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Andrew Wilson

peter donegan, andrew wilson

I have very few if any heroes in horticulture. Maybe that there didn’t exist many when I first grew seeds way back in 1981. Maybe growing up we very simply weren’t a family that did a whole lot of sitting still, Mom 😉 And that act would by default have included being seated in front of the tele visual.

When I got to an age when I could afford to buy books, that were not second hand and pre 1960’s brimmed with illustrations, as versus images, one of the first that I treated myself to was a book by Andrew Wilson. I was not aware of Andrew at the time and though there is no specific reason why I purchased the book, I can tell you that in 2004, it cost me €36.75.

In 2007 Andrew judged my Silver medal garden and in Bloom 2008 he was there again. Some Peter growing up, baby changes and almost four years later, today, fresh from The Chelsea Flower show where he was a judge for The RHS in one catgeory and in another where his garden design won Silver-Gilt and now judging at Bloom 2013, we got to meet again.

Garden merits and acclaims aside Andrew is an absolute gentleman and this Friday on The Sodshow we sit down to talk in part 1 of a 2 part show.

And if you’re maybe wondering why my head hair is a bit Olly Murs overly quiffed messed up, I had literally just crawled out of a hedge 30 minutes previous 😉 Back to gardens; I’ll return to landscaping here on the blog tomorrow, or the next day. I’ll see how dirty or clean my hands are.

The next big Q is when or if I’ll make a return to show gardening and/ or Bloom 2014. We’ll see. In the meantime, I’m gonna go for a cuppa. I’ve got a garden to finish with a tomorrow deadline and a jeep to remove much foliage from.

medal winner bloom

Bloom Inspiring Gardens Book

bloom book, car donegan

I was in Easons, the book shop in The Pavillions Shopping Centre in Swords over the weekend. Beeline for the gardening section, as you do and browsing the shelves I spotted a new to me addition, the Bloom Inspiring Gardens Book.

Slap bang somewhere in there is the above image, a garden I won award for the design and build of waaaaaaay back in 2007.  Always nice to see ones name in lights, it is the first time I have seen the book. And though I do not own a copy, I think it looks quite good over the 2 pages.

The photographs including the [original of the] above were taken by Maura Hickey.

Bloom In the Park. A Show Garden Return ?

donegan gardens

Talking today with Gary Graham for The SodShow, the garden radio show, conversation naturally led to show gardens and the question as to the ‘would I make a return to show gardening’ ? Gary is, in short for those who are not aware, the brains behind Bloom in the Park. Ireland’s premier garden show.

Personally, I’ve a lot of time for Gary. I’ve a lot of time for Bloom. Like it or not, Bloom is good for Ireland; it’s also great for Irish gardening and in that context alone, Bord Bia have done a real sterling job. One which deserves ovation standing, as versus applause.

We nattered back and forth and chatted ourselves into the easily led to conclusion that I missed, sincerely, the controlled pressure that came with the creation of show gardens.

mary mcaleese

For those who aren’t aware, I’ve done two Bloom show gardens:

After 2008, I took a pause. I was busy. I needed to be. I had showy gardens to create, but they simply weren’t gardens that were awarded medals at the end of it, though they did come with good PR.

The reality is show gardeners, to qualify a show garden submission need three strings to their bow. A proven ability to build show gardens, a great design and last, but by no means least, a sponsor. For two years running, I was missing the latter.

donegan gardens, bloom

Would I make a return to Bloom for 2013 ?

Yes, I would. Were this post going live now has relevance is that the work would be much easier less complex if it were to start within the next six weeks. So soon you might believe, but design submission begins around September/ October and whilst I have already the concepts, I like my designs QED ~ ie. without question, on time, fitting its budget [yours or/ and mine], show timing complete before schedule and with all of the ingredients in place ~ pre planned.

Don’t get me wrong, I can create a fine garden within a very short space of time, designs, submitted and accepted. No problem. But if show garden is to be about the, as Gary put it, the showmanship, then a little more homework/ light reading is far better.

As a by the way, The SodShow, A Bloom in The Park 2012 special, an interview with Gary Graham will air this Friday at 3pm and will be available a little later in the evening as podcast.

If I’m to do it and do it rightly and though I’ve always been blessed in that department I’m proud to admit, I’ll need the right people by my side. For now, I guess, I’ve a little thinking to do and for this bank holiday weekend I’ll happily settle for making daisy chains with my daughter, most probably in The Phoenix Park.

Thoughts on the matter/ Fancy a cuppa ? 😉

donegan gardens

Bloom 2010

As always you can rss the podcasts via iTunes or direct via audioboo

To all things Bloom, once again, I quote myself from last year:

To only mention the gardens is, maybe, what I should be doing…. but, as a garden builder and designer at Bloom – they are all [seriously] amazing and I simply can’t be pushed to just pick one. Anyone who designs and/ or builds a garden here is a genius in my eyes ;) I will however give an over view of the  entire Bloom experience & some of the interesting people I met on my sabbatical :lol:

My Recommended Bits And Bobs:

As per the podcast…. here are the links to those I mentioned

  • Shawna Coronado – she’s @shawnacoronado on twitter and will be in the garden expert area. A must see.
  • entertainment tent [#20 on the map]- ice creams!
  • imaginosity – loved it last year. Even better this year.
  • Craft demonstration area. Remember the blacksmith Michael Budd and Kathleen from the basket makers association – even more crafts this year.
  • Agriaware area – see the pics below
  • Chefs Kitchen. Nevin will be mobbed 😉
  • Go say hi to Dawn Ashton [she helped on my Niall Mellon gardeners day out] in her garden. All plants there were supplied by my good friend Pat Fitzgerald – remember him from last year…
  • Show times dates and how to get there are below the pics other than that see the bloom website
  • And finally – don’t forget to upload your pictures to the Pix.ie Bloom Group – where you can see the rest of my bloom images

How to get there:

Show times and dates:

  • friday 4th June 10am – 6pm
  • saturday 5th June 10am – 6pm
  • sunday 6th June 10am – 6pm
  • monday 7th June 10am – 6pm
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donegan, electric picnic & a pink boat

I went down to electric picnic ’09 on the Sunday, late in the aftrenoon. Just for the one night/ day. My good friends Michael & Nicola were getting married on the Saturday and I couldn’t miss that 😉

Thanks so much to Sian Maloney, Anthony Sarah, Amy & sis Blaithín Ben and all the really nice people I met there for all their kindness. Really, so very much appreciated. 🙂

Most by now know the story of the pink boat and electric picnic…. click here and have a good read if you don’t.

Anyhow, Sarah took this picture 😉 The boat has changed, a bit. But, like the EP boys promised it still has a good home 🙂

aaah..... ;)

aaah..... 😉

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