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The Battle Of The Boyne Site

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The Battle Of The Boyne Site was visited by The Garden Group yesterday Sunday 27th June.

For a group that is entirely run free gratis yesterday would not have been possible without the help of Aisling Mc Mahon of the OPW and her team who gave us a personal guided tour of the grounds and access to areas that are not as yet open to the public.


The place is absolutely brimmed with history. That aside, from a personal point of view, as having restored and designed 17th and 18th century landscapes, to see the before and then the end result after landscape restoration is simply amazing. I know I am not alone when I say I will return to this place.

There is so much more there than just history to see and do here. It’s also free as long as you don’t do the guided tour of the house. Which you should. The landscape is simply breath taking. Two displays were taking place while we were there. The coffee shop is a must…. the list goes on. Go. Visit. Enjoy. Wander in the long grass.

More Details at the Battle of The Boyne Website

View more of my Battle of The Boyne Images

Looking for more information:

I really enjoyed Sarah’s images of the Boyne Battle site trip – baffles me how she took this picture from the boyne site visit 😉 genius.

George has great [curious] images of the Boyne Site Trip.

John Williams as always, took these great shots of the boyne site tour. Keep an eye on his personal weblog. You wouldn’t know what boyne site gems he could pull out of the bag.

Check out these images of the Boyne Visit. Jennifer posted the rest of her [as always genius] images of the boyne day. Some bits in there a lot of us missed. Makes me wanna go back and stay longer 😉

Rediscover Fashion

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With an estimated 93% of all textile waste in Ireland sent to landfill, rediscover fashion is a spin off – now fashion label – from Rediscover Centre Ballymun. Set up in 2007 its aim is to demonstrate the potential for textiles recycling, reuse and recovery in Ireland and also to highlight the environmental, social and economic benefits.

Yesterday I attended their second fashion show. All the clothes were made from recycled materials. Some from pillow cases, some from ikea waste bins and old restaurant uniforms. Others were made from jeans and old suits. I know for a fact for one piece in particular the material was taken from a skip….

Ballymun now has won 30 environmental awards. In 2008 it was voted Irelands fair trade town. They have also won the Arthur Guinness Fund.

I worked with the rediscovery team last year when we built a recycled garden at the Smithfield festival and of course also when I bought my kitchen chairs from their rediscover furniture revcycling project.

Take a look at what one can do when the imagination is really put to the test. Now pretend I never told you this fashion show took place in Ballymun, in an Ikea store and that some high street fashion label was the designer. In all honesty, I know all of the pieces were for sale yesterday. But I could not tell you whether they would have cost €75 or €1750. I also know diddly about fashion…. but this blew me away and from a green perspective it is exemplary.

See more images of the rediscover fashion show 2010.

I have also covered more the fashion element of this over on culch.ie

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Donegan Wins Landscape Quality Award For 2010

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February 26th 2010.

Peter Donegan Landscaping Ltd has achieved the Bord Bia Quality Award.

The assessment for this award is through a stringently audited programme that was designed to raise standards within the landscape industry and increase customer confidence by rewarding companies who operate an awarded quality system through best practice and at the highest standards possible to this sector of the horticultural industry.

In 2009 the Landscape Quality Award had only been achieved by eight companies in Ireland. There are two award levels on both programmes; a Certificate of Merit (60% score) and the Quality Award (75% score). This is my third consecutive year to accept the Quality Award.

On winning the award Peter Donegan said:

I am delighted to win this award. I am now starting my 10th year in business and this now is recognition that a quality system is in place behind the scenes as well an already proven ability to design and landscape.

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Quiz Mistress Powers and The Irish gardeners

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Last week I gave you the Irish Times, Jane Powers super dooper Christmas quiz.

If you didn’t see it….? Just click this Irish Times Jane Powers Quiz link. Because this Saturday it will return again.

Reckon you can pit your wits against the finest in the land… Go buy a copy of The Irish Times tomorrow – it appears in the magazine section.

If you did try the quiz…. and you would like the answers…. Jane very kindly emailed me them.;) Take a look and see how you got on….

Thanks Jane!

ANSWERS:

1. Beech keeps its dead leaves over winter.

2. Mistletoe is a parasite of trees.

3. Spiders are not vegetarians.

4. Narcissus was the young man in Greek mythology who spent much time gazing at his reflection in a pool.

5. The highest box hedges in the world are at Birr Castle in Co Offaly.

6. Carrots are propagated by seed.

7. The rabbit-eared flower is lavender (Lavandula).

8. False. Fresh grass clippings are high in nitrogen, not carbon.

9. An awn is found on the flowering parts of members of the grass family.

10. Arran Victory, Edzell Blue and Congo potatoes have dark, blue-toned skins.

11. Sarcococca is commonly known as “Christmas box”.

12. 2008 was the United Nation’s Year of the Potato.

