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quinncentennial park, galway

quinncentennial park galway

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Did you ever want to give a County Council, in this case a parks department, whose wages I and you pay – a good kick up the bottom ?

Two parks in two days in Galway is what I set out to do. That’s what I did.

The other was Claude Toft Park. It shouldn’t really matter what two parks I chose to visit – in my honest opinion this parks department needs a radical reality check. If I maintained that park? It wouldn’t be in that state. Or…… I could be out of a job. The options ‘they’ should be given.

Before ‘anyone’ suggests the economic-hulabuloo ? The evidence, horticulturally, is that this neglect has been evident and growing worse for a long [in years] time. Secondly, I personally go to a park so I don’t have to hear about that sort of stuff.

I paid hard earned money to travel to Galway. I spent money when in Galway. If I was a tourist travelling from abroad – I would not return. And with tourism already down 20% – I am beginning to understand why that might be.

To the park – Whilst the outlay remembles a little bit more of what I would consider ‘a park’, once again – zero available information on the internet regarding this place also.

I wasn’t impressed. At first, my mood lightened when I saw a rock noting that it was ‘developed for the benefit of Galways senior citizens by Digital Equipment International B.V. 1984’. I then looked around. Not impressed. My spirits were lifted again when I came across the central water feature and a Mom with kids and dog playing there [the only people apart from me]. I saw a wee bridge. I then saw the now defunct water feature…What?!! Back to brutal.

I’m guessing in 1984 this park was an absolute stunner and the gesture by the company [I assume], in a 1984 Ireland, Saint-like. As an overview the layout is good and the road less travelled pathways and secluded seating places make it a nice place to spend time, possibly, I’m sure. But as of now the park needs attention. Urgently.

Once again – my second park in two days. And of all of the parks I have ever visited. These have to be two of the worst. These are peoples parks. NOT The County Councils.

Shame on you Galway City Coucil Parks Department. The same Galway City Council that wish to plough a road through Terrylands Peoples Forest?  And by the way, it’s the peoples forest.

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sonairte ecology centre

You might think that this is just some woodstock sort of hippies juncture where waifes hug trees and stare at the sun…. I say wake up and smell the fairtrade recycled gound beans coffee… 😆

they say:

Sonairte continues to provide a beautiful sanctuary to walk, sit or meditate. In March the bare trees along the nature walk show up the beauty and shape of the Nanny estuary. In the garden the daffodils are brightening up the winter shades. More volunteers are starting to come out of hibernation to join in the spring propagation and planting season

I hadn’t been out to sonairte so recently. No particluar reason… I think I just got caught up with life and the ‘stuff’ that goes with… anyhow.

What had happened since I was last out there at the hedge layers association day is I became good friends with one of the volunteers, Natasha, who like many people I know in my life – is doing what she does because she is passionate about it ie. money does not equal motivation. I like this.

I’m not saying give anyone any money. No sir! But where soooo many have jumped on the green eco freak bandwagon… for financial gain, Sonairte survives in my opinion because the journey is continuously borne from like minded people who care.

Natasha tells me that Meath County Council have been great to them – but pretty much they rely upon people visiting [or donating to survive]. Am I asking you to write a big fat cheque… no!! In fact she and the other volunteers are working for free at this moment in time. What I am suggesting is that you pop out… take a look and tell me if I am wrong. All you gotta do is buy a coffe or a plant like you would any where else….? More than fair I say… and you’ll feel all super dooper as well 😆

It is the ultimate place for those who love life, enjoy holding hands, home made everything, the unusual, the creative and most importantly the inspirational.

They run courses there which are really cool [view them here]. I particularly like the one coming up on chickens… something I should have done before I got them, but it’s never too late. I think I might try this one…

KEEPING CHICKENS IN YOUR BACK GARDEN

Time:10am – 4pm

With Fiona Crowe – a producer of Organic Eggs with12 years experience of keeping laying hens and other fancy poultry. Aimed at people who want to keep 3 to 10 chickens for eggs for their own table. Morning in classroom, afternoon, handling and practical experience of hens.

Cost: €75 (Lunch included)

Date: Saturday, April 18th

Whatever you do… do gown down. Have a coffee, do or don’t get durty… enjoy what has to be one of the cheapest and happiest places you may ever visit. And if you do feel like dressing up in your bell bottom pants complete with tee pee in arm… just remember to wear some flowers in your hair…. .

what tree will you plant this week…?

i planted a tree...

i planted a tree...

Today is the start of National Tree week. There are loads of events on – some are free, some will be extremely boring – some will be great for the family.

Either or it is amazing the bargains that always existed in this department.

Trees don’t have to grow huge. They can also be a ‘small tree’. They can fit on your balcony. They’ll cost about €10-15. And that includes the compost and the pot. If you need for a specific place and you are unsure just leave a comment here.

In the picture I have two trees. One died 🙁 but it’s staying where it is. I have plans for that…. 😆 So I planted a fig tree in front of it. I guess I didn’t want the garden to look bare.

Fig Trees
can be grown in a wide range of soil as long as it’s well drained. They are ‘usually trained up against a wall or fence. [This one won’t]. They are self fertile and easy to grow. I chose the Brown Turkey variety. It cost me €12.

fig-tree-brown-turkeyfig-tree-brown-turkey-1fig-tree-brown-turkey-2

national tree week

Blog posting #300 🙂  March 1st – 7th 2009 is National Tree Week. It’s a cool week. There’s loads of tree events on – literally all over the country. There is no excuse not to get involved. I have some posts on trees, trees, trees and trees here to get you in the groove. That said if you don’t want to plant a tree yourself – you can always sponsor a tree – and it will be planted for you.

The trees don’t have to be huge – they even don’t have to be expensive – but they are important and if we did plant one tree each [that’s over 4 million!!] can you imagine how beautiful the country would look. If where you live is ‘not as green as it should be’, if you want to give something a little not so expensive and don’t want to look like a cheap-skate or if you haven’t seen a bird in your garden since you moved in…. You could… and you really could, make a difference.

Go on plant a tree. And give it a hug after 😆 but of course!

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.