The @ScienceGallery Gift Shop for Christmas Gifts

science gallery gift shop (13)

The thought some people put into their stores, in this case The Science Gallery gift shop, amazes me. In fairness to The Science Gallery though, the same goes for their coffee shop and their exhibitions. As important, it always amazes me, everytime I go in there. I couldn’t but not interview the team behind The Science Gallery gift shop.

The #SodShow Friday 16th December. Dublin Garden Radio Podcast (mp3)

Cue the festive period…. looking for a gift suggestions for the man person who has everything something ? Pressies for the gardener, gifts for the junior outdoors enthusiast, they have it all and I ask them their top 10 gifts for Christmas and why.

Friday 16th of December The Science Gallery Gift shop are our guests on The SodShow…….

If pressies of monetary value are not order of the day, but more the thought that counts….. Personally, I wouldn’t argue with someone bringing me for a tour of their current exhibition Surface Tension and a mugga coffee.

As a by the way they note:

Our shop and café will be open on Friday December 23rd from 8am to 6pm, before Science Gallery closes for Christmas holidays. We will re-open on Tuesday January 3rd 2012, and our current exhibition SURFACE TENSION: THE FUTURE OF WATER will run until January 21st 2012.
Contact Science Gallery
Phone: +353 1 896 4091
Twitter: @ScienceGallery

Garden Gift Ideas This Season

Bit too early you for this you say….? In the garden calender, you have less than 9 weeks to the years end.

On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me….


Christmas gift buying can be a tedious affair particularly when buying for…. well, just about anyone. I don’t know about you but, I know as sure as Willy Wonka will be on tv this Christmas, I have never bought myself aftershave, shirts or socks, in the last 10 years. That is by no means a complaint. Far from it. What I’m really looking forward to however is my first ever Christmas knitted wooly jumper…. you know the one with the reindeer on it… the Daddy ‘rocking around the Christmas tree’ ones…. 😉

On that note I have 10 real green garden gifts that will make your life that little bit easier.

  • Give It The Garden Once-Over:

A makeover, a facelift… you may simply require that little extra professional touch to brighten up the front or back garden for the festive season. Weeding the beds, some bark and some berried plants or simply some additional instant planting. Planted exactly to your liking or positioned to brighten up that apartment, existing garden or balcony.

  • Instant Colour Planters:

For the office or home, for inside or out. One for the entire office or one just for Mary. Culinary or colour or simply pretty and inviting. A living gift that will last that little bit longer and will spice up that Christmas dinner.

  • A Tree Is For Life – Not Just For Christmas:

Email or call. Your trees or tall shrubs can be fruiting and small and – or native and tall. Planted on your date of choice or simply delivered to your recipients door.

  • Especially For You:

Maybe you have an existing garden but you’d like something that little bit more unique and one off. You’ve searched the stores and you’ve had no luck there. How about a garden feature made just for you ?

  • In Need of some Sound Advice:

Reckon you may like to do the job yourself but simply don’t know where to start…? Book a day with yours truly to get the best from your garden whilst in your garden. Your very own garden class, a consultation, plant shopping or a garden layout. As you wish…

  • The Ultimate Garden Design:

Scheduled, time-lines, products and plants. All drawn and planned – all in order, organised and tailor made to suit your budget and space in your great outdoors.

  • The Seasonal Hair Cut:

The hedge, the trees the lawn. It may not be the Phoenix Park but sometimes the arms of others are better used, letting you get on with the things that matter more.

  • A Class Apart:

Fancy your very garden class just for you and your group of friends. A day out in your garden or at your place of work, one with your very own group of budding gardeners should be just the ticket. Green by grow your your own or specific to the more amenity side of the garden, maybe you’d like to mix them both… The choice is yours. All materials can be supplied and the time-lines and times to suit yourself. All you have to do is turnip turn up. Simply send me and email or drop me a line.

