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trees – how to plant [2]

tree planting

tree planting

I’m told [verbally] that the last post on trees, although more technical and informative, is a little on the long side [thanks Aido]. For those of who just want to know how to simply plant a tree, or tell ‘a council’ they’ve done it all wrong – this ones especially for you!  enjoy

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tree planting – what, when, how – now

tree planting

tree planting

Tree planting season has just about arrived. This doesn’t mean you can’t plant trees, it just means, like giving presents to your neighbours, there is a main season for it. Like tree planting, you can of course do this any time you like. However unlike Christmas, at this time of year it can be a little more cost effective, especially in commercial projects.

When planning for any tree planting, preparation is the golden. If you’re one of my four Sisters however and you can still bully me into doing your homework for you or like my three brothers you read a book and you can rewrite Darwinsblogs are for I suppose. theories over coffee the next morning, that’s absolutely fine [get it wrong and then ask my sister to bully me for you]. If you are none of the above… then that’s what

Whatever my sense of humour, trees are always in fashion and like The Rolling Stones at Slane Castle – always a classic, never dated, look better in the rain and I like it, like it yes I do.

Why should you buy one: Not only is a tree cheaper than that butter dish of a wedding present or those socks for your Fathers birthday, it also lasts longer and shouldn’t fit in the bin!

Trees are good for the planet. They recycle our air, block out those buildingswildlife into your garden. [neighbours] you don’t particularly like and encourage

Eventual height is so important. People often tell me that a cheaper fast growing tree is better and than they will keep maintained at a certain height. The problem for you is that the roots will wish to support a fully grown tree. A well chosen, slow growing tree bought in at the specific required height is a lot better and easier. It may be a little more costly at the start but in an era of low maintenance, little or no attention will be required.

The site. Your proposed tree planting site may have overhead cables, be too near construction [restricting the roots or damaging structures] or hinder existing plant growth. The overall character of the tree at all times must be considered at all times.

What do you actually want the tree to do? You may want to encourage wildlife, it may be privacy or even a windbreak. and whilst the tree may look really elegant in that book – it may not actually wish to grow where it is put.

What does the tree want? Mother Nature has a contract with these woody perennials and some can be quite fussy. Although they won’t actually say it, the plant will eventually tell you that it doesn’t want to live there. Apart from structural hindrances to your tree[s] do consider climatic conditions and the requirements for the growth of any plant.

Moving to a new home, for any human [and trees!] can be somewhat stressful. You should protect your tree from breaks, bruising and skin tears when transporting.

Wrap them up well with heshion sacking [old potatoe seed bags] around the main lifting area and carefully tie up the main head and branches.

Keep the roots moist [don’t drown them] in a sand pits or loose soil and in a shady, calm area until ready for planting.

Before planting your tree, as best as possible remove all existing growth from the area surrounding your tree-pit. You should dig approximately twice the width and depth of the root zone. Some soil will need to be backfilled but this will make easier for root penetration. Prepared properly, the roots will go with gravity – if not the roots may turn and force the tree to shift upwards. Poor preparation can usually be seen were the roots of old trees pass over the lawn surface of your lawn. With the scion, the point between the roots and the actual stem, level with true ground level all soil can be backfilled. This will require a good stamping down to eliminate any air pockets which may later fill with water whilst also preventing the tree from movement within its pit. Don’t allow your new investment to dehydrate and during planting give the tree a spoon of sugar to make it like you a little more. Bone meal used to be applied until some time ago but [due to modern constraints and modern science] it is better to use a slow release fertilizer.

Even vegans like tree stakes. A little support in the form of a tree stake, a strap, tie and buckle will prove so beneficial in preventing the tree in its infancy from growing askew. It should be horizontal to the ground and some added careful select pruning will prevent it ending up more like a lanky and unkempt bush. Train them well in the early days and the dividends will pay off.

Rootballed and Bare-root trees are mostly field grown trees grown for the commercial market. Due to the fact that one should wait until the roots are dormant, the task is therefore seasonal and naturally dependant an autumn/ winter temperature drop. For most varieties, these types of grown trees are usually less expensive than buying main season potted trees. Public demands, modern trends and specialisation in the tree growing now allows one to have any size, age or maturity and type of tree almost instantly.

Remember, enjoy your garden and love what you do. Your trees will appreciate it.

bulbs – planting starts now!

bulbs...

bulbs...

