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the bloom in the park ’09 experience

The sun is splitting the skies, the Phoenix Park looks spectacluar…. you simply can’t imagine what a show Bloom in the Park has turned out to be.

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 sabatical 😆

The beautiful Maeve Desmond [International PR for Bord Bia] lets you know what you can expect to see…

If kids entertainment is what you really want…? Go meet the wonderful Orla from Imaginosity. They have an amazing kids interactive garden event [amongst many things] going on just behind the tea rooms at the visitor centre. Go see. Bring the kids you’ll love it…..

More interesting people….. Ever wondered what The Irish Wildlife Trust really do… ?

Of course I met literally hundreds of people that I knew…. here’s a few quick snaps for you to get a gist of what else is going on.

And last but not least….. do get there early. It’s well worth it…. but, I’m guessing the traffic will be a little crazy-er than the Thursday. That said, it is the All-Ireland of garden shows…

To the big question…. would I go again? 110% absolutely yes. [I’ll be back on saturday] I loved every second of it. I got a great chance to speak to the public, the people involved and the traders… One girl sold out of bread in the food stall within 3 hours ?!! Another lady I spoke thought it was great value for money…. others felt it was better laid out this year and that there was more seating…. call it what you like, compliment what you wish… but honestly, the only complaint I heard was that the sun had been shining too much and extra watering would be required in order to have the gardens looking their best for tomorrow 🙂

Do go. Do enjoy. Do let me know what you think after. My opinion 5/5. Well deserved. Take a bow Bord Bia. Bulaidh Bós Mór 😉

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Bloom 2007 – The Morris Minor Garden

donegan gardens bloom (2)

No Rubber Soul. Silver Medal Winner. My Garden for Bloom 2007.

I love this garden. I really do. I had no sponsor. I was advised not to do it. Nobody knew what Bloom was really and although I had won awards for garden design and landscaping, this was my first *show* garden. I don’t even think I knew what a weblog was when I did this garden so there really doesn’t exist that many photographs of  ‘No rubber- soul’ the garden. For some reason or another it became know as the Car-Den. Enjoy!

Peter Donegans garden design ‘No Rubber- Soul’ won silver in the large garden category in the inaugural year of Bloom in the Phoenix Park Friday 1st June 2007. During the 20 day deadline over 1,500 plants; 50 square metres of rolled lawn; 4 tonne of recycled compost; 5 tonnes of recycled bark chippings; 6 tonnes of recycled tree stumps one 1965 morris minor and an outdoor flat screen television.

Despite the rainfall over the bank holiday weekend over 50,000 people still flocked to see the unsponsored garden. No decking, no paving, no additives or preservatives…. Imagine sitting within two thirds of a 1965 Morris Minor, watching the television, smokes plumes through the front grill of your car and you sit back and watch nature and plant life grow around you. This is the garden that has no rubber but lots of soul. Built from 100% recycled and/ or recyclable products. Take a trip back to 1965 when men used shovels and gardens had soul.

Built to commemorate the many Irish men with initially, great intentions who promise to restore and rebuild projects but sometimes are never fully completed; it has been slightly adapted to via audio visual equipment to become an entertainment area of sorts and it should give the appearance that whilst unwillingly forgotten, the life of the garden continued to flourish around it.

….and of course there was this. genius.

this was the making of….

and there was also a bit of this….

Also:

bloom ’09 caption competition winner….

To see the competition – click here.

To hear the winner announced…… watch the video!

A huge thanks to Dublins 98 fm Dave for picking the winner for me

[disclaimer: *all complaints should be directed to Dublins 98fm’s Dave Moore click here to read his blog terms and conditions and apply no Dj’s were harmed in the filming of this video* 😆 ]

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Bloom in US eh?

I received this email on Wednesday. What do you Think…?

To: info [at] doneganlandscaping [dot] com

Sent: Wednesday, February 25, 2009 10:03 AM
Subject: High Quality Pictures of Bloom Show Gardens and Other Images of Irish Garden Design

Dear Designers,

Gary Graham will be making a number of presentations on Bloom at the Philadelphia Flower Show next week.  His primary objective is to encourage Americans with an interest in garden design and/or horticulture to come to Bloom in 2009 or in future years.

In addition to showing the Bloom DVD and some examples of other gardens (open to the public) he will show a number of examples of Bloom gardens.  He also wants to use the opportunity to profile some of the work of top Irish garden designers and create an awareness of the high standard of Irish garden design.  Photos that capture some of the local setting or context would also be of interest to the Americans e.g. country scenes, coastal gardens, cityscapes, gardens that contain plants worthy of merit, gardens that reflect our temperate climate, gardens with a view of this ‘broke but beautiful’ country , etc

If you have a number of photos (max of 6) that might tick the boxes for Gary please send them to me at this e-mail address by12:00 on Friday 27th February and I will pass them on.  Each photo should be accompanied by an extended caption or short description that Gary can use in his presentation.

With thanks in advance,

2008, a good year…?

Another year over and what can I say?!! In short 2008 was the greatest roller coaster of a year since I first set up Donegan Landscaping over 8 years ago now. We had some really great,challenging and exciting projects to work on and that of course is down to really amazing Clients. I thank you all so much from the bottom of my heart. For the gardens created –  you, your thanks and your smiles is what made it all so much more worth while. You have all been brilliant.

looking back...

looking back...

Of course outside of that Bloom was only one of the contenders to steal the limelight. What started as a child like dream became a reality. And so the rollercoaster began 😉 Sponsorship was in place, designs were accepted and with weeks to spare… our sponsors decided not to. Par for the course I suppose. It did leave me in a slight pickle and with a very large boat in place already – I decided to go for it. Less so much money – medals were not on the menu. To complete a garden was. The response was overwhelming. And with a theme of recycling in mind, I ended up with a very different dilemma… That of finding a new home for a very large boat. It is here I must thank everyone who helped and also Rick and the 2fm team. Of course the finalé is what brought tears to my eyes. I am so very blessed for the friends I have.

After catching my breath… and to an extreme of sorts, possibly, it was next to the award winning gardens of Brackenstown house that would be opened to the public for the first time for an international sculpt exhibition. To pardon the cliché – no stone was to be left unturned. It was amazing. I know they are not my gardens – but – for the pure poetry that they are, I am so proud to say I wish they were mine 🙂

You may think it would end there. But it doesn’t. Quite recently I returned to South Africa with the Niall Mellon Township Trust. Once again it was a life changing experience. As I have said before all things ‘Peter Donegan’ went right out the window. I was one of over 2,000 people and I was part of a team. I was there to build gardens. I loved every second. It put life correctly inperspective. If I ever thought I had anything to complain about – I was wrong. Life has a new [and correct] meaning.

With that in mind, I think it is only appropriate that I sign off in exactly the same way as I did last year….

2008…. A good year? on one hand no business is ever an easy journey I suppose… but for the people I have had the pleasure to shake hands with this year; for those who stood taller by my side [DG/GC/DK] when life threw and odd one my way…one should really say it was a great year.

Go raibh míle maith agaibh. Nollaig Shona duit. Slán agus beannacht.