  • Everything You Need For The DIY:

If you fancy giving it all a try yourself…. all of the pieces to complete the puzzle hand picked, delivered and wrapped if you wish. All of the garden products you could ever need to complete the tasks at hand or to put that final addition to that great outdoors.

  • Still Stuck….

Depending on the person you have in mind, that may not be such a surprise 😉 Pop me an email or pick up the phone. There’s something out there for everyone….

You can as always contact me via the following options.

  • by email
  • via this website: click the contact page
  • call mobile – o876594688



Bird Boxes


The bird box has always been something I’ve queried. I don’t know why. I just feel/ felt that they would always be better off making their own. Is that fair to say….? Either or, I wanted two in the garden just for the craic of it. You know, to see would they come.

These two bird boxes were made some weeks ago from an old timber wine box and given a lick of whatever colour was nearest/ lying around paint.

Fairly simple to make, they are also another variation of if I got these as a gift would I be impressed ? You better believe it. I’ve seen sites selling these for upwards of €30 each.

My Total Costs. €0.00

If you fancy having a go making them yourself… bear in mind, the bird really doesn’t care if you have not been meticulous in your efforts and from your aesthetic perspective, depending on your skills, a lick of paint will hide everything a lot.

The only things I really need to be careful of is that the box itself isn’t south facing. Logic applies here so you don’t cook the birds. Other than that its keep it about 2-3 metres off the ground and although there are site suggestions of when you should put them up…. I’m not going to pay any attention to that. If the winter guys wanna nest in them, it’s there for the taking. If not they’ll be there for the summer fella’s.

The only note I will make is not to tighten the screws too much so you can flip them over and tip out the previous years unwanted nest.

I could give instructions on how these were made, but the photos say it all pretty much.

More birds to help me eat my raspberries next year 😀

note: Highly recommendthe birdwatch Ireland fact sheet


garden bulbs tulips

simply stunning

or ‘Tulipa’ – at this moment you can really only consider them now for next year or if they are in pots and you wish them to be put outside wait until they have died back and plant them then.

The Tulipa of the Liliaceae family has about 100 species in it genus [family]. I’ll vere away from the horticultural technical knowledge and to the general… they are one of my all time favourites.

Brillant for flowers around the house, extremely attractive and if you were looking to give a gift on a budget [time it for the bithdays next year…] 5 bulbs in a pot and a little compost and Grandad will absolutely love you for it.

If you don’t have any in your garden – put a note on your calender to consider these for the end of this season… and enjoy 🙂

[another] 9 great gifts for a gardener this christmas


For any garden enthusiast you might know here are my suggestions that ARE 1000% better than socks and a CD. If you prefer cooked turkey and a kiss under the mistletoe over a good scrap with the mother in law and some frozen sprouts..? Here’s my thinking cap – put it on this year for God’s sake… and your sake and my sake?!!

  1. The water Butt the cheapest gift of them all – €40 yo-yo’s up front in bin tags and claim it back on your tax
  2. bar-b-ques they’re probably still ‘on sale’ and like the water butts a great one for the DIY-er as s/he must make it themselves.
  3. Right tree for the right place – don’t just get it delivered – get it planted – as Debbie Harry would say ‘call me’.
  4. a little more expensive – the gardeners dream – the camera that ‘will’ last
  5. my books – my reviews – you can’t go wrong with the right book
  6. the logmaker – I’m 32 [not that flippin’ old] my Dad & Grandad had one and now I have one – this one comes delivered brilliant and it might make him a bit teary eyed as well [Jees – don’t throw it at him]
  7. book the garden in for an overhaul, a consultation, a reconstruction or a good once over – something to suit every budget – contact The Donegan Landscape Design office and get a gift voucher 😉
  8. buy the folks an american style postbox they are so very cool -hurry up – i had to get mine online
  9. Botanical Beauties in Trinity College Library [in the long room]- free and only until 23rd December 2008 – the finest collection of ancient botanical books -don’t miss it. Then go for tea in Bewelys on Grafton Street. Grandad will love you. If you buy me a cream cake i’ll go [again] too 🙂