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Welcome: The Garden Group Returns For 2013

garden group

A Very Brief History:

It’s August 2009 and a plethora of lovely people respond to the following question

Would you Join a Garden Group ?

Now 2013, at the beginning of season 4 and with an average of 4 gigs per year, all done free gratis, there begins another fine season for the outdoors happy heads.

All I should add, with very huge thanks to you* for coming along and equally to those who offered me sites, gardens and their time whilst we the garden group was visiting there.

At the time I also noted the characteristics I felt you needed:

  • an ability to smile
  • a likening for the colour green in any shape or form
  • any knowledge of horticulture or gardening was very much optional

Of note maybe, previous rambles have included Ireland Eye, The War Memorial Gardens, Sonairte Ecology Centre, Corkagh Park and Rathbeggan Lakes, to name just a few. Should you have a suggestion, own or know of a place were where the garden group could go or visit…. you might drop me a line. Details below. In the meantime….

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Corkagh Park Demesne, Dublin

It was Sunday last when I visited Corkagh Park Demesne with The [Non] Gardeners Group that I run and if I’m honest, I was very aware that I had passed this park, sited just off the Naas Road Clondalkin, many times and had never popped in. For that alone, my love of the great outdoors and maybe to an extent for the historical gardens I have designed, I most probably deserve a wee kick in the bottom.

Opened to the public in 1986, the 120 hectare Demesne dates back to 1650 with Corkagh House being constructed there between 1702 and 1714. And though the original grounds, would have contained water gardens, rose gardens, walled and kitchen gardens, to name but a few – through its evolution, there of course have been changes.

Of note in the estates cycle is it’s connection to The Titanic and how it did change the course of the estates future. That however and it’s the life story is one far better told by the staff of South Dublin County Council, namely Máire Ní Dhomhnaill, Joe Hickey and David Cotter who were ever so lovely in their welcoming of the garden group.

With that in mind, Dublin’s garden radio show and podcast, The Sodshow will air a Corkagh Park Special this Friday [part1] 12th October and next Friday [part 2] Corkagh Park Demesne 19th October.

In the meantime, be you a garden designer, a lover of the great outdoors or just looking for a nice spot to bring your picnic for a days outing, a visit there is highly recommended. From the fishing lakes, pet farms and playgrounds – to the history, the rose gardens and nature walks ~ there is literally something there for everyone.

Further info and listen details:

Further information from South Dublin County Council:

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Non-Gardeners Group Gig: Visit To Corkagh Demesne

  • Date: Sunday 7th October 2012
  • Time: 11.30 am on location
  • Details: We will have a personal guide for the tour of this wonderful estate….
  • Numbers: 20 maximum.
  • Booking: Leave a comment below saying ‘I’m in’ and you’re good
  • With thanks to: South Dublin County Council

What is The Non Gardeners Group:

A fine and dandy day out in the great outdoors. Here you may choose to hold hands, or not, point at trees, listen and learn or quite simply smile and laugh with your nearest or dearest should you choose to bring them with you. The horticulture bit you may ask ? That’s optional but, should you choose to ask them questions – I and a host of others will be there and the information on tap. 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 ;) ].

Further: take a scroll through the garden group category

A Random Garden Choon To Listen While You Read ?

A little about Corkagh Park ?

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The Garden Group Visits Sonairte

Sonairte is the type of place I like to go as a horticulturist. As a green minded person, it’s also where I go with my daughter, as a Father; horticultural qualifications not worn on my sleeve, on them days.

There’s something periodic table of the elements type simplistic about solar-powered reflector satellite slow cooking, frogs as a method of pest control and bicycle powered electricity. Kermits favourite colour aside, the setting, even when it’s not a glorious day at Sonairte, is absolutely stunning.

If you are looking for comparables, Sonairte Ecology Centre is a little The Centre for Alternative Technology crossed with River Cottage Farm, but yet Irish and still neither of the above. My visit on this occasion was a first for the garden group that I have run for the 3 last years.

The Garden Group in short: There’s no membership, there are no costs and it attracts more non gardeners than botanists. A bit different, you may say. I kind of like it that way, though some say it’s very silly of me. We’ll see… but for the now, it’s all good.

Sonairte may be many things imperfect to some, you’ll understand what I mean if you go there. That, that imperfectness though is allowed at times and here I find it suits this landscape. With your garden in mind, what Sonairte allows you to witness is en mass extremely diverse biodiversity, that in the real world works.

wind turbine

There are elements of Sonairte that also exist in my garden, and vice versa. They are touches that may make my space outdoors appear to some, slightly uncouth maybe, when compared with the ye olde type formal – though they always existed in pre 19th century garden design.

Domestically, garden planning in mind and far more important is that I know it is possible to take a little of the unscrupulous and allow it fit within your space outdoors, for the greater.

From garden feature ideas to growing your own and from the very thought provoking to what maybe, may surprise you to see children smile at, Sonairte really is one of Irelands hidden gems.

On a slight side note, The Sodshow garden radio microphones came along for the garden groups journey and our afternoon out will go to air this Friday and next in 2 parts. There was that much to take in.

A large note of thank you to nice guy and green buddy Trevor Sargent who was our guide for the afternoon. Also to the wonderful volunteers at Sonairte who are and were yet again just lovely. Also and by no means forgetting you who have, may and did come along.

Of Note: The first two images are courtesy genius photographer Jennifer Farley. I highly recommend a browse through her genuinely amazing photographs of the garden groups day out.

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Garden Group Tour: Sonairte, July 29th Sunday 2012

garden group donegan sonairte

  • Date: Sunday 29th July 2012
  • Time: 11.30 am on location.
  • Details: Trevor Sargent will be our personal guide for this fantabulous day out.
  • Numbers: 22 places max. Book by comment only below

New To The Garden Group ?

There’s no membership. It’s very simply people who like the great outdoors with a side order of horticulture, should you ask the question. More ? – see Catgeory Garden Group