The [Un]usual Planter

Here, you have that. You might be able to do something with it….


That’s quite a regular statement I hear actually. Surprised ? I wasn’t. It’s not the most unusual object I’ve ever been handed. I like the odd challenge and this one was a doddle.

Yesterday I filled the container with some pebble. More to weight it down. It also looks really good. I also had a few hand fulls of pebble in my workshop, so it suited. It also saves on compost and in this case I didn’t have enough 😉

Helen had given me some spider plant babies a while ago that had come on really well…. and I had a spot inside where I felt it would look really good.

Total cost. €0.00

Personally, I’d be over the moon if someone gave me that as a gift.

Coriander – Coriandrum


Some say it is used as an aphrodisiac. Others know it as chinese parsley or the parsley substitute. But whilst it maybe most used in abundance in cooking… it maybe a lesser known fact to some that the seeds are that used to make curry powder.

Amn’t I just a mind full of trivial information. 😯

The Coriandrum [apiaceae/ umbelliferae] are a genus of 2 species of annuals that are quite suceptable to fungal wilt – so a good airy drafty spot in the glasshouse or kitchen window sill is essential.

That said they are one of the easiest herbs I have ever grown – this was very much a case of fill up some pots with compost and drop the seeds on top. Simple as. I sowed these on February 4th so they were actually one of few that made it through the really low [sub zero temeratures] that we had.

Got a spot on your window ledge or balcony…? buy a packet of seeds. Should cost about 3 euro. Fill and old broken mug with some compost. Water first and then scatter about 5 seeds on top. Easy peezy chalky cheezy 😀

Gardening…. It’s Kids Stuff


You may remember I was asked to do a gardening class at the La Leche League of Ireland annual conference. On Saturday 6th March I travelled to Maynooth Co. Kildare to do just that.

I know I’ll be doing a gardening course soon, but, there are some obvious major differences in the populus breakdown of those attending on March 20th.

Most can drive cars. Legally. On a motorway. At speeds of up to 75km per hour. Some will shave and in general I will assume most have their house not in a tree.The class mates on this occasion where very much the opposite. 😉

If I did have a plan…. it went straight out the window within the first 10 seconds. The general idea was to grow some seeds. To get the hands dirty. To do so inside and to have some fun with gardening in mind.


In a previous class the children had decorated old glass jars and these were used instead of pots. Compost was felt and softened, hardened and softened again. It was stuffed into jars and emptied. The seeds were opened and compared; the large broad bean seed versus the speckle of dust like lettuce seed. Funnily enough, most of the boys chose the big broad bean while the girls chose chives. So much more practical and logic they decided.

All in all and in just under 2 hours the class was completed. Some asked for extra advice on how to care for theirs… others already knew. My only fault, in hindsight, was the fact that I was an Arsenal fan and that didn’t go down so well with the boys…

The jars were sealed up ready for some to take their seeds on a long journey to their new home. Either or it was gardening and it was great fun. I just hope they enjoyed it as much as I did. 🙂

Many thanks to Joan Broe and Jennifer Foxe for being so nice. Really appreciated 🙂

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friends, clients and relationships…

gordon... as always making business a pleasure

gordon... as always making business a pleasure

I was reading an article [click here to read it] written by my good friend Gordon Murray, developer of online creative company Murrion Software, based in Cork. Read it. It’s a great piece. Anyhow, it got me thinking….

In the context of one losing a client…. Some say it’s just business, forget about it, move on and to the next one.


I truly love what is that I do and maybe ‘they’ are right – or to an extent. Maybe [?] I and some take it too personal. Maybe, one should treat each ‘contract’ as just another ‘job’. But I guess, put simply, that [again, to an extent] it’s just not the genetic make up, of some, depending. Should one worry, care or bother and does it ‘really’ matter?

Personally, I don’t like fall outs, of any kind. I hate ‘finding out’ that someone fell out with me. Maybe it’s because I was reared as one of eight children? I think it was just the way it was in the house. Problems were aired and ‘sorted’ mono é mono. On the spot. There and then. Solved and swiftly move on. Is there a problem? No. Done. Is there an issue? yes. Discuss it. Solve it. And get on with the more important things in life.

