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nominated for the irish blog awards…

to my absolute delight i found out that my weblog has been nominated for the Irish Blog Awards 2009.

Why does a gardener blog – click here & read. It may just make sense…

That said – awards or not, it is because of *you* that I write and to be simply nominated is reason enough for me to smile 🙂

To you who read it, to those who nominated me and to those who were there from when I couldn’t turn on a computer. Thank you.

With regard to the categories. I am nominated for Best Specialist Blog sponsored by iQ Content and also for the Best Blog of a business sponsored by RedCardinal.ie. Well done to both and all of the sponsors. Congratulations to Damien Mulley too the brains behind what is always an amazing and once again sold out event.

Here are the nominees for both categories containing a lot of my own personal favourites. Well worth a browse.

Best Specialist Blog – Sponsored by iQ Content

Mikemaunsell.net: http://www.mikemaunsell.net
Small-leaved Shamrock: http://small-leavedshamrock.blogspot.com
Michelle Gallen’s E-learning Blog: http://liquidelearning.com
The Limerick Animal Welfare Blog: http://limerickanimalwelfare.blogspot.com
Valueireland.com: http://valueireland.com

Knitting Neels: http://knittingneels.com
Pauldervan: Random Thoughts On Marketing: http://pauldervan.com
Turbulence Ahead: http://turbulenceahead.com
Solo-magazine.com |: http://solo-magazine.com
Yogatic!: http://yogatic.com

Into That World Inverted: http://sarahtales.livejournal.com
Irish Taxi: http://irishtaxi.org
The Lavatorial Review: http://thelavatorialreview.wordpress.com
The Voyage: Life With Autism In Northern Ireland: http://thefamilyvoyage.blogspot.com
Mum Lives On: http://MumLivesOn.com
Tims Times: http://timstimes.net

Nalil – North Antrim Local Interest List: http://nalil.blogspot.com
Stochastic Geometry: http://stochasticgeometry.wordpress.com
For The Fainthearted: http://forthefainthearted.com
The Irish Economy: http://irisheconomy.ie
Wallpaper: http://wallpaper.blogs.ie
Montana Gael: http://montanagael.blogspot.com

The Biopsy Report: http://biopsy.wordpress.com
Made Marian: Oozing Crafty Goodness: http://mademarian.net
Piaras Kelly Pr – Public Relations In Ireland: http://pkellypr.com/blog
Homebug : Homes, Interiors, Art & Design – Ireland & Elsewhere: http://homebug.net
I Squatted Your Eu – Domains / Internet Technology News: http://isquattedyour.eu

Moore Groups Blog: http://mooregroup.wordpress.com
Peter Donegan Landscaping Weblog: http://blog.doneganlandscaping.com
University Blog: http://universitydiary.wordpress.com
The Frog Blog: http://blog.sccscience.com
Clasheen By Nicola Brown: http://clasheen.wordpress.com
Irish Allotments: http://irishallotments.net

Kedco | Renewable Energy News: http://kedco.com/blog
Shitedrivers.com: http://shitedrivers.com
Podcamp Ireland: Social Media Strategies, Social Networking, Online Marketing: http://podcampireland.com
Bad Librarianship Now!: http://badlibrarianship.com
Stig For Cf Ireland 2008: http://stigforcfi.stigonline.com
Lichens Of Ireland: http://lichens.ie

Kevoto – I Only Come Here Cos It’s Free: http://kevoto.com
Éireann Live: http://irishmedianews.net
World Debating Website Blog: http://debating.ie
Pete’s Irish Lighthouses: http://irishlighthouses.blogspot.com
Assistant To The Brand Manager: http://assistanttothebrandmanager.blogspot.com
Smasher Lagru: http://smasher-lagru.blog.com

Xbox4nappyrash: http://xbox4nappyrash.blogspot.com
David Coallier: http://blog.agoraproduction.com
Irish Family History: http://irishfamilyhistory.ie/blog
Kind I Like (things That Look Like People): http://kind-i-like.com
Brim Brothers – Personal Power Meters: http://brimbrothers.com/blog
Madeforone.com: http://madeforone.com/articles

Aran Brew: http://aranbrew.blogspot.com
Stephen Kinsella: http://stephenkinsella.net
The Blog Of Kells: http://theblogofkells.blogspot.com
Lex Ferenda: http://lexferenda.com