You want spring colour in your garden, but you and I know the gardeners summer holidays is just after the sprouts and turkey, when you most need a little inspiration and even the garden is looking a little lazy. Grandma’ and the relations have just moved back home and you’ve got to go outside semi-unthawed and breath some life into the earth. Why not plant your bulbs now and look out the window!

The bigger the bulb – the better the bloom Your bulbs should be healthy, free from blemishes and nicely plump. Depending on the natural size of the bulb, bulbs that are too small don’t always flower in the first year and larger bulbs produce better flowers. Avoid dessicated and withered or those with symptoms of mould or rot. Bulbs that have been overexposed to light or warmth in storage can begin leaf growth which usually results in an immature root system and ultimately weak floppy stems

Best planted in clusters Plant in Autumn or early winter before the ground freezes. The biochemical process requiring low temperatures in order to flower is called vernalisation. Depth of planting as a general is usually three times the height of the bulb but this may vary. With rhizomes and tubers for example, shallow planting is a must and both should be placed tops level with the soil surface. Tuberous roots must be placed with sufficient depth for their fibrous roots with stem buds near the surface.

Planting Tips Make a hole using a trowel, shovel or a buy yourself a special bulb digger. Bulbs don’t need great soil but they do need good drainage. Chicken wire over the soil will prevent squirrels from eating the bulbs. To encourage growth use a bulb fertiliser/ slow release bulb food rather than bone meal. Deeply dug bulbs divide slower and require less lifting for division. Sharp sand can be used or added for extra drainage and/ or deep planting. Plant bulbs as soon as you can after purchase. If you can’t – store them in a cool dry place or in a refrigerator.

Do remember this is a general guide to bulbs. If you have any further questions, queries or requests you can as always post your comment on the weblog, email or call me. I must also mention it is positive ageing week running until October 6th their website is well worth a visit. Light up your life, plant some bulbs and as always enjoy.

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irish horticulture worth almost €1 billion

good landscaping

good landscaping

Thanks to Bord Bia we do have statistics on the irish hortiultural and so much more. But I never thought that a magazine outside of The Emerald Isle would cover the value of our hortiultural market. This article titled Irish landscape market hits high was published in Horticulture Week in August 2nd 2007. If you told me this ten years ago, would I have believed you?

The value of the Irish commercial landscaping market is at a record high, Horticulture Ireland has revealed.
The organisation, set up by the Irish government to promote the industry, announced at last week’s Kildare Growers Trade Show in Naas, Co. Kildare, that the market is worth almost €1bn (£673.8m).
Development marketing executive Gary Graham said: “Early estimates suggest the value of the Irish commercial landscaping market is at least €860m [£579.4m]. It’s the highest so far and everyone’s trying to get a piece of the action.”
He also revealed that the industry has experienced a 42 per cent growth over the past four years.
The increase is a direct result of Ireland’s booming housing and commercial property market, which has led to a rise in the number of public spaces and landscaped gardens required by developers.
Figures (from Irish market-research company Sherry FitzGerald) show that the office market in Dublin alone looks to set hit a record high this year.
The amount of accommodation taken up during the first half of the year reached 160,500sq m — almost double the level recorded for the same period in 2006.
However, Graham warned that as new offices are filled and housing requirements are met, the boom could grind to a halt.
“There has been a rapid increase in property values over the past 10 or 15 years but the increase over the past two years has levelled off. People will now be closely watching, waiting to see what the implications are for the sector.”
The Irish Times reported that Irish house prices fell for the third month in a row in May. The average house price in Ireland is now €304,166 (£204,905), 2.1 per cent below the level it was at the start of this year.
But Peter Donegan of Peter Donegan Landscaping said that as that the commercial sector slows, the domestic market is on the up. “The market is two-fold. There’s the industrial side — motorways, hotels and the like — and there’s the housing market, where people are realising that if they landscape their garden their home sells better. People in Ireland have become a bit more educated in horticulture.”
Graham agreed, saying: “The domestic garden market is just getting there now.”

never had your garden ‘designed’ before

Here’s a piece I wrote some time ago. Recently we have had a wave enquiries where people feel that not paying for a design is saving money. That’s perfectly fine but as long as you take the correct free advice and from the correct people.

We have designed anything from 17th century five acre gardens to the most modern and futuristic of advanced and out of place designs – and built them. We have also on the other hand designed and built gardens that dont cost the earth but do look really good.

