Posts

vernalisation

a little frost...

a little frost...

As I write this post – it is freezing cold! But whilst we are wrapped up so snug and warm nature is at work everywhere we look – although possibly unknowns to us….

Vernalisation is the acquisition of the competence to flower in the spring by exposure to the prolonged cold of winter. The word vernalization comes from the Latin word vernus, meaning of the spring. blah, blah, blah….. [courtesy of wikipedia]

Vernalisation is essentially exposing a store of food [a bulb or seed] to a period of low temperatures [usually below zero celcius]. This generally happens naturally in winter time/ spring, but sometimes when I’m sowing seeds i have bought I would first pop them in the freezer for a day or two. In my opinion it speeds up the germination ie. the amount of time it takes for a seed to pop its head above soil level. The period of frost/ cold [in a word] breaks the dormant state of the plant, or as my Mom would say… it makes the seed wake up ๐Ÿ™‚

small garden… any ideas?

Whether small or large, the size is irrelevant, your garden should still be given the same amount of thought, detail and attention as any other. If you are looking for ideas, you’ve had enough of the January blues and February is the month you really need to make life that little bit brighter… Then here are some ideas to get you in the groove [see the images below]. Believe me a little work now does pay dividends.

Why now – there’s no looking after it really and plants will take this opportunity to settle themselves in their new homes rather than trying to produce foliage/ flower and possibly having a stressful settling in period.

Some of the images naturally required a little more work than others, some you may need a little help to get you out of the starting blocks… others you may be able to do yourself. But if that little bit of inspiration is lacking at the moment and you need to brighten up your day… soon! Simply, step outside, close your eyes and imagine just for a little and smile ๐Ÿ™‚

1001 gardens you must see before you die

apart from the title... ?

apart from the title... ?

The only thing I didn’t like about this book is the title. A little depressing to be honest. Why it needed Titschmarsh to do the preface i’ll never know [no offence ๐Ÿ˜‰ ]. Why they didn’t just change the title to 1001 garden to make you smile and just leave it at that… ?

That said said this is a great reference book. I have used it many times from The Monte Palace Tropical Gardens in Madeira to Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens in South Africa and I absolutely love it.

A must have for any garden library. Pretty simple to use. If you do get away, even in Ireland, just have a leaf through and you are guaraneed to find a garden worth visiting near you.

kirstenbosch national botanical gardens

cape town, south africa

designer: Professor Harold Pearson
owner: South African National Biodiversity Institute
style: 20th century botanical garden in parkland
size: garden 89 acres; park 1,305 acres
climate: mediterranean
location: cape town, western cape
[source: 1001 gardens you must see before you die]

I was in Cape Town for very different reasons than to visit gardens of any sort, but, with a a little spare time available – this year I managed it.

To say I was blown away and left mesmerised is an understatement. This is the ultimate in relaxation, garden enthusiast or not. That said, I cheated-ish, well… An eight seater golf cart pulled into the front car park just as I was buying my ticket – and so I got the guided tour. I could have walked, but it was easier to sit and learn. As a by the way, it costs 32 Rand [approximately โ‚ฌ2.50] to take the guided tour by cart ๐Ÿ˜‰

The back drop is of course the amazing table mountains. The Camphor [Cinnamonum camphor] tree avenues are equally superb and stood out to me as they were the answer to a question in a recent pub quiz ๐Ÿ˜‰ and outside of that the Strelitzia’s especially the much raved of ‘Mandelas Gold’ variety is there in abundance. The photographs will show some of these wrapped in chicken wire – this is to capture the seed by the way [I did listen… ๐Ÿ™‚ ]

I did it in one hour – it’s all I had time for – I could have stayed there forever. I loved every second.

fitzwilliam square gardens …?

A small privately-owned Square with access only for adjoining householders

not open to the public...?

These gardens confuse me slightly. They are on Dublin City Councils website – click here and one can call their offices for information on it – but yet they are privately owned. However, it also appears on the dublin tourist website- click here where it mentions nothing of the sort. And, Abakus, the people who are noted as the contact on the notice board have their website under construction [as I write this post].

That aside, I applaud, and in no way wish to take away from, any group of people who are willing to pay to have gardens maintained – however – on this one, I wouldn’t be best pleased with dublin city council. Mainly because I believe parks, especially those of ‘a city’ should be for people. All, of the people.

In fact the dictionaries first definition of a park is:
an area of land, usually in a largely natural state, for the enjoyment of the public, having facilities for rest and recreation, often owned, set apart, and managed by a city, state, or nation.

and in that case it is none of the above. In that context, it is correct that it does not have the title of park. For it is not. It would be a fraudulant ‘park’ theoretically. It is a garden[s], as described. But it should also should either be of no relation to the state [as is my own garden for example] or it should. The reason for my confusion.

That aside, I went in and had a look around anyway. There was a gate open. And I honestly didn’t know until I was leaving [honestly!]. Maybe it should be handed back to the state I thought as I left. No offence Abakus ltd and to whoever the grounds maintenance has been outsourced to, sincerely. I am fully aware that grounds maintenance budgets can be โ‚ฌ40k and be maintained or โ‚ฌ100k and look amazing.

I reviewed Merrion Square Park [similar sze and area] for example. It’s not the Queens private gardens in the sense of pristine. But it is a park and it looks good. Here however needs a little something. And this is where sometimes putting projects to tender does not always get the best results and also where park departments may/ do play a role that is so worth while.

In my opinion I would suggest; a really good once over and an injection of new life, horticulturally; I refer to the Ginko Biloba; the borders themselves in their entirety; a tree survey is required – and therfore tree works; the lawns need feeding; one patch looks seriously out of place and after that a real good maintenance schedule put in place and also a programme for new planting. This is not intended as ‘bad’ criticism and I would like my reasons to be based upon a contrast with the grounds of Merrrion Square Park [due to be published friday 28th November].

Note: As with all of my posts/ articles and writings they are never intended to be ‘insulting nor damning’ in anyway. They are always intended to be based upon the logic. If one wishes to discuss this or any other piece with me I will make it my business to be available to do so. And if a correction of any from is made [either by me or in the case of a company doing their little extra I will ensure it is well written of here].

NOTE 2: I have emailed dublin tourist website and dublin city council.

UPDATE: 26th November 2008

Dublin City Council, [bulaidh bรณs] responded to my email –

—– Original Message —–

Sent: Tuesday, November 25, 2008 12:02 PM
Subject: FW: fitzwilliam square gardens
Dear Mr. Donegan,
I have forwarded your email to Mr. Pat Curran, Senior Executive Parks Superintendent for attention and reply.
Regards,
Michelle,
Parks Division.

From: customerservices@dublincity.ie
Sent: 25 November 2008 11:33
To: parks@dublincity.ie
Subject: RE: fitzwilliam square gardens

Hello,

I am forwarding you this email from the Customer Services Centre email account which deals with queries from the public.

Can you please respond to the Customer directly?

I have informed the Customer that your Department/Section will be dealing with the matter directly at this email address and that you will respond as soon as possible.

Regards,

Collette Egan

Customer Services Centre


From: Info@doneganlandscaping.com [info@doneganlandscaping.com]
Sent: 24 November 2008 12:37
To: customerservices@dublincity.ie
Subject: Fw: fitzwilliam square gardens

Dear Sirs,
many thanks
peter
Peter Donegan MI Hort
director
Peter Donegan Landscaping Ltd
Bettyville
Ballyboughal
Co. Dublin
Ireland
t 00353-1-8078712
m 00353-87-*******
w https://www.doneganlandscaping.com
b http://blog.doneganlandscaping.com