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polldaddy… technology for a gardener #5

The entire list of companies for ‘technology for a gardener’ is/will be here.

polldaddyThis is piece #5. This is Polldaddy.

Put simply, we know what a poll is. We also know what a survey is… If you have ever been stopped on the street and asked for ‘a few minutes of your time…’ well, how does one make you want to give that time? How do you make it sexy..?

For example…

Polldaddy seems to be is the answer for me. I’m not big on the surveys myself. But short & snappy, tap one button and hey presto – does work.. I used it to great example here for what I called the garden polls…with very varying and interesting results. Worthwhile? me think so…

The beauty about this is.. if you got a few dollars to spare – or you’re like me and you’ll only use it now and again [free] you’re very well looked after. Sihning up is also very easy and simple. All good. They also have a blog… and from that I nabbed this video… really easy peasy 🙂

I spoke to a really nice guy called Donncha about Polldaddy. Donncha told me that although it has been sold on/ bought out…

not only was it Irish owned and one of the success stories of Ireland, but it is still based and operated from Sligo…

Not bad going… here’s what techcrunch say about polldaddy

Website: polldaddy.com
Location: Co. Sligo, Ireland
Founded: September 1, 2006
Acquired: October 15, 2008 by Automattic

PollDaddy is a service that provides polling widgets for blogs, websites, and social networks. PollDaddy has recently entered a partnership with Piczo to provide poll services to their 30 million users….

So I say well done lads. Great service. Great product and of course there is this…

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thomas brunkard – pr garden guest #4

If you would like to know more about the thursday garden guest the pr sessions –  click here.

For the moment writer #4 is Thomas Brunkard of Bvisible

ABOUT:

thomas...
thomas...

Thomas Brunkard is an account executive with Bvisible Communications, a creative, progressive and dynamic PR agency with a wide-ranging client base.  He assists in the development of public relations programmes across the full client base including strategic communications initiatives, online PR strategies and print and broadcast media relations.  He managed to out-flank the recession and land his current job by using a blog and social media strategy.

Taking a break from the blogosphere to climatise to agency work, he will return to blogging on the PR landscape at the soon to be re-launched Bvisible website and on music, life and guitar playing by the summer at his own site at www.thomasbrunkard.com

An ex-professional musician, Thomas continues to inflict [his words not mine 😆 ] his guitar playing on audiences nation wide, particularly most Saturdays in Dublin’s Porter House Temple Bar.


WHAT I LIKE ABOUT GARDENS:


I had always hated gardening.  The loathing started when I was a child growing up in Kilmainham.  We had a yard with a big coal bunker and a smattering of potted plants but nothing that would constitute a garden.  Since we lived on a busy road in a relatively edgy inner-city area, outdoor excursions were limited and the yard was mine and my brothers’ outdoor universe.  Our imagination moulded it into the Wild West, Cybertron and Cooley.

My Da often had delusions of our family aspiring to country gentrification.  His own father had grown up on a farm and he himself had grown and sold a field of barley in his youth.  Our holidays to the countryside took in the ruined relics of manors past.  Powerscourt, Emo Court and Malahide Castle were regular weekend haunts for the Brunkards.  The terraced rises of the Poer family and the sprawling Talbot demesne inspired my father to bring our inner-city micro-house in line with the old planters’ opulent and baroque excesses.

After one trip to Malahide my Da’s inspiration took flight.  He resolved to turn our back-of-house industrial wasteland into Eden on Earth.  In a stroke, our summer became a Dickensian nightmare as we were co-opted as pocket-money gardening slaves.

Hauling bags of compost and disposing of the odd coal-crushed mouse was not the fun alternative to multiplication tables and Irish we had longed for that summer.
Da outlined a grand vision for our inner-city Babylon; fountains, hanging baskets, trellises and terracotta bowls of life fired him with enthusiasm.  One Saturday morning, the process began with a 7am rise and a whistle-stop tour of Wicklow’s garden centres.

Our postcard sized yard began to transform rapidly.  Our coal bunker dissolved into steel buckets, the blackened walls were painted a gleaming white and the outdoor toys of our infancy were consigned to anonymous cement bags.
We diligently filled window baskets with carefully selected combinations of onion-like bulbs.  Pre-grown bedding was delivered in bulk for our newly green fingers to pot and display.  My Da relished his new role of garden foreman and, as my brothers and I scurried around the yard, he barked instructions over a blaring Count John McCormack record.

