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The Garden Group Set To Sail

I have a different gig on this weekend – not be confused! To this one, planning had started some time ago for the garden groups second journey and I am pleased to say we are ready to roll.

Never been on a garden group gig…?

After a late night phonecall with a gentleman called Mark from Island Ferries [4th February] our next adventure will be to Irelands Eye.

  • Date: April 18th, Sunday
  • Time: 11.30 am
  • Meeting Point: Outside The Bloody Stream Pub, Howth, Co. Dublin
  • Cost For Boat Trip: €15 return – paid to Skipper on the day
  • Booking: via comment here only
  • Contact me: I’m on [Vodafone Prefix]6594688 or twitter.com/DoneganGardens
  • Other: As we are travelling by boat I will need to call two days in advance to ensure that weather conditions are suitable for us to travel. There are no toilet facilities on the island – so use your head!  Also be very careful with rubbish/ wrappers that may blow away.
  • Dress Code: See above video and this is Ireland.
  • Duration: I conferred with The Skipper and I and he reckon about 3 hours on the island should be ample.
  • Weather: the weather…. your guess is as good as mine ;) and this is Ireland. But I will be keeping an eye on met eireann and saying a wee prayer. Bring an umberella. Wrap up warm. And wear some shoes that will keep your feet dry.
  • Lunch: I had suggested bringing a picnic. That’s what I will be doing anyway. All things going good it’ll be a flask of coffee and some nice sambos!
  • Anything else: leave a comment below or gimme a call.
  • Directions: Get to Howth via DART is the best option. The entrance exit of the station is right next to our meeting point The Bloody Stream Pub. Bus numbers 31 & 31B also go there from Lower Abbey Street and there should be ample parking.

Have I ever been there…? No. But from my extensive google research here’s what I have found out.

Courtesy Wikipedia

The ruins of a Martello Tower and an 8th-century church (the Church of the Three Sons of Nessan) are the only signs of previous habitation. The tower’s window entrance 5 metres above ground level can now be accessed by a rope that hangs down from the window. The church functioned as parish church for Howth until recent centuries, eventually being replaced by a church in the village due to the limitations of having to take a boat for every service.

In Celtic times the island was called Eria’s Island. Eria was a woman’s name and this became confused with Erin, derived from Éireann, the Irish name for Ireland. The Vikings substituted the word Island with Ey, their Norse equivalent, and so it became known as Erin’s Ey and ultimately Ireland’s Eye. The island was also known formerly as Inis Faithlenn.

Ireland’s Eye comprises the main island, a range of rocks and an islet called Thulla. The most spectacular feature is the huge freestanding rock called “the Stack”, at the northeastern corner of the island, which plays host to a large variety of seabirds, including thousands of guillemots, razorbills, fulmars and gulls. Ireland’s fifth gannet colony became established on the Stack in the 1980s, and there are now a few hundred pairs breeding there each year. There is a large cormorant colony on the main island, and a few breeding pairs of puffins. Grey seals are abundant in the sea around the island.

The Eye is a townland in its own right, with a registered area of 21.5 hectares (53 acres).

Birdweb.net also have some good reading for those a little more into the nature side of it with some great notes on routes to take and what you can expect to see. I would pay particular note to this line of their writing

It is good policy to stick to the trodden paths as it is only too easy to walk on well camouflaged chicks or eggs.

Places for trip are limited to 18 people. Those who were on the previous Garden Group trip have first refusal and the usual Garden Group Guides apply.

*The First Garden Group Journey

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The Garden Group Guide

Some months ago I popped out a wee blog post to get an idea of who may be interested in [lets call it…] the great outdoors. You see, I was a bit peeved off with [the perception] of some groups.

From what I’m told/ can gather some feel that once one is degree in horticulture-less or without manicured parallel lines of Buxus semprevirens one may be frowned upon. Note: [and please do] This is not to be insulting, in any way. It’s simply what has been portrayed to me and to an extent what I have received myself. But then that is in every walk of life irrespective of gardening? It doesn’t however make it correct. It certainly doesn’t encourage new virility nor an energetic youthfulness [of the mind].

For example, this is how the Photograph Bloggers do it….

You don’t need a big, expensive camera. You can even use your phone and if you check out the photoblogs, you’ll see plenty of superb shots taken in this way. Don’t be intimidated by those with gear you could swap for a car. Remember, a good shot is in the eye, not the camera!

Horticulture was described to me some time ago as a bit like teaching the Irish language or ye olde english poetry in that with the wrong teacher [?] one could be very quickly turned off and potentially for life. I would agree with that. And whilst I have more letters after my name than most some…. 😉 No intelligence should allow one to show ignorance nor assume hierarchy.

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The funny thing about this group [for this first trip] is some don’t even have gardens. Fact. I’d guess 99% have never had a garden tour. And the maybe more/ a majority have never studied or done a garden related course. And what does that matter?

You see two things will happen here – approximately 20 people will get an insight into one of Ireland’s lesser known parks, from it’s horticulture to it’s history – that they have never been to before.

