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Irish Gardening Books and Shops

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As one can gather… I have quite a vast and varied gardening book collection. But recently I have found it quite extremely difficult to buy anything that could be considered original. Even more difficult than that is to find anything at all original and Irish.

I did email hughes and hughes. I also emailed easons. For those outside of Ireland they are probably Irelands biggest retailers of books. I queried who selected the books for the gardening section…. it was some time ago now but I got no answer.

Once again, I was in Waterstones [not the most Irish] book shop on Dawson Street. Yes folks, when I’m not scouring the aisles looking for nouveau paraphernalia I am looking for new reading material. 😉 Waterstones deserve massive applause. They don’t know me. I don’t know them…. but we have more books in common than other book shop in Ireland.

A lot of them are specialist, or coffee table style books – but a higher than others percentage are Irish, written and referenced.

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There are two main issues. Or two things I look for when choosing a book. The first is, is the book of any use or is it just a rehash of something that has already existed. Most recently, you will find that has appeared in the ‘organic’ or ‘grow your own’ department. Formerly it was simply called growing fruit and vegetables. But en vogue labelling obviously sells.

The second issue, after I narrow it down to a book I like is, as I can gather, is that most books are published for the UK market. That’s absolutely fine. But when it comes to the reference bit at the back… they are all UK companies. If for example it is to do with recycling…. it makes the book of very little use.

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I know there are great books out there. I know there are great independent book stores out there. I am not all wishing to knock here. I am I suppose hoping it may [at the very least] improve the quality of what is for sale on the market at this moment in time. To those who don’t have grandiose garden book collections… it’s very akin, to analogise, to only being able to buy Stock, Aitken and Waterman music.

Whilst I am on the subject, there are always those a little more amazing and unique at their job…. If you do know one of them… go ahead and give them a mention.

If this post makes a difference, a publishing house wishes for me to review their garden books… a book shop wishes to put their message out in response to this – I am more than happy to do so. From this maybe we will all gain…. All you have to do is contact me.

Below is Waterstones gardening section….

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october in the garden…

The Sepember in the garden post seemed to go down quite well so… here’s your monthly bit for October. And a little music to read with…

Now that your bedding plants have just about gone to pot and the garden [in some cases] maybe lacking a little inspiration… it’s time to take down those hanging baskets and planters, identify those blank spots in your beds and get the place spruced up. 😉 Believe me you’ll thank me for it.
garden-colour-small colourful-plants-small spring bulbs

While you’re there… don’t forget spring bulbs are on sale now. If you want some spring inspiration year after year… this is a ‘right now’ must do. Chose not to do so in advance and what one finds is that the left over bulbs are planted in pretty pots and come January, sold with a big bow wrapped around it… and a price tag to match.

removing a lawnmower blade lawnmower-blades-sharpen lawnmower-blades-sharpen-angle grinder

Next up… the evenings are getting that little bit darker so I’ve decided I’m gonna get started on some early winter chores. I’ve started with the lawnmowers. The problem has been that even when the sun did shine, the grass was still wet and the blades took the odd bit of hammering. I’ve got all the undersides cleaned out and out with the angle grinder to give the blades a bit of a sharpen. Apart from that usual service rules apply, but nothing a good drop of oil can’t solve. If you’re not into that, book it in for its annual service… before everyone else does that is!

muddy-grass weeds weed-control

From a weed control point of view… once again the weather has played absolute havoc. Assuming you have a couple of hours dryness, the grass/ weeds are dry and you use a translocated spray…. whilst teperatures are around the 12-14 degrees celcius, I’d make sure  you get the place tidy[er] for this coming winter a little sooner.

lettuce-plants lettuce greenhouse

The lettuce crops are still trying to bolt into seed. I’m still fighting it… nature will eventually take over. That said I’ve not been as reliable on my sorrell plants and as a result their green leaves will carry me easily through December. Next after that is a good tidy up of the greenhouse. I need to get ready for some spring crops….

garden-furniture sale barbeque wild-berries

If you fancy building your own BBQ check out this post. Other than that… a good clean up of the entire set is necessary and store it away until next year.Yes that’s right wash it… not leave it out to rust like you did last year 🙄

Don’t forget your wild berries. Just because they’re not in a plastic container… they’re exactly the same thing. Go pick. Make jam. Bake cakes. Free food season is on. Before the birds get it.

Passing through some garden centres recently, Now is the best time to buy your garden furniture, benches and tables for next year. It is the end of the season and some ranges – If you want to get some kind of garden together for next year and need those few bits. Take my advice – the real bargains are on now

beaujolais-nouveau

and enjoy

For the moment there’s not a whole lot else – but in garden terms always remeber that preparation is everything and forgetting this month may leave you in mild despair for next year.

With all that hard work done… 😆 You’ve a great excuse now with the evenings closing in – go ahead grab yourself a glass of wine, sit back and relax.