And then it was over, our new “garden” had become the very spectrum of colour.  Yellows, reds and blues and an unplumbed water feature.  Our Herculean efforts were rewarded with a bounty of beauty.

A hoped for resumption of the summer status quo was not on the cards.  Sword fights led to demolished ceramic and were hastily outlawed, football shattered tulips and followed suit, our garden had become like a sitting room full of cut crystal and prematurely killed our outdoor childhood.

Our forays into this botanical set-piece were reduced to early morning wake-up calls for watering, weeding and pest control.  One such extermination campaign ended in a social disaster for my Da.

My observation of the relative demerits of poisoning a garden where the family dog eats everything earned me the role of chief executioner for trespassing snails.  “I want to see 100 dead snails by the afternoon”, my Da barked in his best drill sergeant-like manner and harumphed off to involve himself in unrelated DIY projects taking place elsewhere in the house.

Taking on my new assignment with vigour I rounded up as many slimy crustaceans as I could find.  Nearing the hundred mark I pronounced my charge and verdict to the invaders: “On the charge of destroying loads of the poxy leaves that ended our Kilmainham Football League I pronounce you – Guilty”, I proceeded to lay other charges  against the helpless rascals who’s only mistake was to gorge themselves on Lord Brunkard’s demesne.  All were guilty without recourse to representation or due process.

And then the sentence came to be delivered.  A distant marching snare rung out in the distance, a soldier produced blind folds and a priest gave last rites to the assembled hermaphrodite infestants.  A trumpet sounded a solemn tune.  Then CRASH!  I slammed down a spade on the assembled snails.  Splish, splosh, crunch.  My execution was worthy of Teppes, Bathory and Nero combined and soon the convicted resembled a gone off beef stew with extra cabbage.  Satisfied that my excesses would excel my father’s expectations, I retired to do some crucial guitar practice.
And then later that evening I heard a not-so muffled scream and other sounds of distress and agitation.  My mother and father had guests out into the new yard and they had happened on the remnants of the grizzly justice I had meted out.  With the innocence only possessed by a child as my only defence I tried to explain how I was merely a soldier following orders to no avail.  The snail execution had been my brief and my father playing Pinochet to his guests and denying knowledge and blaming poor soldier discipline.

Gardening sucked I decided there and then.

These days I have mellowed my attitudes.  My girlfriend is a German culchie and she has brought all sorts of plant derived wonderment into my city-slicker life.  Her miracle avocado tree (planted from an avocado!) and Bonsai coddling attracting me back into the fold of Plantopia.  I bought a Rosemary bush after reading Eoin Kennedy’s post to try to give myself some sort of connect with this piece.  I especially like herbs as you can eat or make tea with them.  Next weekend I’m trying out Peter’s seed post.  Who knows?  If I make it big in PR from here I’ll look into a fully fledged garden to inflict on my future off-spring.  The circle of life will be complete.
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cork open coffee

find a conference venue
find a conference venue

yes… it was a few weeks [more…?] ago now – and i’m still harping on about Cork! but Cork Open Coffee really deserves a post.

Firstly to thank everyone who was there for welcoming me to my first OCC and secondly because it was so worthwhile going to. Well done to all.

It started with coffee, then Ciara from findaconferencevenue.com did a great presentation and of course [as the name suggests… it finished with coffee 😉 ] But what a nice way to meet and great other businesses… 🙂

More of this sort of thing…? I think so.

If you would like to know more about Open coffee Cork – click here

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garden time on dublin city radio 103.2fm

peter and peter
peter and peter

Tomorrow, Tuesday March 24th I will return to the studios of Dublin City 103.2fm – the 10am – 11am show.

It’s been a while since I was in with the lads so I’m looking forward to it. And the guys are particularly nice so making it all worthwhile 😆

If you are hoping to tune in on the wireless you’re grand… but I found if you want to do it online a little preparation is required – for a non techie like me anyway… click here and get yourself ready and you can also email… easy!