13. An “eyecatcher” is an architectural feature on a distant hill.

14. The petals of buttercups are not edible.

15. Pomes and drupes are both fruits.

16. The garden with the Italianate pond is Ilnacullin, Garinish Island, Glengarriff.

17. The flower of the dragon arum (Dracunculus vulgaris) smells like carrion.

18. It smells like this in order to attract pollinating insects.

19. Sambucus nigra ‘Eva’, Ranunculus ficaria ‘Brazen Hussy’ and Aeonium ‘Zwartkop’ all have “black” foliage.

20. In A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, Ebenezer Scrooge’s suggested stake is made of holly.

21. Vine weevil larvae consume the roots and underground parts of plants.

22. A fruit cage is an enclosure to protect berrying plants from birds.

23. The botanical epithet “bonariensis” means “of Buenos Aires”.

24. Cornus, Nepeta, Equisetum and Arisarum proboscideum all refer to animals: dogwood, catmint, horsetail and mouse plant.

25. The spiny flower is teasel.

26. The words “holly” and “mistletoe” combine to make the anagram “little me, so holy”.

27. To “harden off” a plant is to gradually expose it to colder outdoor temperatures.

28. Tom Stuart-Smith designed the “Best Show Garden” at Chelsea Flower Show 2008.

29. A pedicel is a flower stalk.

30. Potatoes are propagated asexually.

31. The Latin epithet “alpina” means that the plant is an alpine, growing high on a mountain, above the tree line.

32. Raceme, corymb, panicle and spike refer to the inflorescence (the flowering part) of a plant.

33. The common name for Euphorbia pulcherrima is poinsettia.

34. “I think that I shall never see/ A poem as lovely as a tree.” are the first two lines of the poem in question (Trees by Alfred Joyce Kilmer)

35. Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’, Geum ‘Mrs Bradshaw’ and Dahlia ‘Bishop of Llandaff’ have red flowers.

36. The name of the garden show last summer was Bloom.

37. Alchemilla, Athyrium, Cardamine pratensis and Cypripedium are all “lady” plants (lady’s mantle, lady fern, lady’s smock and lady’s slipper).

38. Lamb-Clarke Collection at University College Dublin is composed of Irish apple varieties.

39. The hoverfly is a friend to the gardener.

40. Crassula ovata (also sometimes known as C. argentea), is commonly known as the money plant.

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a gardeners camera…

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I thought I had the ultimate camera for a gardener, landscaper, outdoors kind of guy. I did. It broke. I now have the better solution.

The old and now broken Olympus camera [was reviewed here].

A piece of equipment of any kind for any man a horticulturist should really be that little more indestructable. I know that’s an overstatement… and maybe an impossibility. But things get dropped, they get wet and damp and like high heeled shoes at a festival trying to keep mud of the nail varnish… it is an unacheivable task. I did manage to break my olympus, but the problem only arose  when I went to buy another of the same and it was not available anymore. I did a little research and….

I came up with the Canon D10. Well, I didn’t David O’Callaghan did. Here’s what he had to say

I’ve never used the camera so I wouldn’t be of much use to you at the moment. There is a website I regularly use to find out about cameras and this link – http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/Q209waterproofgroup/ – does a group test of underwater pocket cameras, it might be of some use to you. At this stage in the year I won’t be investing in any waterproof compact, not until next summer but if I do decide to get one then I’ll let you know how I get on.
Normally that site above would do a detailed review of all cameras available so they might post one up at some stage although the camera was released in february, over six months ago, so it’s looking unlikely. Keep an eye on http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/specs/Canon/canon_d10.asp and maybe something might appear.

photograph-from-inside-a-pint-of-guinness

it is ruby red

So I bought one. How good is it…. well… on the olympus review I had a picture of the camera in a pint of beer at electric picnic… so just after Arthurs Day I did the something similar… here’s a photo taken with the camera dropped inside a pint of Guinness 😉

Versus the Olympus… I’m now at 12.1 megapixel and the videos are superb quality.

Design wise it doesn’t have a slider/ open cover on the lens which used to get jammed and

This one is also frost proof [ I have a habit of leaving things outside]. On the off side…it’s simply a little bulkier than the wallet sized olympus. But thats about a bad as it gets 😉

Here’s a sample of how good it is… the camera is set on the lowest resolution here which means it’s perfect for weblogs….
insect on ash tree leaf

insects on leaf plants

wasp on plant image

Here’s a sample of how good the video quality is for recording….

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