To my work, I understand there is a line. I try to speak or/ and meet regular enough with clients just to make sure I’m doing good by them. I try not to treat ‘clients’ like ‘just another customer’ but something friendlier I suppose. People. It makes life easier nee less complex.

I realise that the creation of ‘their’ garden is a lot more than just plants. It can be understandably, a nervous time for some, especially if it is the first time. I suppose I am also there to put their minds at rest, to dispell any doubts that may linger and to eliminate that nervousness. It is essentially the relationship that will make the process run smoothly – for both parties.

could it be any simpler...?

could it be any simpler...?

I have had clients in the past that refused to pay their bills. It happens. It doesn’t make me happy. But it does happen and to us all. I try to find if there was a problem. If it can be resolved there and then. After nine years in business I realise sometimes people just don’t want to pay after the job is done and there is sometimes nothing I can do about it. But when payment is not the issue what does one do?

The possible alternate … just sometimes is that people can be just rude as well. That can of course increase all the way to 10 on the ‘not nice scale’. It is here I may chose not to work with [or for] them anymore.

Where money is concerned, I’ve heard people describe that as shrued business… Not paying the bill, when one is happy with the service/ product…. shrued?

Situations, differences and problems do occur in any relationship. Thats is life. But it is also how one deals with these ‘situations’. I always say a problem should not exist unless one decides not to deal with it. I try to. I keep a customer problem log. Sounds stupid? It’s actually a part of The Quality Programme –  It doesn’t matter how insignificant it may be. It’s noted.

I guess, in some cases the client should simply remain the client. I also guess in some cases where that is not the case – one can try, only to an extent, to ensure the relationship remains ‘positive’. But sometimes I guess people simply go and come throughout life. That bit one may never fully understand and assuming one gives a hoot – it is ok to ponder. Maybe it is simply because of the gardens I have created… who knows?

At the end of the day I know I love my life and I don’t treat my work as ‘work’ in the laborious task sense. I really do love what I do. And for all of the years in college studying horticulture and getting dirt under my nails…. I get to make others and equally as important myself – smile.

clients, friend and relationships…… what do you think… ?

ewrite…. technology for a gardener #7

The entire list of companies for ‘technology for a gardener’ is/will be here.



This is piece #7. This is eWrite

A little over 1 year ago I had huge problems with my website inc. the costs to update them… in hindsight so rediculous, knowing what I know now. The entire point of this session of articles. Note please, I don’t and haven’t used this product – but it gets notoriety because it could have saved me in more ways than financial [see paragraph 4]. The problem I have, moreso have had, is for example when I go to a mechanic and he tell me something like…

yeah the monkey wrench leaked oil all over the half shafts neutrons and the calibrator and crank house is torn to shreds… we’re gonna have to replace the cd player as well…

It was like that for computers 😆 back to it…. ewrite is 100% Irish owned and run, based in Cork, started in 2000 and I know of no other alterative to it. Genius! I emailed Gordon Murray of ewrite for some ‘info I can understand’ of what and how it all works. Here’s what he said…

eWrite started out developing websites and applications for customers. Along the way we developed some software internally to make our day-to-day jobs of updating customers websites a little easier. Now we sell that software, a content management system called eWrite Lite and an email marketing system called eWrite Messenger.

I’m confused here…. slightly… but here’s where it gets good and here’s why I like it

  • Ewrite Lite allows a business to update their website at any time from any computer connected to the net. Its very easy to use and aimed at non technical people.
  • Ewrite Messenger allows you to import or create email newsletters and send it out to hundreds or thousands of email addresses and track the readers.
  • For new users or existing users that forget what they’re doing, we have tutorial videos to show you how to use the software.
  • You can try out a  free demo of the eWrite Lite which allows you to pull in afew pages from your own website to edit.
  • Theres a demo of eWrite Messenger at  which allows you to send out your newsletter to hundreds of dummy email addresses and check that they’ve arrived.

The beauty about all of this is if you are unsure, slightly confused or just a little stuck… you just pick up the phone and ask for Gordon! It was also reviewed by Damien who put a lot of logic on the matter of its advantages and you can browse through eWrites blog here.


beautiful cork....

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