And no Peter eile won’t be interviewing me – Phantom fm don’t really do a garden slot… I think… ?!!

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joy redmond – pr thursday garden guest #3

If you would like to know more about the thursday garden guest the pr sessions –  click here.

For the moment writer #3 is Joy Redmond of flexitimers.com

Joy
Joy

ABOUT:

Joy Redmond is marketing & operations director of Flexitimers.com – a people-2-people platform for professional freelance and project work in Ireland. Joy has been working in the web industry (both agency and client side) since 1996. Joy was hiding out in academia between 2002-2007 but left to set up Flexitimers with Dervla Cunningham. Joy is delighted to be back working in a start-up, an environment in which she is most comfortable.

What I like about the Garden:

I was lucky because I grew up in beautiful garden not only because it had lots of interesting specimens but being one of six kids (typical Irish family like steps of stairs), the garden was where we spent most of our time. One of our favourite games was ‘who dies the best’ where each sibling would take turns dying more tragically that the next.  A lot of action took place around the weeping willow tree at the base of the front garden where many Cindy dolls were rescued and renegade action men were hanged. A voluptuous hydrangea was often necessary cover from irate motorists who’d been missiled with mud and rocks, yes typical behavour of a kid in a small town in late 70s so bored out of their mind that causing an accident was considered a result.

My mother used to say that a garden must have a number of ‘rooms’ each with their own character so we had a dining area enclosed by clematis covered trellises that when in flower told us summer was coming. The grass in the back garden was separated into two lawns by a row of cammelias that bloomed around Easter Egg time. The ‘yard’ was the patio area from the back door to the garage which catered for our evolving tastes – hoola hoops, rollerskates, bikes, basketball, the open theatre and then discos with spin the bottle.

Everyone had their favourite spot, Daddy’s was in the front garden (with the evening sun) in the hammock he’d bought in Mexico which was suspended between the two palm trees he’d planted for that reason. Mammy’s was lying in a lounger in full sun beside her rockery (very 80s!), Zoe lying on the floral print couch swing always reading, Alan being the only boy had to assert his masculinty by shooting coke cans with his pellet gun from his tree house in the huge oak tree, Eve spent most of her time grooming and coercing excerise from ‘Silver’ her bi-polar pony who never came good for pony rides at our parties. Jan (‘middle child’) behind the garage kicking the windsurfs with her back to us shouting out how much she hated us until Mammy bought her a puppy which taught her how to love. Amy and I (the little ones) used to spend hours beside the herb garden making mud pies for ‘Mr. Brown Thomas’ we’d say in our poshest Wexford accents.When we were grown up, my mother got a pond which pumped water to a waterfall that flowed down through the rockery. A few apple tress and a magnolia tree were planted with stone benches to sit and read in the shade. During her final summer, i have a vivid memory of her sitting back in her lounger with the sun shining eating a fresh chocolate from Leonidas with the sound of water trickling and she said it was ‘heaven.’I suppose if I was to sum up our garden, it was ‘lived in’ and alhough we’d lots of beautiful plants and flowers, we never felt we had to tiptoe or watch our step. It was first and foremost a place of fun and if a few shrubs got injured that didn’t really matter. We had spectacular water fights – commercial waterparks will never compare and usually ended up with someone (even a parent) getting so hyper and climbing onto the flat roof hosing us all down where there was nowhere to hide.My own garden is a little less spectacular. Three years ago, I bought a second hand house and inherited a 30 year mature garden which my father repeatedly tells me I’ve knocked 30k off its value by sheer neglect. I find it hard to muster the same enthusiasm as my two sons divided by five years and autism don’t have the same garden comraderie. A trampolene has proven a common ground as too I hope will the ‘hide’ that has been in construction for two years.  Now with the weather picking up, I’m due for my annual horticultural psychosis which will involve attacking the neglect with zeal, I’ll spray the roses, weed all the beds, reseed my wild flower border, rebirth my containers with pansies, tulips and lillies, untangle the 8 or so ciimbers I’ve ignored for months, prune the plum, apple and other trees, spray and cultivate the veg patch and start my beetroots, asparagus, peas, beans and lots of salad and herbs and so on until my hands and back are wrecked. My garden will look glorious for a week and so the cycle continues.