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Garden Class @ The Summer Art School

donegan gardens

This week I did a garden class with Amy Cooney’s Summer Art Class in Ballyboughal. For those who may not be aware, that’s in North County Dublin, just outside of Swords and it’s also my own home town.

It was great to be asked and always an interesting phone call with Amy, the latter is partly because she’s a pretty darned talented artist and has a really cracking eye for interior design. Which is sort of the opposite of what I do.

The ages at the gig ranged from under 4 to around 12-ish and armed with some fresh-cut from my homestead garden props it was a nice moment when the smallest began finishing off correctly my sentences when I was chatting the life cycle of a plant. In this case an apple tree.

We planted garlic cloves in compostable pots and chatted how they’ll never have to buy garlic again if they look after this one and how to look after it and then with the help of some volunteers we did the sowing watercress in cotton wool gig. Always loved doing that when I was a smaller. And then forgetting that I’d actually placed them in the bowl on top of the fridge. And then remembering that I had about 72 weeks later. Mad stuff altogether.  Always makes me smile.

Cheers to all for a cracker of a morning.

On a mild side note, this weeks Sodshow might prove of interest to some taller people who look after younger people 😉

peter donegan landscaping

Trampoline Sinking

sinking a trampoline

I’ve heard many varying reports on how one should or can sink a trampoline. In my honest opinion logically, in reality and in fact, unless it’s a wee trampoline for a leprechaun, there is only one real vorsprung durch technic method of doing so. I did this as one part of a bigger picture where, I should add, works are still in progress.

Before you get to crater creations, choose your trampoline. Buy once, buy well, buy right and buy this before you dig. In this case the trampoline is [by specification] 14′ foot diameter. Spot chosen, the central point is found and the hole is dug. Note: not recommended you do this by hand, brutal soil or not. There is a fine reason why I note this.

trampoline sinking

Approximately 40 tonne came out of this soil sided cylinder and *if Irish rainfall weather does not work in your favour, it will fill up and depending, the walls can/ may/ most probably will collapse. You may say it didn’t. I say that is one heck of a gamble.

Levels sorted below ground level, distances and levels are checked at almost every interval. Foundations were then laid and whacked, yes, with the whacker [compaction plate]. Once the base set, it was straight onto the first course of cavity blocks.

The cavity blocks and foundations had rebar/ steel set into them and once we got to the top level into that then is poured concrete. In short, this is known as a retaining wall. We chose to cap them off with a solid block on its flat.

Allowing time for the concrete in the walls to dry, we returned to level the soil about 7 days later. Weather dependent, you will need this. Any sooner and the weight of the machine plus the weight of the soil against wall may cause it to cave in. Not an option. The base of the pit made allowances for a sump/ drainage pump to be put in place and the base of the pit was brought to foundation level with stone for drainage. After that the trampoline is put into its new home.

The trampoline was planted after with a dwarf type bamboo to surround it. I like the way this dapples the matt black saftey net. Of note, flick back up to the top of the post and see the difference in the height versus the wall.

I’ll get a better picture of the trampoline set in place, but for now this will have to suffice. Questions or queries, leave a comment or….

Contact Peter

UPDATE: 3rd July 2012 – Trampoline Safety Netting

The SodShow. Gardening For Children

The Sodshow Garden Podcast – every Friday – in iTunes, www.sodshow.com all good podcast stores.

Dublin’s Only Garden Radio Show. The SodShow – with Peter Donegan & Brian Greene – Every Friday 3pm.

On This Weeks Garden Radio:

We talk children’s gardening. From 40 something never before gardenened Brian Greene who grew his first bulb this week to 4 year old Mia Goldbach interviewed by her Dad Bernie Topgold Goldbach and all the way back up to 11 year old Eli.  All this and so much more on Dublin’s only garden radio show, The SodShow.

garden radio ireland the sodshow

Listen to The SodShow Live @ 3pm:

  • Tune in: 103.2fm on your radio dial if you are in the Dublin area
  • Listen live online: every Friday 3pm via TuneIn.com – on your phone or desktop

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