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Garden Gift Ideas This Season

Bit too early you for this you say….? In the garden calender, you have less than 9 weeks to the years end.

On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me….

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Christmas gift buying can be a tedious affair particularly when buying for…. well, just about anyone. I don’t know about you but, I know as sure as Willy Wonka will be on tv this Christmas, I have never bought myself aftershave, shirts or socks, in the last 10 years. That is by no means a complaint. Far from it. What I’m really looking forward to however is my first ever Christmas knitted wooly jumper…. you know the one with the reindeer on it… the Daddy ‘rocking around the Christmas tree’ ones…. 😉

On that note I have 10 real green garden gifts that will make your life that little bit easier.

  • Give It The Garden Once-Over:

A makeover, a facelift… you may simply require that little extra professional touch to brighten up the front or back garden for the festive season. Weeding the beds, some bark and some berried plants or simply some additional instant planting. Planted exactly to your liking or positioned to brighten up that apartment, existing garden or balcony.

  • Instant Colour Planters:

For the office or home, for inside or out. One for the entire office or one just for Mary. Culinary or colour or simply pretty and inviting. A living gift that will last that little bit longer and will spice up that Christmas dinner.

  • A Tree Is For Life – Not Just For Christmas:

Email or call. Your trees or tall shrubs can be fruiting and small and – or native and tall. Planted on your date of choice or simply delivered to your recipients door.

  • Especially For You:

Maybe you have an existing garden but you’d like something that little bit more unique and one off. You’ve searched the stores and you’ve had no luck there. How about a garden feature made just for you ?

  • In Need of some Sound Advice:

Reckon you may like to do the job yourself but simply don’t know where to start…? Book a day with yours truly to get the best from your garden whilst in your garden. Your very own garden class, a consultation, plant shopping or a garden layout. As you wish…

  • The Ultimate Garden Design:

Scheduled, time-lines, products and plants. All drawn and planned – all in order, organised and tailor made to suit your budget and space in your great outdoors.

  • The Seasonal Hair Cut:

The hedge, the trees the lawn. It may not be the Phoenix Park but sometimes the arms of others are better used, letting you get on with the things that matter more.

  • A Class Apart:

Fancy your very garden class just for you and your group of friends. A day out in your garden or at your place of work, one with your very own group of budding gardeners should be just the ticket. Green by grow your your own or specific to the more amenity side of the garden, maybe you’d like to mix them both… The choice is yours. All materials can be supplied and the time-lines and times to suit yourself. All you have to do is turnip turn up. Simply send me and email or drop me a line.

  • Everything You Need For The DIY:

If you fancy giving it all a try yourself…. all of the pieces to complete the puzzle hand picked, delivered and wrapped if you wish. All of the garden products you could ever need to complete the tasks at hand or to put that final addition to that great outdoors.

  • Still Stuck….

Depending on the person you have in mind, that may not be such a surprise 😉 Pop me an email or pick up the phone. There’s something out there for everyone….

You can as always contact me via the following options.

  • by email info@doneganlandscaping.com
  • via this website: click the contact page
  • call mobile – o876594688

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Nollaig Shona

If you didn’t get a Christmas card from me this year. Don’t be offended. I didn’t send any. My reason…

I took the money for this and gave it to a friend of mine called Amy. When you read what she has to say…. you’ll understand.

Amy explains it so well….

I have decided in a moment of madness to brave the Irish seas on December 25th in the name of charity…… I will be trying to raise a few bob for St Francis Hospice Raheny who provided palitive care for my beloved Gogs (Grandad) and invaluable support to my whole family! My Gogs passed away in February 08 and our last Christmas with him was very tough as he was very frail and ill. This has left Christmas in ours a little sad.. so asides from raising money I hope to bring some cheers to the house!

Funny thing is my Grandfather [pop] also passed away there….. Such a kind man that I loved and still miss very much. That said, I’m so happy to have really known him and Christmas will never be an unhappy one with such happy and fond and happy memories of him. If you read my 101 amazing facts – you’ll know why 😉

Back to it…. Heres to Amy, Carol and Jenny and Gog and all those at the St Francis Hospice who I know will be doing only their finest on Christmas Day.

Have a really happy one. And I’ll see you in the new year.

Peter

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Quiz Mistress Powers and The Irish gardeners

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Last week I gave you the Irish Times, Jane Powers super dooper Christmas quiz.

If you didn’t see it….? Just click this Irish Times Jane Powers Quiz link. Because this Saturday it will return again.

Reckon you can pit your wits against the finest in the land… Go buy a copy of The Irish Times tomorrow – it appears in the magazine section.

