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good gardens, good planning

garden planning and tree planting

garden planning and tree planting

If one is thinking of where to start in a garden… at the top is usually a good place! In good gardens, good planning is everything. One can have anything they want and at anytime, but, when it comes to working with the seasons this is where one gets the most from their budget.

As I have said so many times, its not what you have – it’s what you do with it.

To analagise, one does not decide to buy Christmas presents on Christmas day. With regard to tree planting and garden planning – if this is something you could consider – one should begin that process now. The tree season of better value is almost upon us. Approximately eight weeks away and the greatest gardens are always made with great planning.

As a rule of thumb of when to plant bare roots and root balls its when the trees lose their leaves and go into a wintering state. But first of course we’ve got beautiful autumn to come when all the leaves are brown…

i need you…

peter donegan garden design bloom 2007In 2007 my garden design ‘no rubber – soul’ [more commonly known now as the morris minor car garden] for the inaugural Bloom in the Park won silver medal. More importantly, for those involved the quite long media list [available on request] was endless. It even featured on Australian t.v.

In 2008, I and The Donegan Landscaping team went a stage further with ‘Pour L’amour de Jeux’/ for a love of the game [more commonly known as the pink boat garden] . Once again we were without a main sponsor – but for those involved the response was amazing. Of course the pink boat is now one of the star attractions at this years Electric Picnic.

peter donegan landscape design bloom 2008So why am I on the airwaves bleeting about Bloom 2009 so soon? Well, we need a sponsor. We have had none for two years and whilst so far, [honestly…] child hood dreams maybe got the better of me, at some point, unfortunately, costs must be considered…

Do I regret it? That’s a bit like asking did you regret getting married? When you love something so much… it was not ever considered. In that context, not an inch of regret. I love it.

Donegan landscaping has a host of awards from 17th century design and build to the most modern of gardens.

The garden name & theme has been chosen, concepts are in place. I guess all I need now is you….

gardeners ball – black tie, green carpet event

garden of hope gardeners ball niall mellon township 2008 peter donegan

does the mister never bring you anywhere? do you fancy treating yourself to an evening among the ‘you scrub up wells’ of this world or did you just fancy seeing yourself dressed up as James Bond ?

At 250 euro a ticket with Diarmuid Gavin as guest speaker this is your chance to walk the green carpet and put the Cameron Diaz and Mackauley Culkins of this world to shame.

Apart from that you’ll get to sit in my company…. how many times have you had an offer like that?!

Interested just call Sara or Peter [thats me] on 00353-1-8078712

7.30pm in the Ballsbridge Inn [ex Jurys – not Croke Park as printed] In aid of the Niall Mellon Township Trust. If you’ve got a few bob there’ll be the auctions to follow…. just make sure not to make your grand entry in tuxes like these two guys!

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Bloom 2008 – Pour L’amour de Jeux

This was the bio given to my show garden entry before it was built…

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Without a main sponsor….. Peter Donegan’s design, titled ‘Pour L’amour de Jeux’ is a garden whose title and theme was chosen on the basis of a Designers desire to build and design ‘dream’ gardens because of a love of the game.

With modern pressures and taken for granted hectic lifestyles this garden is a micro-haven paradise designed and built with pure passion to show that dreamers do exist and that those dreams however illogic can become reality. If life is what you enjoy, then this garden is what you will love, our entry for Bloom 2008

When asked so many times throughout Bloom 2007, why one would design a show garden as was ‘No Rubber – Soul’; it seemed incomprehensible to some, yet to others put simply it was for ‘a love of the game’ the only reason why Peter Donegan and his team built such a garden. It seemed therefore quite an appropriate name for this garden.

A garden that is fully recycled or recyclable the main feature… comprises a 33ft 1957, pink, three story pleasure cruise boat named ‘Mo Chailín Cáitlín’. The garden is surrounded by water, a slightly raised recycled timber and lawn combined marina, and natures finest planting. The finshing touch is a hand sculpted piece by Patrick Campbell.

And so the question still remains… would you sponsor a show garden?

With thanks to:

never had your garden ‘designed’ before

Here’s a piece I wrote some time ago. Recently we have had a wave enquiries where people feel that not paying for a design is saving money. That’s perfectly fine but as long as you take the correct free advice and from the correct people.

We have designed anything from 17th century five acre gardens to the most modern and futuristic of advanced and out of place designs – and built them. We have also on the other hand designed and built gardens that dont cost the earth but do look really good.

