Above pictured the complete garden structure building, one part of an overall landscaping project in Howth, Co. Dublin.
Entirely hand-made and built. It consists of a fully slated roof, solid timber uprights, hardwood deck to the base, surrounds closed in on two sides; one hardwood shelf to the rear right hand side and back; and two hand-made accoya hardwood seats, one of which is a swinging seat; and yes even here I bought the chain and cut it to length etc.
Of note to the lean of the roof, as versus the angle (degrees), the house is 3 story at the back. The video below may show that in better detail.
In my time I have spent 6 plus years researching, designing and building 17th Century Gardens and 18th Century that I have won awards for the design and build of. The signatured papers sit framed upon my office walls as a fine reminder, alongside just some of the other gardens I have made.
And though I know I say it often enough, I am honoured that what I love doing is also what I do as my work; if I might call it that. A little like, or the opposite of, an anatidaephobiac running very fast away from a trip to Disneyland, I just can’t seem to help myself when it comes to the great outdoors. On a more serious note, this Sunday past, I was at The Formal Gardens at The Royal Hospital Kilmainham, Dublin; which is also home to the Irish Museum of Modern Art. I visit both regularly.
Further images below of both The Formal Gardens at The Royal Hospital Kilmainham and the Irish Museum of Modern Art.
I’m all set to teach an 8 week, one evening per week horticulture/ gardening [?] class at St.Tiernans Community School that kicks off October 16th, next Wednesday and I am told some places are still available.
Interested ? See more info and contact numbers below. Give ’em a call or just turn up on the first Wednesday and I’ll see you then.
There’s a wee bit of reeling in the years with this garden, but it cropped up [see what I did there ? cropped ? anyhow…] in conversation very, very recently and fair to say this garden and the people I made it for made me smile very much. The best ones always do. 😉
To the gardens advantage you might say horticulturally, there were neighbouring buildings overlooking and almost immediately that allowed the introduction of some younger lower in height growing tress and taller growing shrubs to be planted across the white-painted back wall. And though it may sound funny looking a little closer at the image above, the thinking behind this garden was for it to be of low maintenance. Not car park type zero maintenance, if you get me – just lower.
Wanna see what it looked liked before I got to the tasty bits ?
Talking today with Gary Graham for The SodShow, the garden radio show, conversation naturally led to show gardens and the question as to the ‘would I make a return to show gardening’ ? Gary is, in short for those who are not aware, the brains behind Bloom in the Park. Ireland’s premier garden show.
Personally, I’ve a lot of time for Gary. I’ve a lot of time for Bloom. Like it or not, Bloom is good for Ireland; it’s also great for Irish gardening and in that context alone, Bord Bia have done a real sterling job. One which deserves ovation standing, as versus applause.
We nattered back and forth and chatted ourselves into the easily led to conclusion that I missed, sincerely, the controlled pressure that came with the creation of show gardens.
For those who aren’t aware, I’ve done two Bloom show gardens:
After 2008, I took a pause. I was busy. I needed to be. I had showy gardens to create, but they simply weren’t gardens that were awarded medals at the end of it, though they did come with good PR.
The reality is show gardeners, to qualify a show garden submission need three strings to their bow. A proven ability to build show gardens, a great design and last, but by no means least, a sponsor. For two years running, I was missing the latter.
Would I make a return to Bloom for 2013 ?
Yes, I would. Were this post going live now has relevance is that the work would be much easier less complex if it were to start within the next six weeks. So soon you might believe, but design submission begins around September/ October and whilst I have already the concepts, I like my designs QED ~ ie. without question, on time, fitting its budget [yours or/ and mine], show timing complete before schedule and with all of the ingredients in place ~ pre planned.
Don’t get me wrong, I can create a fine garden within a very short space of time, designs, submitted and accepted. No problem. But if show garden is to be about the, as Gary put it, the showmanship, then a little more homework/ light reading is far better.
As a by the way, The SodShow, A Bloom in The Park 2012 special, an interview with Gary Graham will air this Friday at 3pm and will be available a little later in the evening as podcast.
If I’m to do it and do it rightly and though I’ve always been blessed in that department I’m proud to admit, I’ll need the right people by my side. For now, I guess, I’ve a little thinking to do and for this bank holiday weekend I’ll happily settle for making daisy chains with my daughter, most probably in The Phoenix Park.
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