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Irish Times – Saturday 23rd July – The SodShow

irish times gardens

Noted in The Irish Times garden section on the 23rd July was The SodShow. It wasn’t a full page photograph of yours truly, but then again it was about Dublin’s only Garden Radio show as versus Peter Donegan and more importantly it’s not how much but what was written. It also made me smile.

Here’s what was said….

Don’t know much about gardening?

. . . well, Dublin City FM DJ Brian Greene doesn’t either, but his co-presenter on The Sodshow, Peter Donegan, sets him straight every Friday at 3pm (also on iTunes). It’s irreverent, local, garden-y and – as the catchline says – “it grows on you”. (103.2FM and dublincityfm.ie)

the sodshow, irish times

Fingal Independent – July 6th 2011

For those who have asked…. Despite the media report [below] I still own my lawnmower. Also, I still use it and didn’t trade it in. I am still a gardener, landscaper, garden designer or anything else that maybe describe one who works with plants.

Nonetheless, The fingal Independent did write this piece this week 😉

Donegan’s gardening radio show sparks rave reviews

By Robin KIELY

Wednesday July 06 2011

HE’S more used to hedgerows than headphones, but now a Fingal gardener has turned over a new leaf on the airwaves.

Award-winning landscaper, Peter Donegan, has traded in his mower for a microphone, fronting a weekly gardening radio show, which has drawn rave reviews.

Indeed, so popular is the ‘ Sod Show’ podcast that it regularly beats off competition from a host of international stations and programmes in the download charts.

Airing live on Dublin City FM every Friday, the Ballyboughal native aims to open up the world of gardening to everyone, mixing expert guests with local enthusiasts and businesses.

‘I’ve been doing the podcast on its own for about a year and the Sod Show has been on radio nearly six months,’ Peter explained.

‘We do it live and then it goes straight to a podcast on iTunes. It’s got a happy vibe and is a feelgood gardening radio show.

‘It’s for people who like the great outdoors. Brian Greene, who has 20 years of radio experience behind him does the sound and audio.

‘We’ve done a couple of good specials. We have Jane Powers on, who writes for the Irish Times, and we had the guy who grew shamrock for Barack Obama.

‘We’ve also had locals on. Ann Lynch from Ballyboughal Hedgerow Society was on, as was Phillip Murtagh who was talking about making elder flower champagne, both from Ballyboughal.

‘We’re aiming to make gardening and the show a fun place to be and it seems to be working well.’

A glance at the download charts on iTunes certainly emphasises that fact, where the Sod Show’s podcast regularly claims the number one berth in the ‘outdoor’ category.

What’s even more impressive is its standings in the ‘sport and recreation’ section, where it’s pulling in more hits than the likes of gardening shows on BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio Ulster and Sky Sport’s ‘Sunday Supplement’ podcast.

‘It’s phenomenal really,’ Peter reflected. ‘It’s important to recognise the amount of work being done locally in Ballyboughal and it’s nice to be able to get that out on the airwaves.

‘ We’re mixing local guest with nationally and internationally known guests. The show really is open to everyone.’

It’s another chapter in an impressive story for Peter, who celebrates 10 years in business this year and he’s still as busy as ever.

He passed on his knowledge at a number of talks with Fingal Libraries earlier this year and addressed 250 people on the benefits of podcasting at a recent south Dublin event.

And on the gardening front, he spent the weekend demonstrating garden displays in the middle of the city centre, as part of an urban living event in Wolfe Tone Park.

-The Sod Show is broadcast every Friday at 3pm on Dublin City FM.

– Robin KIELY

Display Gardens & Garden Exhibits

Does your garden attract the right attention for you and your business… ?

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Requests vary from real and permanent gardens created to fit a particular shop face or business premise for a little extra added or just the right attention – to themes of a more temporary and variant nature.

Client sometimes wish to add a slightly different route to achieve and attract that greater amount of PR and media for their product, clients theme or business launch.

Whilst some choose to install their uniquely themed garden permanently, for others the benefits of display and exhibition gardens are that they can be created largely off site and slotted together within the time frame allowed on site and to suit you and/or your clients budget and theme as it changes. The ‘garden installation’ can also be easily dismantled, should you wish and removed after your event or launch.

There are many other means in which I have used gardens to promote a Client or sponsors product or service. The weblog and podcast makes it easier now to catalogue and are used to great advantage, but here are three examples a little more recent and that little bit different that may just allow your mind to wander.