Best Blog of a Business – Sponsored by RedCardinal.ie

Argolon: http://argolon.com
Bobby Buckley Gardens: http://bbgardens.ie/blog
Beautifuljobs.ie: http://beautifuljobs.ie/articles
Denise Cox’s Blog: http://newsweaver.co.uk/emailnewsletters

Ice Cream Ireland: http://icecreamireland.com
No More Art Notepad: http://nomoreart.co.uk/notepad
Moore Groups Blog: http://mooregroup.wordpress.com
Declan Shalvey: http://dshalv.blogspot.com
Cully And Sully: http://cullyandsully.com/news
The Cycling Blog: http://worldwidecyclesblog.com

Tast.ie:: http://tast.ie
Weddingdates.ie: http://weddingdates.ie/blog
IIA Blog: http://blog.iia.ie
Curious Wines: http://curiouswines.ie
Limerick Business Blog: http://onesolution.ie/blog

Nice Day Designs: http://nicedaydesigns-ruth.blogspot.com
Echolibre Blog: http://blog.echolibre.com
Ifoods.tv: http://ifoods.tv/blog
Pure Play: http://bohanna.typepad.com/pureplay
Developing Ewrite: http://ewritecork.com/blog
Robin Blandford: http://bytesurgery.com/blog

Krishna De: http://krishnade.com/blog
Peter Donegan Landscaping Weblog: http://blog.doneganlandscaping.com
Keith Malone Wedding Films: http://blog.keithmalone.ie
Sabrina Dent: http://sabrinadent.com
Security Watch: http://bhconsulting.ie/securitywatch
Argus Car Hire: http://blog.arguscarhire.com

Contrast | The Blog: http://contrast.ie/blog
The No Nonsense Blog: http://blog.nononsense.ie
Puddleducks Blog: http://blog.puddleducks.ie
Find a Conference Venue Blog: http://ciarafeely.wordpress.com/
Blacknight Blog: http://blog.blacknight.com
Brightspark Consulting Dublin: http://brightspark-consulting.com/blog

Weeno Blog: http://weeno.ie/blog
Cybercom: http://cybercom.ie

activity in the garden this month…

gat the garden in groove...

get the garden in groove...

need some effin direction...

need some effin direction...

You may think there is little to do in the brrrr freezing cold this January. But, it is what you do now that will prove so fruitful in a few months time. Aside from the aesthetic gains to be reaped and after listening to RTE1 for too long recently – where the news, primetime and even the weatherman depressed me – I realised we all need something to smile about. I had to get outside.

But there is also another [moreso recently more serious] side to gardening and that is of keeping active. According to one report, if maintained for at least 30 minutes gardening can be so beneficial. They say…

  • Digging the garden burns between 150 and 200 calories per half hour
  • using a push mower burns 180 calories in women in half an hour and 240 calories in men, while using a motor mower it drops to 135 and 180 calories each.
  • planting, pruning and trimming flowers, shrubs and trees gives a moderate workout, burning 135 calories in women and 180 in men in half an hour.
  • weeding might be the scourge of most gardeners, it burns off 140 calories in women and over 180 in men per half hour
it's not a total dead end...

it's not a total dead end...

So having dusted down those tools and psyched yourself; having saved your petrol money so as you might drive to the gymnasium and having sold those spandex tracksuits 😉 here’s what you can do

  • trees, trees, trees – the best time to plant bare roots and rootballs types as they’re still dormant. They’re also great value.
  • tree’s, the Christmas tree – it could sit there for ages. Recycle it!
  • weeds – start doing it now. [see above]
  • mulch – i find it warms my hands! Buy it loose or by the metre cubed. It’s better value.
  • tree’s – adjust those straps and buckles. Not too loose mind you.
  • hedging – bareroots are still available – plant them now.
  • fertilise – yes fertiliser. If you use a slow release version [not 10:10:20 style] you can apply it now as you are planting or as you are mulching.
  • buy Grandma’ a rose plant – and pot it up yourself. Great value and she’ll love you for it
  • edging – re-edge those beds. Use a length of timber to stop damage on the lawn if necessary
  • prune – remove any dead or diseased wood from your trees
  • fruit – trees [more] are always good
  • vegetables – plan your plot for the new year – now!
  • birds – fill the feeders
  • garden hygiene – a good garden ‘spring clean’ so to speak is always necessary. It prevents a build of pests and diseases.
  • planting now means no watering – good for the environment

However, if you’re like my Dad 😉 you’ll probably just do the 30 mins and leave the rest to someone else….. That said, a great time to get a head start is now. Enjoy 🙂

start now & add that little groove into yours...

start now & add that little groove into yours...

doneraile park

On my winter holidays and travelling from Limerick to Cork I needed a fix. I needed to see a park. I had to. I found one. There was some works going on in the car park. That didn’t matter.

