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Garden Maintenance

I have been maintaining gardens since before I was a teenager and after 10 years in business garden maintenance is still one of the services that I pride myself on. In 2007 I won the overall ALCI award for garden maintenance – in this case it was a private garden.

I provide both commercial and domestic garden maintenance outside of and including Dublin.

I find that it is the preparation prior to any gardening works taking place that ensures the relationship between you and I works best and also guarantees the best results from your budget and the time I spend with your space outdoors.

Garden Maintenance can be done by way of the following:

  • a one off garden visit
  • regular scheduled garden visits

Within a one off visit you may simply require a good honest tidy over of your space  to give it a lift for the upcoming season or you may simply require a more manicured approach to an existing outdoors to get it back to its finest appearance once again. Others simply require a helping hand to get the garden back on its rightful course where it has been let go for some time.

Services for regularly scheduled and one off visits also include:

  • additional planting to suit the season or for additional colour
  • mulching of beds and play areas
  • fertilising programme for trees, shrubs or lawns
  • grass cutting of open areas or small spaces
  • hedge cutting and shrub pruning
  • tree services
  • weed control in lawns or through existing planting and borders

Whilst some wish to complete the garden maintenance tasks themselves one can also get that little added direction and consultation. In this regard, garden maintenance schedules, checks and calenders can be put in place to suit your specific space in the great outdoors if required.

If you would like to talk with me about garden or grounds maintenance you can as always contact me via the following options.

  • by email info@doneganlandscaping.com
  • via this website: click the contact page
  • call mobile – o876594688

My qualifications:

  • Certificate in Commercial Horticulture (1996)
  • General Examination in Horticulture – Royal Horticultural Society (1997)
  • Advanced Diploma in Commercial Horticulture (1998)

The Right Time To Get The Garden Done

It must be coming into your quiet time for the oul’ gardening now…..

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Just one of the many clichés I’m on the verge of hearing more regularly now that the temperatures start to drop slightly and the evenings start to get a little shorter. The answer is more the opposite in fact.

There is a point where there are certain things that cannot be done no matter what stage of the season one is talking from, but in general the wise owls, tend to, get the ‘garden done’ in what some would consider the off season.

The reality is that with the coming of October onwards and the drop in temperatures of the seasons comes the en mass planting of trees and shrubs. Don’t get me wrong summer is fine for gardening… but when one needs to plant en mass or is planning on a budget and has the patience to place into the ground what may appear as a twig – and wait – then planting when the specimen is dormant and the sky above is willing to act as your automatic watering system ie. you do not need to water every single plant to keep it alive during the pretty decent warm summer we have just had – then logic, in gardening terms is simply just that and has been applied extremely well.

Have you ever seen someone watering plants in November…?

The other advantage is that the new plant is not competing with weeds as it tries to settle into its new home, wherever that maybe. Because essentially, weeds are plants – they simply don’t know that we don’t want them to grow there – and –  like the plants we do want to grow, both are in their over-wintering state.

Generally speaking in this context, put into the summer months, the turning of the soil in order to plant [the plants] brings with it weed seeds flourishing to the surface. Come the rise in temperatures towards the end of spring it is hoped the developing canopies of foliage will assist in reducing this problem – and therefore the competition for nutrients. A mild nipping of the tips helps here.

The question then remains – when is the best time to get the garden done? And the answer is pretty simple – whenever you wish. The question back is what do you want from your garden [?]

If one for example wishes to have a ‘not always just green garden’ ie. one where the plants come and go in and out of flower throughout the seasons; like the forsythia below that flowers on bare stems in early and mid spring – if planted in summer – then there is a wait until the following season for it to come into its own and fullest glory.


Based on last year [2009] which was a complete wash out of a summer which followed straight into an iceberg…. there was a point where freakish summer climatic  conditions meant the gardener [yours truly] had to take time to let the clothes dry out, at some point, eventually.

But this year has been quite good. I’d easily gather bbq sales were up on last year and with that summer feeling has come a rise in requests for garden make-overs, tidy-ups and manicures [with mild additions to]. The other thing noticable is that clients and potential clients started calling in June to plan for the coming ‘off season’.

Tree and hedge planting season is what it may be called for some. But what are people calling Donegan landscaping asking for ?