The second thing that will happen is The War Memorial Park in Island Bridge will have more information available on the web than could ever have been perceived prior to. Which leads me back to paragraph one multiplied by the amount of readers. In which case, my hope is that some readers may go there themselves and maybe you might even hear…

00OOO00h so that’s what Darren was talking about… you see honey what Lutyens was thinking when he designed in those two water features was…. [*reefs out iphone & searches culch.ie] ….I mean what they symbolise is…

Now we’re all talking the great outdoors…? Anyhow… Back to it….. Here’s what I asked previous:

are you interested in the greeny garden outdoors kinda thing but don’t want to fall asleep within the first 7 minutes/ seconds ….? ;)

what if we became the hippest bunch of jimmedy crickets ever to cross the green line ?

All of the great bits of green and horticulture – except in a pair of jeans and a t-shirt [if that’s what you like to wear ;) ]

The response has been amazing. The people wishing to go are simply really nice people. I never thought a green-ee gig, free or otherwise could sell out in less than 3-4 hours.

If you are thinking of coming along to an outing – here are the rules basic principles of logic courtesies that apply. They are of course very simple.

  • If your name is not on the list [left via comment] – you are not going!
  • If you need to drop out – that’s fine but do so as soon as is possible
  • I don’t get paid nor receive any gratuities for this
  • If you don’t make the first quota – put your name down on the waiting list
  • The quota is most likely not decided by me
  • You really do enjoy yourself 🙂

Got a suggestion… thoughts or comments below

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Garden Group Tour ***Closed***

***closed***

Unknowns to me, the lovely people of the Final Indo printed a blog article – borrowed from the blog here and over the course of the weekend – half the population of North Dublin either rang or called to my house.

UNFORTUNATELY….I am limited to 18 people. And all places for this tour filled after 3 hours. It is closed. Dúnta. Shut.

Nobody apart from those who left a comment on the landscaping weblog are permitted to attend. If you do turn up. I apologise in advance – but as I said I am limited to 18 people at a maximum.This was agreed with the parks department and is out of my control.

All details of any further Garden Group Events will be announced over my landscaping Blog – and will be put in the category Garden Group

Beir Bua

peter

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The Garden Groups First Adventure

war memorial gardenswar memorial gardens

It is official. The first ever outing for the Garden group has been organised is set up and ready to go.

The trip is to The National War Memorial Gardens [Dublin] and it will cost you absolutely nothing.

We will have a personal guided tour and if you have never been here before… the towers will be made open and available to us so if you had [or think you had] a relation in World War 1 we will be able to go in and get printed copies from the original books of the records. The fact that the entire gardens were built by hand…. is amazing just to look at and for the pure gardener there’s a collection of over 5,000 roses. There literally is something for everyone and this is not about ones ability to horticulture….

Date and Time: Sunday 7th February 2009 at 12pm midday. Depending on yourself this should take no more than 3 hours [at a max].

To Book Your Place: Places are limited to 18 people maximum. Whether you showed interest in the previous post – or not – this is the list I will use. If you would like to go enter your details and note: ‘ i’m in ‘ – or – ‘keep me on the shortlist’

Any Other Details: My suggestion is we bring some sandwiches and a flask and maybe have a bite to eat/ picnic there [weather permitting]. This can be organised through the comment section below.

Anyone who travel-wise can only get so far – note it below I’m sure some of us will be driving and would be more than happy to pick you up en route.

Location: South Circular Rd, Islandbridge. Opposite the army barracks Entrance from Con Colbert Rd. and South Circular Rd. (Phoenix Park end) enter via school gates and drive through to the car park

Bus Route(s): No’s. 51, 68 and 69 from Aston Quay.

* a note of thanks to Michael Herbert [and Margaret Gormley] and his team in the OPW park department – really so very much appreciated

put your name down...

put your name down...

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Get Your Garden [Group] Boots On….?

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UPDATE: 15th Jan ’09

names are now officially being taken for the first garden group gig.The list below was as an expression of interest…. please go to the post below and get yer name on 😉

http://blog.doneganlandscaping.com/2010/01/15/the-garden-groups-first-adventure/

So it was sometime last year that the suggestion came in to set a garden group up…. and I did… but not a whole lot happened with it for so many varying reasons… but thats another story and this is 2010.

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It’s a new year and it’s time I got things grooving in this department…..

With that in mind I am setting the date for our first gig on Saturday 30th January or the 6th February 2009. [recent email tells me to await confirmation from venue and for our guide/ host – however this will be more exact/ finite in the next day/s or so….. bear with me 😉 appreciated in advance]

I have a few places and people in mind as a first meeting…. but you reading this may have somewhere that the group could/ should visit – if so go ahead and make yourself famous.

Other than that it is a case of numbers…. If you are interested pop your name down below and watch this space for more info.

My thinking is that it is [for the moment] would entail a personalised tour of a grounds or gardens [that would be interesting!!!….] especially for us! Depending on the how the first goes and suggestions come in then maybe we can see if and how direction changes. Of course no money would be required and maybe if weather was good enough you may bring a packed lunch and we could have a picnic…. I’m waiting for confirmation at this moment in time but should have an answer back in the next few days….. again it’s a little of a numbers game as well…. slightly vague [?] but gardens made good craic is the idea….

As I said in the first post

are you interested in the greeny garden outdoors kinda thing but don’t want to fall asleep within the first 7 minutes seconds ….? ;)

what if we became the hippest bunch of jimmedy crickets ever to cross the green line ?

A bit like the Dublin Twook Club crossed with the photobloggers, but different-ish ;)

All of the great bits of green and horticulture – except in a pair of jeans and a t-shirt [if thats what you like to wear ;) ]

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