If you did try the quiz…. and you would like the answers…. Jane very kindly emailed me them.;) Take a look and see how you got on….

Thanks Jane!

ANSWERS:

1. Beech keeps its dead leaves over winter.

2. Mistletoe is a parasite of trees.

3. Spiders are not vegetarians.

4. Narcissus was the young man in Greek mythology who spent much time gazing at his reflection in a pool.

5. The highest box hedges in the world are at Birr Castle in Co Offaly.

6. Carrots are propagated by seed.

7. The rabbit-eared flower is lavender (Lavandula).

8. False. Fresh grass clippings are high in nitrogen, not carbon.

9. An awn is found on the flowering parts of members of the grass family.

10. Arran Victory, Edzell Blue and Congo potatoes have dark, blue-toned skins.

11. Sarcococca is commonly known as “Christmas box”.

12. 2008 was the United Nation’s Year of the Potato.

13. An “eyecatcher” is an architectural feature on a distant hill.

14. The petals of buttercups are not edible.

15. Pomes and drupes are both fruits.

16. The garden with the Italianate pond is Ilnacullin, Garinish Island, Glengarriff.

17. The flower of the dragon arum (Dracunculus vulgaris) smells like carrion.

18. It smells like this in order to attract pollinating insects.

19. Sambucus nigra ‘Eva’, Ranunculus ficaria ‘Brazen Hussy’ and Aeonium ‘Zwartkop’ all have “black” foliage.

20. In A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, Ebenezer Scrooge’s suggested stake is made of holly.

21. Vine weevil larvae consume the roots and underground parts of plants.

22. A fruit cage is an enclosure to protect berrying plants from birds.

23. The botanical epithet “bonariensis” means “of Buenos Aires”.

24. Cornus, Nepeta, Equisetum and Arisarum proboscideum all refer to animals: dogwood, catmint, horsetail and mouse plant.

25. The spiny flower is teasel.

26. The words “holly” and “mistletoe” combine to make the anagram “little me, so holy”.

27. To “harden off” a plant is to gradually expose it to colder outdoor temperatures.

28. Tom Stuart-Smith designed the “Best Show Garden” at Chelsea Flower Show 2008.

29. A pedicel is a flower stalk.

30. Potatoes are propagated asexually.

31. The Latin epithet “alpina” means that the plant is an alpine, growing high on a mountain, above the tree line.

32. Raceme, corymb, panicle and spike refer to the inflorescence (the flowering part) of a plant.

33. The common name for Euphorbia pulcherrima is poinsettia.

34. “I think that I shall never see/ A poem as lovely as a tree.” are the first two lines of the poem in question (Trees by Alfred Joyce Kilmer)

35. Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’, Geum ‘Mrs Bradshaw’ and Dahlia ‘Bishop of Llandaff’ have red flowers.

36. The name of the garden show last summer was Bloom.

37. Alchemilla, Athyrium, Cardamine pratensis and Cypripedium are all “lady” plants (lady’s mantle, lady fern, lady’s smock and lady’s slipper).

38. Lamb-Clarke Collection at University College Dublin is composed of Irish apple varieties.

39. The hoverfly is a friend to the gardener.

40. Crassula ovata (also sometimes known as C. argentea), is commonly known as the money plant.

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i almost forgot….

this year i went to my *local* Christmas tree farm and picked out my very own tree. It was the first time I’d had a tree in my house as usually I’m away or not around at this time of year.

Anyway… I had no star for my tree, so I asked my niece Lilly if she would mind doing me the honour and making one for me [because as all adults know a made one is better than a bought one, right 😉 ] Lilly and Christopher [lillys younger brother], dropped by and i promised I would give them a mention here, to officially thank them both 🙂 isn’t life just brilliant!

christopher and lilly

christopher and lilly

i want that one…

Christmas trees! I love this time of year… I just love it! While you’re at the turkey stuff the begrudgers, the doom and gloomers and anybody else who’s a pain in the tuschie, take out the mistletoe and have a mince pie. It is the season to be jolly – and don’t you forget it 🙂

With whole place decked in holly, last week I and ‘her indoors’ [as Arthur Daly would say], went to pick out our Christmas tree. There is, possibly unknowns to some a Christmas tree farm in Rolestown North Dublin [just outside Swords and after Kettles Hotel just on the left]. It’s brilliant. While I was there, the Moms flocked in with their children, wellies and woolies on and went with Mick to select the specimen they wanted.

€30 any tree, netted and the butt drilled or trimmed to suit your stand. If you’re nice he’ll even give you a lolly pop! If you have never seen a tree farm or never selected your own live tree it is a great experience .

Have a really Happy Christmas, have a great new year and enjoy!