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want to do something really irish?

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 Lá Nua did an article on our company recently. As a result, I got a great email from Eoin O’ Riain in Galway who says:

Molaim sibh as an suíomh álainn – tá nasc curtha chugaibh agam ar an leathanach

http://anghaeltacht.net/gno/index.html Níl mórán seans go ndéanfaimís gnó le chéile.

This hasn’t got so much anything to do with horticulture, as such, but it always nice to get great feedback and know that the extra effort made by the good people of my office is appreciated.

Eoins hompage is really worth a look.

Go raibh míle maith agat [agus Eoin]. Slán go foill, Peadar

going green – is it a waste?

skips...

skips...

I made a conscious decision some time ago that if the earth, landscaping to be precise, was my work then I as best as possible and the donegan landscaping team should work to a little more for the earth. It sounds like a fair deal and it is. It wasn’t that I/we did nothing green from the outset, but more a company strategy of sorts needed to be put into practice to create an ethos that could be improved upon.

When selecting trees out of season we try [it’s not always possible] to use trees from ‘air grown pots’ [like the ones above] as they’re reusable.

The green waste from garden is, naturally, recycled. The large wood heats the office and the softer, smaller wood goes to mulch.

When we buy compost and bark that we cannot generate ourselves it comes from recycled materials – rather than from bogs.

When we do, we also only use mulching mowers – a big carbon saver!

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One would assume it stops there…. ? There is the usual recycling of cloth material, electric appliances, glass, cans and also when shopping giving back all packaging; energy saving bulbs and a very well insulated building; we also located ourselves within a four mile radius of four main suppliers – more than that? the coffee grinds, tea bags and fruit peels etc. go to the green waste heap.

To reduce paper we recycle envelopes; we’re decommissioning our facsimile machine and moving to emailing company documents; waste paper is also turned over & used for note paper and then made into a máche type fire log to heat the office via our wood stove.

We buy Irish products, locally when possible – I know that’s got something to do with carbon footprints somewhere.

Is there more I/ we do? Is there more we can do? Since starting almost eight years ago now we kind of figured through our monthly meetings ourselves to this point – surely we can do a little more?! can we?

save a tree… recycle an envelope

I was looking at ways of making office life a little ‘greener’ recently and one monthly meet suggestion was to recycle our envelopes. A Forais na Gaeilge translation later, being that we are Barr 50 and we [sara] came up with this green – irish sticker.

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At present we heat the office from recycled timber and compressed paper, mulch our coffee grinds and tea bags etc… as much as we can [another blog required I think…]. But is this something more of us should be doing more of ??

Next on the list is decomissioning that darned facsimile machine!

2007 a good year ?

bloom 2007

bloom 2007

Our year started with preparations for Bloom 2007. The nicer part of the horticultural business built with some superb help, but no sponsor! With a business to keep afloat and 9 full time staff on the payroll – this is where the horticultural business become really exciting – but so very real and also where some of the pictures will show quite large bags under my eyes! Absolute madness but… I loved every second of it.

On the same day we received Silver medal in the large garden category we won another award & entered the top 50 companies to operate through use of the Irish language.

sunken garden

sunken garden

07 also saw the award winning gardens of Brackenstown come to fruition. It is, possibly, rarely said, but I am priveliged to work with such a fine team of likeminded gentlemen [and Sara of course!] all who strive for the highest standards of excellence. I thank you for your patience?!!

With all things in life it can be made easier; Not less work, just less complex. To this an ‘ode’ must be paid to the clients we have worked with this year. From my heart I thank you sincerely for your understanding and also for the absolute pleasure it was to work with you on your designs, gardens and projects.

2007 however could not forget a most memorable trip to South Africa with The Niall Mellon Township. From my 4 year old niece Lilly [who gave me her pocket money] to the finest colleagues & clients; you all made this possible and I thank you once again for your generosity, understanding and thoughtfulness. It is an event I will never forget made even greater by the good friends and many people who also chose to do great things with their time to help others.

A good year? on one hand no business is ever an easy journey I suppose… but for the people I have had the pleasure to shake hands with this year; for those who stood taller by my side [DG/GC/DK] when life threw and odd one my way…one should really say it was a great year.

Go raibh míle maith agaibh. Nollaig Shona duit. Slán agus beannacht.

building a garden in south africa [3]

Everything is going really well in Cape Town. For the people of this township and the 1500 volunteers involved, it is an emotional event and one I am so proud to be part of. My previous articles on this blog will give a little more insight.

We arrived late on Friday due to Monarch airlines most contrary organisation knowing little of what reaity was about to hit us. But it was a visit to a shack owned by a lady due to move into one of the new homes that instilled inspration with full reasoning into the hearts of every volunteer. I know I cried. I know I wasn’t alone. It wasn’t bad, more a positive tear that made me fully understand why Niall Mellon does what he does and why. I also now know why this is the largest people movement, for charitable reasons, since world war 2 to help another country and around 1400 are Irish. Proud is an understatement.

Honestly, if I could get those of us Irish besotted by interest rates and celtic tiger property prices to visit here [?!??] one might just realise how precious life is and how miniscule our troubles really are. To have left families, businesses, money aside and country to help another who needs it so much more is angelic but to build 200 homes each painted, with a solar panel and a community garden surprisingly in just seven days is truly miraculous.

If you saw what I have seen, you would understand why I and the other 1499 people get applauded and welcomed everyday we go to work. Tear-jerker, you better believe it! I’m beginning to think I have a feminine side…. We also are cheered and thanked on our way home. Amazing. Any slight upsets since I got here [click here]? No. I love every second and I thank whatever religion one may pray to that Dominc Loughran made me realise that my horticulture could make tears come to many a grown mans eyes.