The Right Time To Get The Garden Done

It must be coming into your quiet time for the oul’ gardening now…..


Just one of the many clichés I’m on the verge of hearing more regularly now that the temperatures start to drop slightly and the evenings start to get a little shorter. The answer is more the opposite in fact.

There is a point where there are certain things that cannot be done no matter what stage of the season one is talking from, but in general the wise owls, tend to, get the ‘garden done’ in what some would consider the off season.

The reality is that with the coming of October onwards and the drop in temperatures of the seasons comes the en mass planting of trees and shrubs. Don’t get me wrong summer is fine for gardening… but when one needs to plant en mass or is planning on a budget and has the patience to place into the ground what may appear as a twig – and wait – then planting when the specimen is dormant and the sky above is willing to act as your automatic watering system ie. you do not need to water every single plant to keep it alive during the pretty decent warm summer we have just had – then logic, in gardening terms is simply just that and has been applied extremely well.

Have you ever seen someone watering plants in November…?

The other advantage is that the new plant is not competing with weeds as it tries to settle into its new home, wherever that maybe. Because essentially, weeds are plants – they simply don’t know that we don’t want them to grow there – and –  like the plants we do want to grow, both are in their over-wintering state.

Generally speaking in this context, put into the summer months, the turning of the soil in order to plant [the plants] brings with it weed seeds flourishing to the surface. Come the rise in temperatures towards the end of spring it is hoped the developing canopies of foliage will assist in reducing this problem – and therefore the competition for nutrients. A mild nipping of the tips helps here.

The question then remains – when is the best time to get the garden done? And the answer is pretty simple – whenever you wish. The question back is what do you want from your garden [?]

If one for example wishes to have a ‘not always just green garden’ ie. one where the plants come and go in and out of flower throughout the seasons; like the forsythia below that flowers on bare stems in early and mid spring – if planted in summer – then there is a wait until the following season for it to come into its own and fullest glory.

Based on last year [2009] which was a complete wash out of a summer which followed straight into an iceberg…. there was a point where freakish summer climatic  conditions meant the gardener [yours truly] had to take time to let the clothes dry out, at some point, eventually.

But this year has been quite good. I’d easily gather bbq sales were up on last year and with that summer feeling has come a rise in requests for garden make-overs, tidy-ups and manicures [with mild additions to]. The other thing noticable is that clients and potential clients started calling in June to plan for the coming ‘off season’.

Tree and hedge planting season is what it may be called for some. But what are people calling Donegan landscaping asking for ?

The requests all have planting of some form involved, but generally speaking the reason to do it, as versus the type of planting, in the off season is the fact that the couple/ family or in the case of one residential complex – the client[s] do not wish to have to water or maintain the plants once planted. A smart move, when making the most out of ones budget, as versus reducing the budget in the main season and not getting the most from the project.

It also means the planting is not trying to flower, establish and settle itself throughout a period where transpiration and growth are also a trying to take place.

It may well be the weather for you to stay inside, but for the tree, the gardener and the plants, investing wisely now may just give you the same rewards for a lot less effort come next spring and summer.

And on top of that…. there’s some hedging and really, really nice trees to be planted 😉

How does your garden grow…?


garden time this november

it's a what...?

it's a what...?

it may well be november – but that does not mean one can rest on their laurels [?!!]. There is still so much to be done in the garden. So here are the bits and bobs you need to get at. Help is right here – if you need it, just hollar. It may be a little colder – but do remember to enoy! The alternate of course is to get somebody to do the garden for you and you can always go for a walk on the promenade in Bray… i love it!

did i leave anything out…..

Self Inflicted Recessions…?

yeah i’ll be there in an hour…

We had to call a services company recently… We called at 9.11am and were told they’d be here in one hour. We called again at 2.11pm and were told they are on the way. We then called at 4.25pm to cancel [after waiting a full day] to be told yeah thats’s grand…

I don’t mind if a company tells me tomorrow and they turn up tomorrow, or next week and they arrive then. What I do mind is companies who complain about a sales downturn, lay people off etc. when sometimes really all that’s needed is a change in mentality… ?

I wrote about recessions here some time ago – the question is – is it somewhat self inflicted…?

the farmers markets…?



my reasons for starting Peter Donegan Landscaping Ltd are probably quite different to those of most in business [?] to be very honest. But as I have said recently it always comes back to the fact that I love what I do.

With that in mind, I was thinking that maybe the Donegan Landscaping team might do the Farmers Market. Not so much to earn enough money to retire [humour…?!!], but moreso to go back to the reason why I started. I’ve no plans in place, nothing ready, not even a venue – I simply mentioned it to the team at our weekly meeting. The guys seemed quite enthusiastic about the whole thing! Which is really good 🙂

So I said I’d put it to the people and see what the thinking was. The poll is below and if you’d like to [go a stage further] leave a comment, one can do so below.
Many thanks in advance, Peter.

the big tidy…

some call it ‘garden hygiene’ but, it is simply, really, a good darned clean up combined with a close up inspection to leave you in good stead for next year. It is what my Mother used to do before Christmas in the house – the big winter/ spring clean – so to speak.

It is absolutely necessary. If the weather has made you neglect the garden for a while [?] then here’s a little helping hand for what should be done… [off the top of my head…]

  • cutting back of smaller growing plants [ieg lavanders] to prevent soft woody
  • growth which may rot
  • cutting back of all hedging type [ieg large fuchsia] excepy for those that may
  • spring flower [ieg forsythia]
  • division of herbaceous planting and replanting
  • fertilising [with a relevant SRF] of trees and shrubs
  • cleaning/ removal to the base of all planting of a seasons debris
  • a reshaping of all lawn edgings
  • the adjustment of all tree strappings/stakes
  • the removal of dead wood and growth
  • the removal and/ or treatment of all weeds
  • laying of bark mulch after spraying
  • the cutting of all hedges
  • planting of bulbs [now!]
  • planning for all tree and hedge planting and the ordering of [now!]
  • painting/ treatment of all fences, sheds, furniture and timbers
  • birds feeders and seed – go gettem – almost there!
  • fork that lawn

Once again, these are just some of the chores/ tasks that should be completed. The list is pretty much that, that will be done to my own garden. If there is anything more I should add… then just let me know; and if I can help in anyway – just pick up the telephone and I’ll be happy to have a chat with you!