entire life and I am at my happiest when I and the great outdoors are together. I started Donegan Landscaping Dublin in 2001, aged 24.

On Garden Speaking and Talks:

From a horticultural speaking perspective, I am one of the hosts and producers of The Sodshow – Ireland’s garden radio show (twice awarded Ireland’s Best Podcast) and I have spoken at everything from music festivals and one-off public gardening demonstrations, to private gardening classes and demonstrations and also done talks to Gardening and Horticultural societies.

In The Media:

I am a former garden columnist and writer with The Farmers Journal and Self Build Ireland magazine and have also written freelance. I have given gardening demonstrations on national tv and featured on Irish television and as far as Australia with gardens I have made under my own name and as part of televison shows. I have also featured on radio not only for The Sodshow but also on RTE radio, Today FM and LMFM, to name but a few.

Bookings and inquiries are now being taken for 2016.

peter donegan, event mc, helix dublin

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2016: Temple Street Childrens Hospital, You, Me, Inis Mor and A Half Marathon

This coming April 8 – 10th, 2016 I am again heading for another Temple Street Half Marathon on the fantabulous island of Inis Mór – it’s just off the edge off Galway – there are some more images below.

The reasons why Temple Street is so close to my heart slightly to one side, this year hopefully will be my 6th to run, sprint, crawl somehow complete the half marathon on Inis Mór for Temple Street Childrens University Hospital.

As noted the last year and two:

Chatting this morning, the suggestion was that I could have opted out, that I’m busy with work and that haven’t I done it for the last 3 [now 4] years. But there’s also the argument for my being lucky [is that even the right word to use ?], that a bit perspective in a world gone mad isn’t such a bad thing and a very strong case for doing something to give a little back.

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Interview: Peter Donegan. Horticulture Connected, Summer 2015

peter donegan, horticulture ireland magazine, 2015

Horticulture Connected, Ireland’s Hort Trade Magazine, Summer 2015 Edition.
Peter Donegan talks with Editor Barry Lupton.

Generally speaking, most industry folks agree that gardening coverage on TV and radio in Ireland is pretty poor and this has a negative impact on the market for goods and services. Ask those within media circles why it is so, and it all comes back to the same factors: production costs, scale of the potential audience and the need to generate ratings using the lowest common denominator. If you want gardening on TV, it better come with sex, violence, emotion, upset and scandal.

But all is not lost. The downward pressure has produced a knowledge vacuum and a necessity. Necessity precipitates creativity. Thankfully, one industry figure is adressing the issue.

Peter Donegan is well known in the fields of horticulture, construction and design. Owner and operator of Donegan Landscapes, he established his name with a series of dramatically imaginative show gardens in the early days of Bloom in the Park. Like many in the design and construction sector, Peter felt the full force of the recession and took steps to contract his business to see it through the lean years. But he didn’t just hunker down, he saw an opportunity to redirect his energy online and to address the poor level of gardening media coverage.

The Sod Show was created in 2010 following a suggestion from a friend that he build on his existing gardening blog with a weekly radio podcast through Dublin City FM. And the rest, as they say is history. A burgeoning audience, multiple awards and an interview list which includes people from every corner of horticulture, the Sod Show has become an important component of Irish gardening media. One which continues to grow in both audience and influence.

I was delighted to meet up with Peter recently to get the back story on his success with the Sod Show and his plans for the future.

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West Cork Secret, Kilbrittain

peter donegan, finbarr omahony, west cork secret

Pictured above: Finbarr O’Mahoney of West Cork Secret and Peter Donegan.

They say:

The West Cork Secret is a magical hideaway, loved by all who discover it. It couples the serenity of beautifully landscaped gardens with the shrieks of excitement from the obstacle course. The perfect place for a family outing…..

