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the poetry of plants [reviewed]

at trinity college

at trinity college

Saturday 15th November 2008, from 2-5pm saw four guest speakers take the stand for The Lewis Glucksman Memorial Symposium. What must have been a near full auditorium in the Edmund Burke Theatre in Trinity College [sponsored by Bloom and in association with Dublin City Library].

Chaired by Professor Moray McGowan; The first speaker was Dr Matthew Jebb. He started with what he titled as ‘a poem to Boatany’. An amazing speaker, he wowed the crowds with the question that ultimately was ‘are the plants taking advantage of us?’, based on a plants ability to survive. His thinking, that the apple tree for example that started in Kazakhstan with a pip that contained cyanide and yet has become one of the most successful trees ever. His facts wowed and entertained while his accompanying slides drove home how much 2 cubic kilometres of H2O that plants split apart through photosynthesis each day actually was and that 30 times the size of Ireland was actually grown as wheat.

my notes from the day...

my notes from the day...

Dr Shelly Siguaro as with all the other speakers politely kept within the very tight timing schedule. Her piece was entitled ‘The Poetics of a Paradox’. She queried whether gardens & politics are political. She noted that a plot was a plan but also a place to grow. Her most amazing analagy was that ‘changing garden norms was like cross dressing in front of the lawn’.

Andrew Wilson was speaker number three. His sermon was ‘Visual Poetry’ He started with a personal homage of sorts to his brother, a sports writer for the Guardian and how competitiveness played a part in his life. I liked that. He queried whether nice and ugly was not better than fab or “shoite” and commented that garden shows while intense and dazzling where then only ever a memory.

The final speaker was Ms Anna Pavord and ‘Search for Order’. She spoke of common names versus latin. She told the story of the herb women, whose job it was to collect the plant for the doctors for cures and rather than walking the 8 miles – they’d simply give the doctor the nearest thing to them. So the cures didn’t work and eventually the study of plants became necessary. She spoke of William Turner, the 1st UK botanist, who wrote a book of plants names – but they were all in english and so it was useless abroad.

All in all, this was a great day. It was brilliant in fact or as Andrew would encourage his students to say ‘it was fab’. I really, really loved it. I look so very much forward to the next one. Bulaidh bós, well done all – you really did yourself proud.

the day I met President Mary…

Peter, Martin and Mary

Peter, Martin and Mary

It took a while for me to get this and if you want to know the full story of how and why – you’ll have to read about why Peter Donegan was a bit shy here…

If you would like to get involved with Peter Donegan and Bloom 2009 via sponsorship or any other proposal you may have – please do not hesitate to contact me. Of course you can guess what I am doing!

Reeling In The Years – The Morris Minor Car Garden

I was searching through some old emails and stumbled across this….

With special thanks to Paddy for what was one day to get this done… at the time [and still] it was so much appreciated. A great song and tells the No rubber Soul story story so well. Read the full story here.

thanks trevor, that was nice of you!

peter and trevor

peter and trevor!

I got this in the post yesterday from Green Party Mininster of State Trevor Sargent. It was a little bit of a surprise to be very honest, but a most appreciated and very welcome one.

After Bloom I sent out a postcard to [the so very many who deserved a massive] say thank you. Trevor received one. Credit where it’s due, he also stopped by the garden during Bloom; lives not to far away from me and as you can gather from this photograph, we’ve know each other a while now –

Of course it took me a little to figure out exactly what it said…

For those of you who had the same trouble, I’ve translated below! [well, if you’re going to call it a hippopotamus…?!]

...sincerely, most appreciated

Peter, A Chara

I was to see that big pink hippopotamus of a boat at the electric picnic. It fitted right in just like the family of topiary elephants. See you soon. P.S. Thanks for your card! Le meas glas

Trevor

i need an aeroplane…

i need an aeroplane

i need an aeroplane

yes, you read it right! I did the car [click here] and the boat [click here]. And you guessed I want to do a plane. It completes the trilogy of land, sea and air.

The question is can you help? Not too big! Not a jumbo! Just one like this or close enough. I don’t want to fly it. It doesn’t even have to look good…. anyone wanna know more – pick up the phone!

in Rick we trust

in Rick we trust

UPDATE: Of course last year it all ended with the help of the rick o’ shea show and the boat as you know by now reberthed at Electric Picnic.

This time…. I’ve started where I finished off! Tuesday 9th September saw me go live on air [again!] as we not only started a National campaign to look for a sponsor – but – also an aeroplane!

If you are interested, a PR list for the last 2 show gardens and how I and the donegan landscaping design team can tailor this to suit your company is only a cup of coffee away. Why not drop me a line?!