The second piece of advice is to take the correct advice. So should one pay for a consultation charge? The answer is of course if you feel you should and naturally if you will get something valuable and worthwhile for your cudos. If you do decide to get a garden designed and/ or built for either sixty five euro or sixty five thousand euro remember the numbers at the bottom of the page of the invoice is what it actually costs and you gotta pay that amount [I’ll get back to that later]. In the meantime – enjoy the article.

peter

You want to get the garden designed. You have already tried and after spending the entire lottery, it still looks humorous. The sun is shining. The neighbours have just started their barbeque. You own a jungle. Where do you start?

On the cheap: Measure up the garden. You don’t need a measuring tape or trunnel wheel. One large pace equals one metre approximately and one of your feet is one foot (you’ll have a rough idea). Drop down to the local garden centre and with sketch in hand ask all the questions you can. Its better to go on a Monday when it’s quiet. Always give an idea of the theme you want in the garden, don’t tell them I want this and one of them etc.(if you say water feature and it may not ever have looked good in your back yard – the friendly people who were going to give you advice are now on commission and your stuck with a gift for your sister.) Remember you don’t have to purchase on that day. Call the offices of a professional landscapers/ designers association. They’ll put you in touch with somebody in your area. Generally you can get advice (free) over the phone. They don’t have to call out.

  • Pay a little: Call a landscape contractor of reputation. They may charge for call outs/ consultation charges, but this is a very wise investment (even if the Father-in-law and Jimmy’s brother/ cousin/ sister are all expert green fingers). Decide on the basics with your family first. Do you need?
  • A shed – what size and type? Brick or timber?
  • A washing/ clothes line – Rotary/ retractable/ or one for the local football team?
  • A barbeque – built in or moveable? Gas or coal? Consider the neighbours and the clothes line!
  • Kiddies play area – Swings, slides and pits? sand or bark mulch? Moveable or resident? In my opinion it is better to put these ‘built in’ in one area – this can be adapted/ changed to suit your investment/ garden at a later date. ie. when the little ones mature.
  • Lights – how many? Security and/ or decorative? Sunken or above ground level? Remember low budget/ plastic looks better below ground and you’ll still see the light.
  • Outdoor electricity points/ plugs – where? Always get a double and get the two done together.
  • Outdoor tap/ water source – where? Both of the above mean the contractors don’t need to traffic over your new flooring and you don’t have to be there shedding tears at the state of the place halfway through the job.
  • Table and chairs area – Just for two or the entire Partridge family? Decide on whether it goes to full sun or shade. Please, pick/ measure the dining set you want first and allow 1.5 metres off the back of each chair. This means you only get the size of patio required and the stonemason doesn’t retire on your entire garden budget. (It also stops Nanna falling into the new rose bush when she pushes her chair away to get up from the table.)
  • Raised timber structure/ Patio – take the advice of your consultant and ensure it fits into your overall theme.
  • Green waste area – they can be ‘off in scent’ but they are in todays genre a must.

Ask for a rough ‘outline overview sketch’ of what the garden will look like – on headed paper – this will save you the cost of a full design service. Assuming it’s not a requirement of planning, this should, with a little vision and trust on your part, suffice. Again give a general themed idea of what you would like.

Pay a little/ lot more:Call a registered landscape designer. They usually charge for call outs/ consultations. They will charge for their design and also a percentage fee to oversee their design. This will be a very detailed design with a planting plan you may not understand ever and may come complete with a visual impression of what you can expect to see. Your garden designer will ensure you don’t need to do any of the above. Ensure your requirements are met so as not to result with your designers very own memorial playground. Let them know how much time and what gardening tasks you are willing to spend/ do in the garden (be honest and realistic!). Find out what contractor will carry out the necessary works and as important if they will do the after care/ maintenance. Get an estimate of cost on the landscaping of this wonderful design before you pay for the actual drawings. This ensures you don’t end up with a very expensive piece of paper that will never become a creation.

Remember:

  • Know your budget limit but be realistic.
  • Agree all prices before your contract starts.
  • Stonework requires dry weather and plants/ lawns need water.
  • Don’t pay for contractors tools to sit in their shed on ‘down time’ and don’t end up paying a contractor to water you plants
  • You don’t have to do it all at once.
  • Gardens can be phased in over a period of time. It may take a little longer but you will get that dream.
  • Don’t be afraid to do something different
  • Quality products cost more and cheap can be often tearful rather than cheerful.

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