I say:

If you get a chance to go there, do so. And if you can make it happen, try to get a group together so that you can stay and camp there. The grounds are stunning, extremely well thought out and is to this day a work in progress – Finbarr is constantly trying to add something – set within 35 acres and surrounded by the finest views. Daytime was nothing but the sounds of young and old enjoying all it has to offer and if I could live forever in one piece of Ireland’s landscape, this pretty much has all that I could ever want.

The video and images below explain it much better…..

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Review: Bosch AKE 30 Li, Battery Powered Chainsaw

bosch AKE 30 Li

PLEASE NOTE:

  • I do not sell or repair this product.
  • I borrowed this from Bosch to road test.
  • Or, to try and break it, so to speak.
  • This is just a review.
  • Peter Donegan very happily makes fine gardens for a living.
  • No better man to put something like this to test.

And so:

  • The following are my thoughts on the Bosch AKE 30Li
  • Full review, video and images below.

What Is It:

A cordless battery-powered chainsaw.

Before I Get Started:

I was testing this in my own back garden; and under normal circumstances I’d have worn all of the proper chainsaw safety gear – which I totally recommend you do. That said it literally arrived by courier, I phoned my mate Phil and we decided to give it good once over there and then. This is not a Bosch video. It is a Peter Donegan video, made on an iphone, in my own back garden.

I Should Also Add:

As previously noted, I had heard about the Bosch AXT 25TC from my mate and neighbour Phil. I met the Bosch team at Bloom where we recorded a yet to air Sodshow interview. I later paid for and purchased the AXT 25TC.

Weeks later I had a sort of “ye know what I’d love to get my hands on…” type chat with Phil. I asked the lads at Bosch could we road test some other stuff, and they obliged. As noted above, I do not sell chainsaws for a living. Peter Donegan and since 2001, Donegan Landscaping is an award-winning landscape design and garden making practice. Back to it….

What Is The Difference Between It and Other Chainsaws:

It does not take a two-stroke/ petrol mix, as conventional chainsaws would nor does it does not require an extension lead as usual electric chainsaws would. It does however need chain oil.

Good Things About It:

I never bothered reading the instructions and pieced this together in around 2/ 3 minutes. It’ll take longer to recharge the 36v battery of which I should note the ‘how much it has already been recharged’ indicator is, watched kettles boiling department in mind, a pretty nifty addition. As is the chain oil level indicator visible on the outer. Further….

In adjusting the chain, you do not need a socket. Very handy for when you’re up a tree. It is around the same size as a small surgeons saw, pretty lightweight and actually quite a smart piece of kit. I like the fact that you just push the button and it starts – which sort of reminds of the first time I saw a BMW started by pushing a button; as versus by key turn. Or in tree cutting terms – no goofing around with a choke start. Kind of, hard to get my head ’round that still.

What Kind Of Euro’s Are We Talking:

Take a deep breath – SSP €599.99 (inc vat) with battery and charger.

How Good Is it:

The video shows what it can do much better but, we really did try to test this to the max and ran it for about an hour thinning out a fairly scraggy boundary hedgerow. In fairness to it, it was well able to take all that we threw at it. Fair to say I was very pleasantly surprised.

Would I Recommend It:

The usual thing that happens in conventional chainsaws is that some forget [?] to put in the 2 stroke mix and just add straight petrol – which irrespective of cost and age will destroy any decent saw/ investment. Add to that the last saw I looked at of around the same size was around the euro 550 price range. In a case where I don’t take down trees every day for a living (I design and build gardens) but owning a chainsaw is still an essential, then I guess yes is the answer, professional landscaping and my own garden in mind. Further….

It is well able to compete with its counterparts of the commercial market and If you own a wood stove burner and/ or a garden like I do of about an acre, where a) hedgerows need to be managed b) trees require thinning/ pruning/ removal c) logging is essential for winter fuel – then you’ll probably like this little beauty, a lot.

In A Nutshell:

Having only ever used two stroke conventional versions all of my life, it is tough for even this petrol head to type it, but having got my hands on it The Bosch AKE 30Li I can only but recommend it as a genius piece of kit for both domestic and commercial use.

Peter Donegan: