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epiphytic? platycerium?!

this is the platycerium bifurcatum, more commonly know as staghorn fern. I thought it worth a mention being that it is so unusual and not exactly what one might see on O’Connell Street!

For those of you who dont know… epiphytic plants, in this case of fern, are plants that grow above the ground level and use other plants/ objects to support them. They don’t root in soil and are not parasitic in nature but by doing this they avoid or increase their competition for light. As you can see this one is relatively new and needed a little assistance to be adapted to its new home.

Slán go foill

peter

building a garden in south africa [part 2]

south africa...

south africa...

 Most of you know my trip to South Africa is taking place this Thursday. Since my last post Dominic Loughran came as my guest to the ALCI awards and gave a fine, appropriate and very rousing speech. I was very proud to sit with him.

I also roped in genius my good pal freelance photographer Maura Hickey [applause!] to travel with me. Maura, like so many of us, has sponsored herself and given up her very valuable time to document & work as part of the garden build. I also gave Maura three weeks notice!?

Most of you know the company sponsored me so if you are donating or sponsoring me the money will go straight to the trust & will be most appreciated. To those of you who work with me, on any level, without you Peter Donegan Landscaping would not have been able to sponsor me, a representative of the company to go. You have already helped so much and again I applaud you. You should be very proud. As best as possible I’ll keep everyone up to date here.

int garden festival [2] – the finale?

another garden festival...?

another garden festival...?

Before I go any further, please refer to this article first and it’s comments.

The news is out. Titled Failed garden festival has over €1m debt, Ian Kehoe wrote the facts in yesterdays Sunday Business Post. Ian’s a good guy who tells it well and I’m a SBP fan, as those who read my articles will know.

Like all things in business though, especially anything horticulture related, there is a risk. Here it simply didn’t work out. To those of you in the creditors box I hope it comes good for you, sincerely.

I’ll move on, whatever the reasons, Rosaleen Flanagan tried on the big stage and for this I know and hope she’ll bounce back. I knew what was happening behind the scenes as it happened. Ireland is small and my trade is even smaller.

My only problem regarding the IGF was when ‘a journalist’ from another publication [NOT SBP] called me asking for my thoughts, facts and any other relevant information I had. I was bemused. Unlike the SBP, this publication didn’t publish any article when IGF needed a good write up and some PR fuel, so I was reluctant to give any information to say it was in flames and help it burn down. Especially if my name was only going to appear only as the whipping boy only. It’s unethical, for me.

My conversation on the opening day with Stuart Sharpless, Andy Sturgeon and David Fountain resulted in us all wishing to return as entrants next year rather than as spectators. For this reason I am a little sad. A garden show I liked will not event.

As I said in my last article before you design you must be inspired and the youth in us required for this must be encouraged and an opportunity has passed. One must appreciate garden design in Ireland is like trying to emulate U2, Lizzy and The Boomtown Rats breaking out of Dublin in the early 80’s. It is of course also such a passionate affair and requires a stern love of the game – roll on Bloom 08.

bulbs – planting starts now!

bulbs...

bulbs...

You want spring colour in your garden, but you and I know the gardeners summer holidays is just after the sprouts and turkey, when you most need a little inspiration and even the garden is looking a little lazy. Grandma’ and the relations have just moved back home and you’ve got to go outside semi-unthawed and breath some life into the earth. Why not plant your bulbs now and look out the window!

The bigger the bulb – the better the bloom Your bulbs should be healthy, free from blemishes and nicely plump. Depending on the natural size of the bulb, bulbs that are too small don’t always flower in the first year and larger bulbs produce better flowers. Avoid dessicated and withered or those with symptoms of mould or rot. Bulbs that have been overexposed to light or warmth in storage can begin leaf growth which usually results in an immature root system and ultimately weak floppy stems

Best planted in clusters Plant in Autumn or early winter before the ground freezes. The biochemical process requiring low temperatures in order to flower is called vernalisation. Depth of planting as a general is usually three times the height of the bulb but this may vary. With rhizomes and tubers for example, shallow planting is a must and both should be placed tops level with the soil surface. Tuberous roots must be placed with sufficient depth for their fibrous roots with stem buds near the surface.

Planting Tips Make a hole using a trowel, shovel or a buy yourself a special bulb digger. Bulbs don’t need great soil but they do need good drainage. Chicken wire over the soil will prevent squirrels from eating the bulbs. To encourage growth use a bulb fertiliser/ slow release bulb food rather than bone meal. Deeply dug bulbs divide slower and require less lifting for division. Sharp sand can be used or added for extra drainage and/ or deep planting. Plant bulbs as soon as you can after purchase. If you can’t – store them in a cool dry place or in a refrigerator.

Do remember this is a general guide to bulbs. If you have any further questions, queries or requests you can as always post your comment on the weblog, email or call me. I must also mention it is positive ageing week running until October 6th their website is well worth a visit. Light up your life, plant some bulbs and as always enjoy.

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irish horticulture worth almost €1 billion

good landscaping

good landscaping

Thanks to Bord Bia we do have statistics on the irish hortiultural and so much more. But I never thought that a magazine outside of The Emerald Isle would cover the value of our hortiultural market. This article titled Irish landscape market hits high was published in Horticulture Week in August 2nd 2007. If you told me this ten years ago, would I have believed you?

The value of the Irish commercial landscaping market is at a record high, Horticulture Ireland has revealed.
The organisation, set up by the Irish government to promote the industry, announced at last week’s Kildare Growers Trade Show in Naas, Co. Kildare, that the market is worth almost €1bn (£673.8m).
Development marketing executive Gary Graham said: “Early estimates suggest the value of the Irish commercial landscaping market is at least €860m [£579.4m]. It’s the highest so far and everyone’s trying to get a piece of the action.”
He also revealed that the industry has experienced a 42 per cent growth over the past four years.
The increase is a direct result of Ireland’s booming housing and commercial property market, which has led to a rise in the number of public spaces and landscaped gardens required by developers.
Figures (from Irish market-research company Sherry FitzGerald) show that the office market in Dublin alone looks to set hit a record high this year.
The amount of accommodation taken up during the first half of the year reached 160,500sq m — almost double the level recorded for the same period in 2006.
However, Graham warned that as new offices are filled and housing requirements are met, the boom could grind to a halt.
“There has been a rapid increase in property values over the past 10 or 15 years but the increase over the past two years has levelled off. People will now be closely watching, waiting to see what the implications are for the sector.”
The Irish Times reported that Irish house prices fell for the third month in a row in May. The average house price in Ireland is now €304,166 (£204,905), 2.1 per cent below the level it was at the start of this year.
But Peter Donegan of Peter Donegan Landscaping said that as that the commercial sector slows, the domestic market is on the up. “The market is two-fold. There’s the industrial side — motorways, hotels and the like — and there’s the housing market, where people are realising that if they landscape their garden their home sells better. People in Ireland have become a bit more educated in horticulture.”
Graham agreed, saying: “The domestic garden market is just getting there now.”