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Back Garden Landscaping: Portmarnock, Dublin

back garden portmarnock (3)

Sometimes in garden landscaping, it’s not so much what a garden has become but also – and in some cases moreso – what it was before.

And it is that transformation that I can see in the future in my sometimes very funny head that kind of reminds me of those late night shopping weight loss adverts. You know the ones…. here’s Jimmy with his old trouser pants the size of a tent and now he’s the width of a very thin squirrel, all because he used the ab-buster-express for just 3 weeks with extra added vbefore and after images now on your screen. You get the picture I’m trying to paint ?

And it is that before and after that I do love so dearly in my creating of gardens.

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Reeling In The Years – Howth Golf Club

howth landscaping

I was having a rummage through some old images of plants for a little garden research last week when I stumbled across these pictures taken during my time landscaping at Howth Golf Club.

Their date stamp tells me they were taken January 22nd, 2004. Timeline-wise, I would have just completed my 2nd year in business as Donegan Landscaping and was still but 27 years of age.

If memory serves me right, I believe my time spent working on the grounds there would have been done over a two/ three-year period. And for a wee young cherub of the Irish landscaping scene at that time, to have an established and very respected name employ me to work on their front of house, was only ever a good thing to happen to me.

howth landscaping howth landscaping

As I remember it, I needed some images for an article in The Irish Entrepreneur Magazine [March 2004] and a lot of calling around eventually found me one person I knew who knew owned a digital camera.

Almost ten years on, it makes me smile every time I drive past the what was very new at the time planting to see how it and the now established avenue of Tilia cordata Greenspire trees that I planted have evolved.

Regarding the article in The Irish Entrepreneur magazine article, the first ever piece written about me, I found this scanned in section of it; the print version of which hangs framed in my bathroom to this day.

donegan landscaping, irish entrepreneur

Landscaping: Back Garden. Knocklyon, Dublin

peter donegan garden

Like that delightful fellow you played football with in school who never got the concept of passing the ball, ever… in gardens, it is sometimes the oversized patio that can claim all the glory and very simply stand out for all of the very wrong reasons. And what that leaves behind, is 10 other guys standing there with their hands on their hips wondering why on Gods earth they even got togged out in the first place.

Garden analagy translated, what you should take from this garden at first glance is that there is no ‘lovely or very large individual big player. It’s more an overall feeling of a great home and or a great garden, and it all just seems to fit.

That and that feeling, behind the scenes in part comes down to proportion; the distances between each sector and within each, that they also sit very happily with each other.

Equally as important is that the calculations should only ever equate [to you] to ‘I love staying longer than I should’ in that [or this] garden. A little like Muddy Waters singing 24 Hours. And though I love listening to that song with my eyes closed, I’ll never type the sheet music into a calculator and press the square root button, if you get me.

Enter the obligatory before Peter got his hands on it picture.

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Landscaping: Back Garden. Co. Meath, Ireland

donegan gardens dublin

I’ve been creating gardens under the Donegan Landscaping name since 2001 and though this garden was made a little ago now, my reason for stalling off posting a full note on it here is that I just couldn’t find any of the before I got there images. Worth the wait, the best of the worst is pictured below.

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Patio Paving: Grey Limestone

grey limestone, paving steps

There’s a point in good, tasty well thought out gardens where not everything can be shiny. It can, of course. But it shouldn’t be, really. In context, imagine if you will an entire garden space coloured in yellow, or gold; I mean the entire garden, wall to wall. And what you should picture is a pretty pointless area when you close your eyes and really think about it. Not pointless. More monotonous; or mono-tone, if you will.

In this case or in that contrasting department, the natural grey limestone paving is an absolute cracker. Because a little like the use of red in garden design in order to highlight something [ref here: alongside green in Japanese styled gardens], one needs a contrast in colour; An extreme case of which may include the use of yellow on black.

grey limestone paving

I love the fact that just like it’s sister, the black limestone, the grey has that naturally furled ruffle to its surface and that there is a touch of esque like the stone masons of old where I’m almost choice lifting one piece out and replacing it with another, solely because the finish of one is kind of similar to a neighbouring slab.

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