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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.”

feedback?

all smiles in your garden...?

all smiles in your garden...?

For part of the Quality Award system, a well needed accreditation that Bord Bia introduced to the landscaping industry I [peter donegan] tried to introduce an option to allow customer or even general public give feedback, their thoughts or even complain easily to the finest landscaping company in Ireland?!! We have had varietions of this in the past but a friendlier more simple ‘form’ were one could add comments if preferred seemed the route.

We failed this part of the award accreditation so far because we had no complaints over the telephone. We had one or two emails [more to say thank you] asking if something could be adjusted or tweeked but none sofar a complaint.

Maybe it’s an Irish thing not to complain? or maybe we have the mix spot on!? but when in an audit situation and the auditor is saying ‘no complaints?’ One kind of starts to wonder?

Garden centres and nurseries have an option to have a customer feedback form – but I know from doing my research for this part of the ‘best practice award’, most people referred to when in a hotel style situation and after filling in the customer feedback form, they wondered if the person behind the counter will take the form out and read it as soon as they leave or else if theirs is the only one in there. In essence to criticise or complain because of service you would have preferred may be embarassing, frowned upon or even considered impolite.

So now, not so much where we are going wrong but more how to I make my company improve every day – and as Irelands most famed Corkman would say – we can always give more than 100%.

no rubber – soul [m’anam gan rubar]

no-rubber-soul-car-garden-peter-donegan-garden design no-rubber-soul-car-garden-peter-donegan landscaping ltd no-rubber-soul-car-garden-peter-donegan silver medal

no-rubber-soul-car-garden-peter-donegan-show garden no-rubber-soul-car-garden-bloom in the park peer-donegan-morris minor car garden

no-rubber-soul-award-garden peter donegan no rubber soul no-rubber-soul-car-garden-peter-donegan

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.

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Donegan Landscaping Ltd joins Barr 50

barr 50 award

barr 50 award

At The Four Seasons Hotel on June 1st 2007, in conjunction with Price Waterhouse Cooper and Forais na Gaeilge Peter Donegan MI Hort and Peter Donegan Landscaping Ltd joined Barr 50, the top 50 companies to operate through the Irish language.

The awards recognize those who have made efforts in their industry to use the Irish language to improve their business.

After making the website bilingual, initially, the company has slowly adjusted selections of his companies operations ‘as gaeilge’ and bilingual.

On receiving the award Peter Donegan noted, ‘We didn’t do anything catastrophic, we just made an effort through Irish. It is hoped that our customers will applaud this award and that our future efforts with Forais na Gaeilge will prove as successful.’

Peter Donegan Landscaping Ltd is the first horticultural related company to join the elite top fifty.

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