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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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Side Garden Ideas: A Fruit Tree Hedge

fruit tree hedge

I’ve already noted the fruit bush hedge, which may be worth a read before you read this; in fact, recommended you go read that and then come back here and read this, in order for this to make sense… if that makes sense 😉

Back over here… Organised but disorganised within, this was prior to an odd little bit of a garden space. Geographically, it lies to the side of the home, as versus the back or front and really, it had become a little of a no mans land that just didn’t sit right in any ones mind. There was a sort of unknown unease being there; a little like Del Boy and Rodney and the time they turned up to that funeral in the Batman and Robin costumes…. God that was funny ! Point taken.

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Private Garden Landscaping, Dublin

garden landscaping dublin

There are days when I can only but wish I had a doppelgänger. Just so he can pat me on the back for another fine job well done. Big headed much, you may say, maybe. But I really, really like this garden.

I will admit I did make more changes in my mind on this one more than any other space I have created over the last 3 years. But creative and good-looking as the end result, the mild edits in my head were proven wise in the end. Far, far more important, the client [I hate that word…] was happy.

To the garden: In the off centre middle of all this outdoors lies a lovely natural matt black natural stone patio of 16 metres squared, wrapped around and entirely softened with of instant height plants. To the harder surface, I like the way this stone goes from matt to almost a gloss black as the rain droplets make it dapple in appearance; something that never ceases to make me smile.

Behind the scenes, the stone runs spirit-level level against the terrain of the garden, yet from the outer it appears level because of how the planting wraps around it. More than that, I like the subtle understatement the stone makes and put simply, it is pretty darned tasty.

garden patio, dublin timber bin screen

If it be the simple things, I love that the bin screen was not shop bought. And silly as it sounds, if there were awards for hand made timber screens, yup you guessed it, I’d get my doppelgänger to present me with one of them too.

In case you might be wondering, the brief also included a note for not all in the main season flowering plants. You may think that not a good thing [?]. Au contraire and far from it says this plants person, in reality, it just makes it different and in a good way. For me, it quite simply makes the choosing of the plants for their new home that little extra interesting.

Below: The obligatory before Peter got his hands on it garden picture

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At this point you’re maybe beginning to wonder if Donegan Pants-Gaping believes he has any flaws at all. And though my photography is sometimes rubbish, my including of the image below is more to give you an idea of the journey that one must take to actually get into the garden. Take a scroll back through the images…. because you’ll see that one has to go the full length of the new space outdoors to get into the new room outside, within a new room outside… if you get me. And in the not one acre sized gardens department, that, is one fine trait to behold.

It is only after completing a garden like this, that I wonder why I wondered why. And though the garden will need a little time to come into its own and the plants a little time to find their orientation; one should never forget that gardens without people in them are pretty darned meaningless spaces. That in mind, I’ve got a really nice feeling about one. 😉

gardens landscaping dublin

Q’s or thoughts [?] leave a comment below or drop me a line.

Peter Donegan:

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Dublin Landscaping: Domestic Back Garden

donegan landscaping, dublin (3)

This has to be without question, one of them gardens I put together where the photographs will do most of the talking. I know, it’s unusual. But then there is fine logic behind my choosing to study horticulture and not non moving cinematography.

That aside, you may have noticed that the gardens I make, put together, create, see in my head…. can differ, or vary a lot. I find it good to listen to my clients the people who will use their garden and the newest addition to their home most after it’s completion. It’s also that variance that is that bit of my work [?] that I love so much, that makes no week or day in my and your great outdoors ever the same.

donegan landscaping, dublin (2)

Peter Donegan:

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Dublin Garden: Raised Beds, Low Maintenance

donegan landscaping dublin

Historically, almost every ornamental raised bed I ever made was from stone. No apparent reason, it’s just what was done, what was the trend and what clients requested… like Lonicera nitida hedges maybe, in pre 1980’s Ireland. In that context this Dublin domestic back garden is a little bit different. A little; yet still there’s something in this space outdoors that is a little old school funky, like a really great vinyl record collection.

garden design sketches

I don’t know whether its the fact that the timber will age ever so as the plants mature or the fact that the planting choice, to the eloquent plants person could maybe be considered mildly eclectic. Maybe it’s the whitewash walls, or the pebble, or that fact that [by definition] there are two hedges in this garden, both serving two different functions.

Of note, the plants in particular within this space, fresh from the nurseries, will need a little time to come into their own, to harmonise, acclimatise and turn towards the preferred source of light.

low maintenance, gardens

The garden layout and build aside, I like the raised beds in wood. I love that I made them to measure and that client in mind, we did build in that wee seat just below the Dicksonia antartica. More than that, they will make the gardening work easy-er, after I am gone.

In the plant selection department I know I was really smart when it came to this as the growth rates per annum are quite low. Aesthically to counteract that, were possible they were brought in a little more mature; it was important that they looked like they had been there for some time and there is nothing worse than waiting five or so years for a garden to come entirely into its own. A bit like taking too long to paint your home and only giving it one coat of paint, if you get me.

garden design sketch

Tied in with a semi-permeable membrane used within the raised beds and a decorative pebble, this gives the client a low-er by far maintenance garden. And when you look at it, really outside of the grass; there isn’t really much by way of annual maintenance costs or time at all.

To the rear of the [rear] garden I love that the front hedge is Laurus nobilis and though it will take a little for the dots to join, there will be nothing nicer when it does than sitting behind it on the south facing raised patio area, within what already feels like a separate room within the great outdoors.

Far more than that, this is a garden that I’m really going to look forward to returning to. There is something truly wonderful about being able to see a photosynthetic picture of the future, in my imagination (?), for it exists nowhere else. Far, far better that picture coming to fruition and others smiling because of what was created for them.

garden patio

Peter Donegan:

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