As I said last month… if you see something thats not here – just leave a comment – I’ll know the next time ;) I also dropped in a little music from Paulo Nutini, because I find I can read better with music when the article is a little longer. Personally, I dislike the ever copy and pasted 5 pointer one liners that reappear in the usual gardening columns so I’ve tried to make this a little different[ish]. I just hope you enjoyed it.

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nice people who deserve a mention….

First up….. I asked a while ago if your product was amazing and Irish

In Ireland it seems we still operate [to an extent…] by the ‘do you know someone who does…..‘ rule. Sometimes I come across these poeple. Some have no websites. Some just don’t pop up too well when searching in google…. some a bit new or some just a bit Irish 😉

meadowsweet-apiaries-ltd birdwatch-ireland houses-castles-and-gardens-of-ireland

Either or here’s a few that I found in the last while that deserve a bit of a mention…

botanic-greenhouse-company john-farrell-atfar-construction bdf-commercials

  • Meadowsweet Apiaries Ltd
    Contact: Andrew Mc Guinness. Based in Offaly, Andrew had no website when I met him but his prices seem logic enough. Andrew produces honey & beeswax products and also supplies beekeeping equipment. Email: andrew [dot] mcguinness [at] hotmail [dot] com. Either that or call the Irish Beekeepers Association
  • Bird watch Ireland
    I spoke to Niall Hatch of Birdwatch Ireland sometime ago now. Once again I found no website on the information leaflet I was given. You can however email info [at] birdwatchireland [dot] ie for further information
  • Rothe House Family Garden
    described as ‘an early 17th Century  Irish Merchants garden’ this is one on my must do list. Based in Parliament Street, Kilkenny the Rothe House and Gardens are privately owned by the Kilkenny Archealogical Society [KAS] and managed by the Rothe House Trust Limited. www.rothehouse.com
  • Irish Wildlife Trust.
    I’d met Joanne Pender of the irish wildlife trust back in June. Nice lady. Love their magazine. They can be contacted on their website www.iwt.ie
  • The Just Food Company
    Established in 2004 by Deidre Hilliard this amazing story of organic handmade food started as a stall at Middletons Farmers Market and is now a commercial kitchen. I met Deidre and fell in love straight away….. with her organic hummus and rocket pesto 🙂 Contact Just Food at www.justfood.ie
  • Botanic Greenhouse Company
    based in Donabate, North Dublin and managed by Eoin Hurley. I like the fact that these guys cater more specifically for the domestic market and cover all of Ireland. A nice guy and a straight talker. Take a look and see what you think…. then give hime a call 😉 www.botanicgreenhouses.ie
  • D.B. Painting & Decorating
    David behan. Another straight shooter. Another with no website. I said it before and I’ll say it again. One of lifes good guys. Needed a hand out recently. Dave stood up and was glad to do what he could. Gardens and features need painting too… 🙂 contact david behan painting 087 – 2551928
  • John Farrell
    a little like David above. I simply needed a little help and some good advice. I rang John and you might say he answered the call. A civil engineer. Owns Atfar Construction Ltd. Nice, honest and an all round good guy. Contact Atfar Construction via their website
  • John Friel
    B.D.F. commercials really only do big trailers… the ones with 16 wheels. Once again its the nicer guys in life who make thing go that little smoother. John was there when I asked for a little hand out with regards to my own one. Thanks John & Cáitlín 🙂 rivet guns are not something most landscapers own!
  • John Kenny
    absolutely zero to do with the landscaping industry. John’s business is a packing machine solutions company but once or twice I’ve asked and on all occasions answered. Thanks John for the loan of the angle grinder.
  • and finally to Adrian for the computer advice, Rebecca for the sketches, Paul for the timber help and Philip for the wi-fi assistance and the nice chats. Really apprecaited. Sincerely.

As a by the way this list was built up over a 3 month odd period. Usually garden advice plants and the barter rule apply… but sometimes its just nice to say thank you 🙂

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niall mellon township trust gardeners weekend

and what a weekend it turned out to be…. It was amazing.

To say I was blown away by peoples generosity is an understatement. Whether it was time, money or simply calling to wish only the very best  – thank you all so much. You really did and will make such a difference. From my heart thank you! The *thank you* list here could only be endless so… if I have forgotten to mention you please hollar… you really do deserve it…

The setting of the Garden Exhibition Centre was always a great start and the sun made a very welcome appearance. Saturday started really well highlighted with 2 garden lectures. One from myself and the second from nice guy and fellow garden designer Damien Keane. But Sunday left most mesmerised when The Riptide Movement played the second tier of the mountain side based centre. Kilquade certainly came to life 😉

But it didn’t stop there… Dawn Ashton was also there creating amazing mosaics with the children. These will be brought to South Africa and used to decorate the walls of the garden. The staff of the Centre and so many garden designers turned out in their droves simply to be on hand to give out free advice where necessary.

Isn’t it amazing when an entire industry arrives to support such an amazing cause. Even Dominic Loughran, head of operations for the Niall Mellon Township Trust turned up with his entire family – and he flying out to S.A. today!

I think the video summises it so very well…

to donate or to see how much was raised click here 🙂

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