1. The Green Up Smithfield Garden:

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Designed and built for the Smithfield Festival in Dublin. This garden installation took just one day to put together on site. Smithfield itself is an entirely cobbled area of Dublin City and the garden did not require any lifting of any street stone. It used and reused the following ingredients very wisely:

  • domestic appliances that came from a Dublin civic recycling centre – they returned there after to continue their journey.
  • The plants after the display time were donated to and reused by community garden groups
  • The furniture came from a group that recycles furniture and returned there also
  • The satellite came from my garden and was used in the PR photos [see below]

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*pictured above with the red satellite are [l-r] Peter Donegan, Lord Mayor of Dublin Emer Costello and Liam Reilly of Bagatelle

2. Repak Recycle Week Garden 2009:

Put together for repak recycle week 2009 it was built in the front window of Dunnes Stores Shop on Exchequer Street in Dublin City Centre.

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Once again the build time on site was just one day. But this did not pose any issue.

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Essentially it simply means that a lot more time is put into the behind the scenes to ensure that everything fits together just perfectly in its timeline.

Possibly more unusual than that the space allocated measured just 6′ x 4′ and the garden was not allowed to use any products that were live or living.

Taking place in October each year this meant that weather didn’t hamper any of the planning.

It was named the greenhouse effect and used a greenhouse frame which contained products that are used by Repak Recycle members.

Once again all objects used within the garden were returned, reused and recycled including the greenhouse frame.

*photograph with model Pippa O’Connor and used for launching the annual event.

3. The Pink Boat Garden:

This show garden was built in the Phoenix Park and had a build time of 3 weeks. The story is very different to the two above  but shows just how differently things can be done.

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In the end all plants were [re] planted in various gardens in Dublin, the sculpt returned to its original home, the timber was re-used and the 1957 pleasure cruise boat that I prevented from being scrapped was given a home for life at The Irish rock festival Electric Picnic.

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*Pictured above at the garden are [l-r] Peter Donegan, Dr Martin and President of Ireland Mary McAleese.

There are others but these three have always stood out as those that may be better known and also a little more variant from the norm.

If you would find out more you can as always contact me in the following ways:

  • send an email to info@DoneganLandscaping.com
  • telephone me direct on 087-6594688
  • or enquire via the contact page on DoneganLandscaping.com

*The garden at the top of the page was called No Rubber Soul

Irish Mail On Sunday 23rd May 2010

Yesterday, Eugene Higgins of The Irish Mail On Sunday did a great Piece on The Garden Group with the tagline How a Bloom maverick is taking bloggers on tours of our ‘secret’ gardens and titled it A www.walk on the wild side

The main picture is of Dena [@curlydena], Mom Vena [@VenaW] and Dad Andrew Walker. [And to think I spent so long brushing my hair that day 😀 ] The other two images are courtesy Jennifer Farley Photography [@laughing_lion]. I’ve asked Eugene for the main text of the piece and will post it below as soon as I get it. For now…..

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Irish Independent March 3rd 2010

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Wednesday 3rd March was a nice day. I’d had a really great chat with Susan Daly over the phone last week and awoke to a clatter of texts and messages all singing Carly Simon on the answering machine 😉 Great to have humorous friends…

I must say it is a great article. Extremely well written by Susan and it was an absolute honour to speak with her. One of life’s really nice people.

For those that didn’t get to do so, one can read the article in full here. Apart from a sexy gardener erm….. 😆 also featured are two more of lifes really nice people kieran Murphy and Pat O’Mahony.

Thanks also to John Mc Williams for the photograph used above.

‘People ask why I don’t charge for my expertise — where’s the fun in that?

Wednesday March 03 2010

“I’m not stupid with the euro in my pocket, but some of the things I most enjoy I do for free. “Recently I took a group of people around the war memorial gardens in Islandbridge. “My wife made country apple pie and we had coffee in flasks, and we have another trip coming up to Ireland’s Eye. “But what people kept bouncing back to me afterwards was: Why didn’t you charge for it?

“I don’t get that. I competed at the Irish Conker Championships last year just for fun. “It’s like I won’t put a shop on my blog (doneganlandscaping.com), because that’s not why I do it.

“I’d say 50pc of the phone calls I get are for free gardening advice, and I’ve been on the garden side of things on the Niall Mellon trips. “I’m going to sound like a martyr, but for me, it’s just not the point of life to always have to tie in everything you do to paying the bills.”