A Gardening Course …?

update 13th March 2010: One space has become available… pop your name down below, email or text me if your interested 🙂


Over the last weeks I’ve been researching chatting with some friends about gardening and the usual how to bits of outdoor advice.

From those conversations came the suggestion that I should do a crash course of some format in ‘gardening‘.

I did teach horticulture and courses before. But this class request or what one should get at the end of it is to be slightly different as those urging me to do so are not horticulturalists – moreso they have a window ledge/ balcony or only wish to garden in small amounts and stints.

The outcome…? Either a one day course in gardening at my homestead or a 1.5 hour evening course in Dublin City Centre over a 3/4 week period. The majority in this case decided on a one day workshop.

To tailor make this session to the people and their wants I am proposing the following:

  • a one day crash course from 9.30am – 3.30pm
  • The first day/ date is Saturday March 20th
  • cost of materials only to be covered set at €60 per person
  • you take home what you make on the day
  • lunch will be included
  • to take place in Ballyboughal [it’s near Swords/ North Dublin 😉 ]
  • numbers will be limited to a maximum 8 people only

What we will achieve on the day:

  • gardening basics
  • how to grow your own from seed
  • growing plants on a budget
  • window ledge balcony gardening
  • looking after your plants
  • planting your planters
  • growing in a confined space
  • not enough hours in the day/ the 10 minute gardener
  • herb and salad kitchen gardening

this email just came in and sums it up nicely….

Basically: this is for the [wo]man, parent, adult, child who wants to do a bit of green living but not farming. Enough to have summer salads, fresh herbs, maybe even some fruit – at the same time logic enough that you’ll watch footie/ daytime tv and go out rather than hug trees. You’d like a bit of green, you need a place to start but without getting bamboozled – and let it grow from here….

The idea is simple enough and if numbers run over/ demand is great enough/someone approaches me with a suggestion I’ll do a second class/ consider those options then.

If you would like to do this class – or – have any queries or suggestions

  • pop your name down as a comment below
  • email me info[at]doneganlandscaping[dot]com
  • telephone me on [vodafone prefix – and then] 6594688

What do you think …..?


If numbers fill up for the first group of 8…. assuming there is demand enough – I will do another day course. Put simply I’ll let the names spill over to a second group of 8 and we’ll call it from there. Crawling versus walking and all that cliché stuff 😉

Once again – your course/ class made better by your suggestions…. pop them in comment box below 🙂


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how [and not] to allotment garden…

you’d like to have an allotment? ….you’re thinking about it….? seen all the tv programmes? green is the way to go. but is it for you…?

Over the bank holiday weekend I got a brief chance to meet with Thomas the brains behind In this interview he tells me the what and what not’s to do’s and dont’s….

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allium ursinum.. eh…? allium triquetrum



This is wild garlic. It is the ultimate in free food. You’ll find it in most hedgegrows and damp woodlands. Go and grab yourself a little clump… a *little* clump I said! Plant it in and around the base of some hedges, near a ditch or a damp patch.

Around this time it is a simple blanket of white flowers. And so very pretty. You’ll know it because the beautiful waft that will come your direction…. will let you know.

Here’s the low-down so I don’t bore you to absolute botanical tears

  • it’s related to this little beauty, the Allium rosenbachianum 😯
  • it’s also related to supermarket garlic clove, the Allium sativum
  • the difference here is the leaf is used for the flava’.
  • because of that you can crop away to your hearts content, forever!
  • it tastes a lot milder
  • great substitute for garlic & spring onions & you won’t be ‘stinky breath’ 😆

Unknowns to most all of the photos above look the same… maybe? What you have is two brothers than can do the same job. Because for thr purest, there are two types of plant in those 6 images. The wider leafed single flower is the Ramsons or Allium ursinum….. images number 4,5 & 6. While the ‘3 cornenerd leek or the Allium triquetrum is more grass like in leaf and the flowers come in little clusters [rather than in singles] – see images 1,2 & 3.

A little ode to Calvin for reminding me all about this… funny how he managed to do so… 🙂

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grow your own, cheaper than B & Q

I was on the phone to my good pal Thomas yesterday. Tom was doing some garden chores and wanted advice… he was in B & Q. The conversation turned to the grown your own kits that were on sale being sold there…

They’re how much Tommy?!!

That’s flamin’ mental….

So I’ve taken one example I have done myself. [The last 3 photographs are not from the B& Q kit by the way…. 🙂 ]I called it how to grow [your own] seeds [click here]. It cost me 10 cents…

But let me do a quick break down analysis [versus] what you get for €6.99.


  • i’ll assume a jam jar is the same size as a can of coke. 330 ml. Lets call it 500ml [mililitres].
  • In a bag of multi-purpose compost there is generally 75 litres [75 l].
  • 1,000 ml = 1 litre therefore 75 l = 75,000 ml.
  • Divide 75,000 by 500 and that’s 150 jam jars. [you still there…. ]
  • At no more than €7.50 a bag of compost [€7.50 divided by 150 jars] thats’s 5 cents for your compost.

Jam Jar or pot

  • one jam jar = free


  • i’ll use lettuce for this example. B & Q’s lettuce seeds.
  • [I went here entered lettuce in the search bar and got this by the way]
  • They say there’s 1,000 seeds in a packet and they cost in sterling €2.10. I’ll call it €10.00 just for the sake of easy maths.
  • So 5 seeds should cost…. 5 cents.

This means a homemade ‘grow your own’ kit should cost you 10 cents. [takes a quick look at the photographs price tags again….

That’s serious spondula’s…. my question now is what’s the difference between the two ? gardening as I knew it when I was 5 years old was compost-less. It was a handful of muck, sieved and at the back of it all just good craic…. However you grow your bits and bobs – enjoy 🙂