The second piece of advice is to take the correct advice. So should one pay for a consultation charge? The answer is of course if you feel you should and naturally if you will get something valuable and worthwhile for your cudos. If you do decide to get a garden designed and/ or built for either sixty five euro or sixty five thousand euro remember the numbers at the bottom of the page of the invoice is what it actually costs and you gotta pay that amount [I’ll get back to that later]. In the meantime – enjoy the article.

peter

You want to get the garden designed. You have already tried and after spending the entire lottery, it still looks humorous. The sun is shining. The neighbours have just started their barbeque. You own a jungle. Where do you start?

On the cheap: Measure up the garden. You don’t need a measuring tape or trunnel wheel. One large pace equals one metre approximately and one of your feet is one foot (you’ll have a rough idea). Drop down to the local garden centre and with sketch in hand ask all the questions you can. Its better to go on a Monday when it’s quiet. Always give an idea of the theme you want in the garden, don’t tell them I want this and one of them etc.(if you say water feature and it may not ever have looked good in your back yard – the friendly people who were going to give you advice are now on commission and your stuck with a gift for your sister.) Remember you don’t have to purchase on that day. Call the offices of a professional landscapers/ designers association. They’ll put you in touch with somebody in your area. Generally you can get advice (free) over the phone. They don’t have to call out.

  • Pay a little: Call a landscape contractor of reputation. They may charge for call outs/ consultation charges, but this is a very wise investment (even if the Father-in-law and Jimmy’s brother/ cousin/ sister are all expert green fingers). Decide on the basics with your family first. Do you need?
  • A shed – what size and type? Brick or timber?
  • A washing/ clothes line – Rotary/ retractable/ or one for the local football team?
  • A barbeque – built in or moveable? Gas or coal? Consider the neighbours and the clothes line!
  • Kiddies play area – Swings, slides and pits? sand or bark mulch? Moveable or resident? In my opinion it is better to put these ‘built in’ in one area – this can be adapted/ changed to suit your investment/ garden at a later date. ie. when the little ones mature.
  • Lights – how many? Security and/ or decorative? Sunken or above ground level? Remember low budget/ plastic looks better below ground and you’ll still see the light.
  • Outdoor electricity points/ plugs – where? Always get a double and get the two done together.
  • Outdoor tap/ water source – where? Both of the above mean the contractors don’t need to traffic over your new flooring and you don’t have to be there shedding tears at the state of the place halfway through the job.
  • Table and chairs area – Just for two or the entire Partridge family? Decide on whether it goes to full sun or shade. Please, pick/ measure the dining set you want first and allow 1.5 metres off the back of each chair. This means you only get the size of patio required and the stonemason doesn’t retire on your entire garden budget. (It also stops Nanna falling into the new rose bush when she pushes her chair away to get up from the table.)
  • Raised timber structure/ Patio – take the advice of your consultant and ensure it fits into your overall theme.
  • Green waste area – they can be ‘off in scent’ but they are in todays genre a must.

Ask for a rough ‘outline overview sketch’ of what the garden will look like – on headed paper – this will save you the cost of a full design service. Assuming it’s not a requirement of planning, this should, with a little vision and trust on your part, suffice. Again give a general themed idea of what you would like.

Pay a little/ lot more:Call a registered landscape designer. They usually charge for call outs/ consultations. They will charge for their design and also a percentage fee to oversee their design. This will be a very detailed design with a planting plan you may not understand ever and may come complete with a visual impression of what you can expect to see. Your garden designer will ensure you don’t need to do any of the above. Ensure your requirements are met so as not to result with your designers very own memorial playground. Let them know how much time and what gardening tasks you are willing to spend/ do in the garden (be honest and realistic!). Find out what contractor will carry out the necessary works and as important if they will do the after care/ maintenance. Get an estimate of cost on the landscaping of this wonderful design before you pay for the actual drawings. This ensures you don’t end up with a very expensive piece of paper that will never become a creation.

Remember:

  • Know your budget limit but be realistic.
  • Agree all prices before your contract starts.
  • Stonework requires dry weather and plants/ lawns need water.
  • Don’t pay for contractors tools to sit in their shed on ‘down time’ and don’t end up paying a contractor to water you plants
  • You don’t have to do it all at once.
  • Gardens can be phased in over a period of time. It may take a little longer but you will get that dream.
  • Don’t be afraid to do something different
  • Quality products cost more and cheap can be often tearful rather than cheerful.

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