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Garden Talk: Spirit Of Folk Festival 2012

  • Speaker: Peter Donegan
  • When: 1.45 – 2.45pm, Saturday 22nd September 2012
  • Where: Spirit of folk Festival 2012, Dunderry Park, Co. Meath
  • Area: The Festival Ecology Area
  • Admission: see SpiritOfFolk.com for tickets and prices

What is The Spirit of Folk Festival:

Spirit of Folk is a three-day, family friendly festival running from 21-23 September in the stunning grounds of Dunderry Park, Co Meath. Over the weekend we’ll be rockin’ to some of the finest and freshest acts that folk music has to offer. Spirit of Folk promises to be the most eye-catching, intimate, and bewitching festival of 2012!

caroline duke, natasha duffy, peter donegan

Pictured above: Spirit of Folk organisers and lovely folk, Caroline Duke and Natasha Duffy with Peter Donegan at Dunderry House

  • Garden Talk Title: Gardening is for Grandmom’s. Grow Your Own is for for hippies.
  • Further: an evolutionary look at how we, horticulture and our relationship with the landscape has changed and grown over the years.

Peter Donegan began gardening at the age of 5. When he grew up, he went on to study horticulture for 4 years. In 2001 he set up Donegan Landscaping and has won a host of design and landscaping awards for 17th and 18th century gardens and show gardens at National competition. Peter hosts and presents The Sodshow, Dublin’s only garden radio show and podcast and lives in the wee town of Ballyboughal, North County Dublin with his family, his two dogs and his three hens.

More information on The Spirit of Folk Festival 2012:

Further information:

  • email: info[at]doneganlandscaping[dot]com
  • twitter: @DoneganGardens
  • phone: +353(87)6594688

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…. .

cutting down hedges…

is it wrong...?

is it wrong...?

….is wrong!! According to Neil Faulkes… not when it is the right thing to do. Pause. Please read on…

Neil was the brains behind the hlai event that took place at Sonairte Ecology centre Saturday 7th February ’09 – on hedge laying. I went along. I didn’t realise it was a course that was being done. But I paid my €3 in the door and went along to see what it was all about.

I watched Neil as the chainsaws and butchering tools literally hacked lumps out of the boundary hedge and brought them to a mere stump!! Is this correct one may ask? The answer is – yes – when it is right to do so.

What hedgelaying [in short] does is:

  • the hedge is cut to a stump which will regenerate
  • the mature wood just cut is staked down and then interwoven across
  • fresh whips are planted behind the screen where nothing is growing
  • the new/ fresh fence provides protection to the new plants
  • a stronger, better hedgegrow results.
  • a new/ better/ stronger ‘ecosystem’ and hedgerow has been developed
Neil and peter

Neil and peter

So would I go doing this in your back garden… possibly not! But it is great for people to understand this theory because in Ireland for no matter what reason – sometimes – if a tree/ hedge is felled – one is considered a butcher. And whilst butchers do exist – it is in my experience, for the greater good than the amputation [you know what I mean…!] is performed.

If you would like to see the hedge layers work you can pop out to Sonairte in Laytown, Co. Meath or take a browse through the photographs below.

Either or, Sonairte is well worth a visit [i will do another post on it soon] and really good for kids to get a visual understanding of how it [and it does] all work when you are soooo environmentally concious.