Life Is Great

Last night at 8.55pm baby Ella Donegan was born 7lbs 1 oz. Mom and baby are both doing well.

To the people I work with, was supposed to meet, call etc…  for your understanding and patience *and to all of you for [all of the so many of…] your best wishes it really is so very much appreciated.

And yes there will be a party!



Thanks @vonn_d for this. It made me smile 🙂

How Do I Know So Much About Breast Feeding …?

peter donegan

I must have the most varied career I have ever known. Definitely in the context of the great outdoors…. Here’s some of what I did for the year 2009. Anyhow….

Last week I got a phone call asking if I would speak at a conference.

J: Hi Peter its Jenny can you talk…?

P: Yeah sure Jen how are you and the garden and all that…?

J: Yeah good. Listen I put your name forward to speak at a conference. It’s for the….

P: Excellent stuff, thanks Jenny, thats great, really appreciated. What is the Leche League anyway…?

J: Well its a group thats been on the go since….. breast feeding….. and you know…. breasts and feeding and breast feeding…..

Fair enough that’s not what she said…. but it was all I could hear.

I admit I am of the male sex. I was born pre 1980. You know. Boys out room – the girls need to talk sort of genre. I still walk on the outside of the road. I didn’t know my Father had a voicebox until I was 32. Back to it…

P: So you want me to speak to all the Mothers about…..

J: Eh Peter no…

P: I mean I could do a sort of

J: Peter…

P: Well the last time I did a talk I did a…

J: Peter! It’s more for the children …of the mothers like 30 – 40 children about 8-12 years of age…

P: Sure… yeah Jen that’d be great….

I had put it to one side. Not ignoring it. Far from it. More I guess I didn’t realise forgot that a small country [in amount] of women are so far better organised than the U.S. Army.  That is a compliment by the way 😉 On Saturday when I got this email in. I rang Jane after and signed my name down.

Hi Peter,
The La Leche League Conference is on this year on Saturday the 6th and Sunday 7th of March in the Glenroyal Hotel in Maynooth, Co. Kildare.
La Leche League ( la leche means, The milk) is a voluntary organisation founded in 1956 that is dedicated to providing information and encouragement to breastfeeding mothers. We are a worldwide organisation with over 3,000 groups. Ireland currently has over 100 accredited Leaders and 38 active Groups.
The conference is a family affair and while Moms and Dads attend the various sessions on this years exciting programme the children need to be kept entertained too.
This is where you come in.
I have perused your website with much interest (I love the video of pink boat) and your sheer enthusism for gardening, (and life) is wonderful. I love the story of you growing plants under your bed at 5 years old, you certainly knew what you wanted to do from such an early age and now you are living the dream, you are truly blessed.
We would be absolutely delighted if you could come along and do an hour and a half session with the 7 to 12 year olds on Saturday afternoon.
One of the La Leche League Philosophys is “Good nutrition means eating a well balanced and varied diet of foods in as close to their natural state as possible”.
It would be so good for the children to hear your story and then learn how to plant up little containers and grow their own fresh, organic herbs at home on a window ledge.
Hopefully there will be more then just “herb seeds” planted on the day, would’t it be brilliant for the “seed of enthusism” for gardening to take root in the children.
See you then
Joan Broe
As always, I am all organised. And some how or another I can see this making the list of all the things I did for the year 2010 😉 Intersting gig…. looking forward to it.




In a garden recently and I spotted this little beauty growing in a widow box….

It brought me way back to my childhood days. Dad used to have these old cavity concrete blocks running along side the oil tank. Every summer we’d go down to the library to get our free seeds and plant them direct into the hole. Well… I’d plant the seeds that I didn’t eat… 😆 It sounds a little silly in hindsight going out every morning to see if they had sprouted… 😉 The innocence of it all…..

Anyhow… the sunflower or helianthus of the asteraceae [compositae] family are a genus of about 70 species of annuals and perennials. The flowers can rage from 3″ approx in diameter to 12″ in the annual varieties. And surprisingly [possibly] not all flowers are yellow/ yellow brown.

The annuals are generally grown by seed sown in spring but the perennials may propagated by division and base cuttings.  

Prepare for it now and mark it on the 2010 calender. You can start growing them indoors around the end of February or outdoors at the ned of March. These little beauties will flower for you all the way from June to October.  Remember: plant only twice the depth of the seed.


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Autumn Colour…

Can you imagine if every house in Ireland planted just one tree, how beautiful would this country look….