The requests all have planting of some form involved, but generally speaking the reason to do it, as versus the type of planting, in the off season is the fact that the couple/ family or in the case of one residential complex – the client[s] do not wish to have to water or maintain the plants once planted. A smart move, when making the most out of ones budget, as versus reducing the budget in the main season and not getting the most from the project.

It also means the planting is not trying to flower, establish and settle itself throughout a period where transpiration and growth are also a trying to take place.

It may well be the weather for you to stay inside, but for the tree, the gardener and the plants, investing wisely now may just give you the same rewards for a lot less effort come next spring and summer.

And on top of that…. there’s some hedging and really, really nice trees to be planted 😉

How does your garden grow…?

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‘trying’ to get paid….

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At the turn of the year I made a concious decision to not do anymore work for people in my life who decided not to pay or make it difficult to get paid.  

I know this is something that may happen to all businesses but I’ve come to the point where I’m wondering whether there is something more I can do.

There are genuine situations out there, I really do appreciate that. And I don’t [to an extent] mind if someone is straight with me from the outset and even makes an attempt to make some form of paymet or to keep me posted.

That said there are those who maybe believe that maybe he won’t chase me for such a small amount. Or it maybe a case of stuff ’em. I simply don’t know, exactly, the reason…. All I know is I’m not getting [any] payment.

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I have three real example cases.

since the 6th of june 2008: – a lady in Malahide who paid part of the bill already, told me she doesn’t have the money to pay. I arrive up to the house the next time and find a new car in the driveway and no one will answer the door.

since the 3rd september 2008: a builder who was supplied topsoil makes ‘the payment to another company’ and tells me to ‘go chase them’. The other company refuses to pay and neither will the builder.

9th July 2009: another ‘builder’ who after three months decided the lawn was not to standard. The soil and levelling was to be done by his team. The lawn only to be supplied and laid by me. Apparently the lawn is not level and even though that was not part of my remit…. I have to wait over 3 months to find this is the reason [?] I’m told not getting paid. The fact that I disagree is irrelevant. But that is the reason I’m getting.

sit there and take it...?

sit there and take it...?

The question is what does one do…. if the amount is less than €1,000 or less €5,000 the excuses can and do continue.

Sidetracking slightly, I am [maybe] fortunate that the amounts are not overly excessive [?] and that generally speaking the clients I have are 99% of the time really nice people. Sincerely.

But it is at this point that I’m wondering if I should take the legal route, one I don’t really want to go down…. or admitting defeat [?] that I should simply name and shame the people live on the weblog…. a route I don’t really want to down either. The only other option it seems is to have a cup of coffee and let those rude enough to avoid phone calls and [logic] requests enjoy the [now] October sunshine.

Don’t get me wrong I am old and bold enough to have been whacked in the past and there was damn all I could do about it [legally]. Sometimes where small amounts were concerned I gave this money to charity…. but after 9 years in business there is simply a point here where it’s wrong. Unfair. Immoral. Whatever way you wish to call it’s not right…

The question is what would you do….?

ps: which reminds me…. anyone want to play poker for charity… 😉

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bloom 2008 [6] & the malahide boat show

After an early rise this morning to admire the beauty around me I went to Malahide, North Dublin to see the bi-annual boat show.

One of the reasons I wanted to go was to see if there was anything I could do more to add to the ‘thats an unusual [pink boat all included] garden’ tag Pour L’amour de Jeux has given me! and the well organised event was extremely helpful in sourcing some ‘boat stuff’/ props we needed for Bloom 2008.

The other reason was to travel with a very good friend/ neighbour[ish]/ colleague of mine/ Adrian McMahon and his two sons where we would meet with Gene another colleague of ours for a coffee.

The day was of course fantastic, but like most things in my life it is always made that extra little bit special by those with who it is shared. As you can gather there was a lot of Bloom-in talkin’ goin’ on and I must say where good coffee, intelligents minds and good friends are involved somehow life seems quite easy! Thanks you all, it was Bloomin’ fantastic.

[Plant] Life – simply breath taking!

Rapeseed (Brassica napus) - inspiration in a field - peter donegan garden design

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I awoke this morning to walk the dogs before going to the boatshow in Malahide with Aido [and the his two well mannered youngsters] to meet with Gene, another gentleman and associate. The weather was beautiful, the day simply amazing and the people I met just added to the brilliance.

This field of Brassicae napus [rapeseed oil], opposite my house could only make life quite inspirational and I must say added a somewhat breath taking smile! Amazing!