It wasn’t Stephens green. It didn’t have to be. It was Doneraile Park. It was January. It was freezing. It was beautiful. I didn’t spend as much time there as I would have liked – but, I could have stayed there forever. It was romantic. It wasn’t pretty flowers in tidy rows. Although parks of that style have a place in Ireland too I was glad this one didn’t. It was simply nature at its best.

Some recent tree planting was evident which is always great to see.

To the Dúchas staff who look after – bulaidh bós.

i want that one…

Christmas trees! I love this time of year… I just love it! While you’re at the turkey stuff the begrudgers, the doom and gloomers and anybody else who’s a pain in the tuschie, take out the mistletoe and have a mince pie. It is the season to be jolly – and don’t you forget it 🙂

With whole place decked in holly, last week I and ‘her indoors’ [as Arthur Daly would say], went to pick out our Christmas tree. There is, possibly unknowns to some a Christmas tree farm in Rolestown North Dublin [just outside Swords and after Kettles Hotel just on the left]. It’s brilliant. While I was there, the Moms flocked in with their children, wellies and woolies on and went with Mick to select the specimen they wanted.

€30 any tree, netted and the butt drilled or trimmed to suit your stand. If you’re nice he’ll even give you a lolly pop! If you have never seen a tree farm or never selected your own live tree it is a great experience .

Have a really Happy Christmas, have a great new year and enjoy!

Rick… thursday garden guest #6

dude...

dude...

If you’d like to know more about Thursday garden guest time – click here

For the moment writer #6 is Rick O’Shea. Everyone knows him as the man on 2fm that helps get us through the afternoon slumps. Without Rick’s help I’d have been giving someone a big pink Christmas present, luckily through his call across the airwaves we managed to find it a new home. Nuff said, ladies and gents I give you Rick O’Shea…

It was more than strange when Peter asked me if I’d write a guest post about gardening. To be honest my experience is practically zero, my hatred of the lawnmower practically legendary and I’ve destroyed one garden through incompetence in my time so my initial reaction was “I dunno about that dude….” But my other, contrary, voice in my head (there are many) said “Sure give it a shot, it’ll be a challenge” and when I came to write this it turned out to not be that hard.

I have a genuine love of gardens themselves, you see. I’ve spent more than my fair share of time idling away in summer and winter in places like the National Botanic Gardens out in Glasnevin, the Powerscourt Estate, Avondale and not just for the constitutional walks. When I’m allowed, the garden is one of the first places I nose around in when I’m in someones house for the first time. And by nose I mean just that, I smell, touch, root around in. I don’t have my own however and have had very few to call my own over the years.

I’ve moved around a lot since I left home first, so I was never given the time to grow green fingers. The exception was one time I was living in Killiney and I planted a tree I was given out in the highly manicured, fashionable and low maintenance tiny back garden of a house I was renting, I wonder if they ever noticed it when I was gone? I hope they let it be…

I lived in a house up until a year ago that had the most glorious of gardens to be discovered. When we were shown it first by the landlord the back garden looked small, no bigger than ten feet by thirty and hedged in on all sides. It was only when we walked out through the tiny gap on one side that we realised it swept on to a further garden with a path down the centre easily 5 times the size of the first one. A garden with hedges, bushes, flowers, even a compost heap! It was somewhere where that first summer meals were had in the broad evening sunshine, kids played, footballs roamed free and once or twice blankets were laid down and naps had.

I genuinely loved that garden even with the demands it put on me, ones I eventually fell behind on and had to get a professional in to look at before I destroyed it for good…

Someday I’d like to have somewhere to tend, a little patch I won’t move from where I can spend days getting dirty and on my knees begging things to work that may not first time but will on the tenth, twelfth, twentieth go.

That won’t happen yet, but someday.