I really do love this time of year.

Last week I was walking down Griffith Avenue and being honest it almost brought me back to my childhood days of not that long ago…
I used to love the leaves on the ground and absolutely hated it when people swept them all up and made the place look tidy. When I saw the piles I was one of those ‘little terrors’ who kicked them all over the place and most likely got an ear clipping for it 😆
Sidetracking slightly, Jane Powers who does the Irish Times garden column, this weekend wrote about the beauty of autumn colour. A great read. Bulaidh bós Jane.
You see, landscaping, well more the trends [?] took a turn for the worst in my opinion over the last few years. Trees, if not all then most definitely the larger members of the family were not allowed. They became surplus to requirement. Some, quarantined them in the high maintenance category. So much so that I find it hard to find [for example] a ‘conker tree’ in North County Dublin…. which is why I went to Griffith Avenue 😉 [I also visited my older brother who lives just off and had some home made chocalate pie and real coffee….]
But its not until, maybe, one sees a tree in its finest splendour through a season that one thinks…. well maybe I would like one of those. And with that in mind tree planting season is almost upon us…. Now is the time to decide that you would like.
Can you imagine if every house in Ireland planted just one tree how beautiful this country would look. If you don’t plant one…buy one for somebody you like to brighten their day up… then go and admire their one… or rake some leaves up and allow the kids to kick them all over the place…. 😆
As a by the way…. autumn colour is brought about by a build up in sugars from warm temperatures during the day and then a cold night where the sugars are held in the leaf.
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adrian… thursday garden guest #5

If you’d like to know more about Thursday garden guest time – click here



For the moment writer #5 is Adrian Mc Mahon. One of lifes really nice guys. Genuinely. If he could help you, he would. And when I have asked – he has. That said ‘Aidos’ main reason for living usually seems to always end with ‘….ah but he’s a mate, you’d have to’. For that reason alone, Im so very proud to know him. He’s also ‘a Ballyboughal resident’. 😉

One of the brains of the Segala team, the Wubud team and the reason why Donegan Landscaping is so advanced from a technology aspect [that said his garden usually looks very good?!!]. He also resides over at Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you the sound man from Emmerdale Farm, North County Dublin…..

The Garden – what I like about…

fields of lavander

fields of lavander

From a child hood perspective what I liked most about gardening was digging holes. In those days the garden was what the Playstation or XBox is to many kids today.

One of my earliest memories of our back garden was a big muck hill.

Builders rubbish but to a kid it was what ever you could cook it up to be. Some days a dig-out for action man or else a ramp providing hours of endless fun.When it was removed to make way for the new tarmac drive way I’m sure we shed a tear.

Those tears didn’t last long, with tarmac came new adventures. Firstly skate boarding the mother broke her ankle on a board. Good thing she didn’t try the jump! Enter the BMX, we used to jam a sheet of ply wood up against the garage door as a make shift quarter pipe, thats when kids could be kids and no on worried about insurance.

.... my favourite...?!!

.... my favourite...?!!

While this was going on there was also the other aspects of life in the garden. I remember having to cut the grass! A huge chore with the aul push mower, mind you I was happy to use it after I heard about the local doctor who cut his toes off while using his new petrol mover.

I was a little too young at that stage to man such a machine… little did I know it would provide me with a summer job when I got older. Yes, all summer long myself and my best mate cut grass.

We charged about 50p (front and back) I remember being so chuffed at getting paid for doing something we enjoyed.

At the back of our garden, like Damien I was given a plot to grow what ever I wanted. I used to buy the bags of seeds in the local hardware. They never grew and I never really understood why but if honest I didn’t really care, it was all about the planting.

Many years later after building a house in Ballyboughal. I enjoy the garden more now than I ever did. I’m not over the top with plants. I like it to look nice and clean yet simple to manage. The garden is my excuse for getting some fresh air into the lungs. No one else will do it, its a great excuse for some quiet offline time, be it weeding the roses or battling bramble bushes and having the arms cut to bits.

the 'great' outdoors....

the 'great' outdoors....

I’m still a big child at heart and love my gadgets. The garden is my excuse for a petrol hedge cutter, with enough hedgerow to keep me occupied for the whole weekend is a gamers dream to me.

I don’t get hung up on the name of a flower, if it looks good it stays, if not then it goes, a garden should be as simple as that. Ask me what are my plans for next summer sure as ‘be darned’ I couldn’t answer that right now but one thing is for sure it will involve doing something in the garden 🙂