the NMTT gardeners family weekend line up

related posts worth reading:


i'll see you there...

a venue has been donated….

remember this post on my trip to south africa with the niall mellon township…?

a venue has been kindly donated by niall power of the garden exhibition centre in kilquade, co. wicklow for the entire weekend Saturday & Sunday September 12th & 13th.

Gentleman? you better believe it 😉 thanks niall 🙂

Check out the video

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a trip to south africa….

i have it all posted under the category ‘garden of hope’.

if you’d like more information visit the niall mellon township trust website or just give me a call…..

to donate dosh click here

2008, a good year…?

Another year over and what can I say?!! In short 2008 was the greatest roller coaster of a year since I first set up Donegan Landscaping over 8 years ago now. We had some really great,challenging and exciting projects to work on and that of course is down to really amazing Clients. I thank you all so much from the bottom of my heart. For the gardens created –  you, your thanks and your smiles is what made it all so much more worth while. You have all been brilliant.

looking back...

looking back...

Of course outside of that Bloom was only one of the contenders to steal the limelight. What started as a child like dream became a reality. And so the rollercoaster began 😉 Sponsorship was in place, designs were accepted and with weeks to spare… our sponsors decided not to. Par for the course I suppose. It did leave me in a slight pickle and with a very large boat in place already – I decided to go for it. Less so much money – medals were not on the menu. To complete a garden was. The response was overwhelming. And with a theme of recycling in mind, I ended up with a very different dilemma… That of finding a new home for a very large boat. It is here I must thank everyone who helped and also Rick and the 2fm team. Of course the finalé is what brought tears to my eyes. I am so very blessed for the friends I have.

After catching my breath… and to an extreme of sorts, possibly, it was next to the award winning gardens of Brackenstown house that would be opened to the public for the first time for an international sculpt exhibition. To pardon the cliché – no stone was to be left unturned. It was amazing. I know they are not my gardens – but – for the pure poetry that they are, I am so proud to say I wish they were mine 🙂

You may think it would end there. But it doesn’t. Quite recently I returned to South Africa with the Niall Mellon Township Trust. Once again it was a life changing experience. As I have said before all things ‘Peter Donegan’ went right out the window. I was one of over 2,000 people and I was part of a team. I was there to build gardens. I loved every second. It put life correctly inperspective. If I ever thought I had anything to complain about – I was wrong. Life has a new [and correct] meaning.

With that in mind, I think it is only appropriate that I sign off in exactly the same way as I did last year….

2008…. 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.

casino royal, the pink boat & electric picnic

The casino royal boat has an amazing story. Why didn’t I use it, to my [possible] advantage? The boat was a ruin. Inside-less, sideless & due to be dumped. Could I/it ever have been fully restored – no.

It was next to consider could I give it *any* use other than a skip? yes.

The question now was how does one restore the boat – to a use. The timber replacing the gaping holes would never look right. Pink was the obvious choice. It was perfect. I wanted recycling to come out of the doldrums and to be seen by young an old as something not of a rhetoric ‘wellies and cabbage patches’ of The Good Life style tv days of old. We did that. Not accepted by the Judges of Bloom or the horticultural critics… but that wasn’t the intention [ie. medals].

The pink boat became a part of my garden design for Bloom 2008 ‘pour l’amour de jeux’. A fully recycled recylable garden. Something not for the cricket judges, but for the people – a ‘show’ garden.

The problem was we had no home for the boat after. We had no sponsor [this also upset the Judges, i’m sure]. We couldn’t afford to move it again and it would have been ‘immoral’ to smash it up and put it to landfill.

The pleas went out on 2fm courtesy of Rick O shea. It was never for the money as I think you can gather by now. Hence the name – translated as ‘for a love of the game’, the reason why I put an entire company almost to financial ruin. Some critics say attention seeking – I say it would have been cheaper to put my face on billboards all over Dublin City for a year… it would. Electric Picnic were all of the right answers. It was a boat I’d got free. They took it free. They gave 2 tickets to me and 2 to auction. I outbid the highest bidder.

The casino royal bit – I knew. All involved did. At Bloom, I met a lovely guy Bill and his wife Ann at the show. Bill was a boat builder by profession. He was contracted to rebuild ‘casino royal’ all those years ago. The name had to be erased. The guy who contracted Bill went broke and the boat stayed in storage already stripped, empty and getting worse. In the meantime the name had to be removed [legally] from the boat… and it was.

A letter from Ann after the show explained:

Of course the name has been erased from the boat because of copyright. Once the film was made, it was then only permitted the use of “Casino Royale”

This is what electric Picnic says on their website:

11). ‘Casino Royal’ Boat – donated by Peter Donegan
The 1957 Royal Cruiser Mark II is reported to have been originally christened Casino Royale and allegedly featured in the James Bond movie of the same name in 1967.

Fast forward to 2008 Peter Donegan gives it it’s inaugural land trip to the Bloom Festival where it featured, freshly painted pink (“to make people smile”) in his fully recyclable garden that he designed & landscaped for the festival. Wanting to find a good home for it after the festival he launched a national campaign on 2FM which is when we heard of it and were happy to adopt it in exchange for some festival tickets which were auctioned for the Niall Mellon Township Trust where they hope to build a Garden of Hope community garden.

That said it all still comes down to a very large list to whom I still say thank you.

All Posts related post and the Pink Boat Story can be found here.

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