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The Growing Season Has Officially Started

It may well remain a little chilly for some to brave the great outdoors but weather whether some agree or disagree, it seems the growing season has started in Ireland.

The problems that usually arise, garden wise, are best described with hindsight being that of 50:50 vision, in the context that once one sees the plant in its fullest glory one may wish they had planted some of this or that, that could only be there if planted some months previous.

As I look over my own garden, not entirely in all its glory, its clear to see the trees have all started to produce buds. The new growth on the lime trees in particularly amazing to see. Although not as visible, it is quite qevident on that of the Gleditsia too.

This a clear sign that if you wanted to have a ‘I’d love one of them‘ in your space outside, you really would want to make a call on it and have it done sooner rather than later. This timeline also includes trees that need to be moved.

But it’s not just the trees. It’s in the ‘shrub department’ too. Last week at the nurseries the hellebores were just a wee while away from bursting into flower, while the dwarf Photinia was producing some nice new red growth.

My rhubarb still grows were it was first planted in the darkest and dampest parts of the garden. Sidetracking slightly, it is also one of the few that has never been involved in the Peter Donegan relocation programme. In a slightly brighter part, my sorrel, now 3 or 4 seasons old tells me salad may just be on the cards that little bit earlier than expected.

In the beauty spotting category the Jasmine [jasminum nudiflorum] was looking really great and for good reason it remains one of my favourite climbers. On the flip side the hydrangea’s from my friend Philips garden that I planted about 2 seasons ago are just ripe to burst open.

As if I’d nothing else better to do on a Sunday, when I was at Michael Nugent’s garden on Sunday just gone, Michael was proudly showing off all of the bulbs he had planted in his front garden. And when I say all… I mean all of them. Think in tonnage here.

All grown in pots. In anything that could be even mildly considered definitive of the word container and of every type available to mankind in Ireland.

But it’s not just Mick Snr’s garden. Philip has them growing too and not in pots… just willy nilly planted and left to pop back up year after year. The same way I do it.

Rummaging around my shed I found some left over garden bulbs… don’t ask [?] that some how I forgot to plant. I finished dealing with them on Sunday – but from the garden type bulbs to growing your own food, from bulbs, I was also busy planting garlic and onions from sets.

The funny thing is that once the hammamelis goes out of flower the leaves will appear, the lime trees bright new growth will become hidden with it’s large oval leaves. The bulbs will become more prevalent and produce flowers for the kitchen and my onions will produce food. The red growth that spans the motorways of Ireland will turn to green and an entire new range of whats hot and en vogue will appear for us to admire.

The question is will you be braving the elements so that you can have that little bit of glory in your space outside that for very good reason I call the great outdoors ?

note: *all images taken within the last 7 days

The Garden Sodcast – Episode 24

sodshow, garden podcast

The Sodshow Garden Podcast – every Friday – in iTunes, www.sodshow.com all good podcast stores.

Listen to The Sodcast in MP3 – or subscribe/ listen to the podcast in iTunes. Alternatively, subscribe to the blog and listen to them right here. Missed Episode 23 of the garden podcast ?

First Up:

Fancy having a fancy-er garden ? For this or any other matter….. you can contact me in the following ways:

Phils Garden before weeding – comes up later in the podcast

Recently On The Blog:

Also thanks to Anthony McGuinnesss, there were a few nice little changes made to the blog and the site overall.

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Links For The Podcast:

Images For The Podcast:

This Weeks Oddities:

Howth Peninsula Heritage Society – Cumann Oidhreachta Leithinis Bhinn Eadair

WINTER 2010 LECTURE SERIES

Tuesday January 25

  • The Castles of North County Dublin
  • Speaker: Prof. Terry Barry, TCD

Tuesday February 22

  • The Life and Times of Colm O’Loughlin
  • Speaker: John O’Loughlin Kennedy

Tuesday March 22

  • The Hunt Family of Howth
  • Speaker: Cian O’Carroll

All lectures 8.00 pm Howth Angling Centre, West Pier. Non-members: €4

Dear Peter,

Your dublinbikes annual subscription is due for renewal on February 2011. Unless you wish to unsubscribe to the dublinbikes scheme your account will automatically be renewed and the re-subscription fee of €10 will be charged to your credit card. If required, you can update your credit card details on the “My Account” section of the website.
If you do not wish to automatically re-subscribe for the coming year, please contact the dublinbikes call centre on 1850 777 070.

Regards,

dublinbikes team
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For more information visit www.dublinbikes.ie

@mediaguardian Coca-Cola banned from claiming its Vitamin water brand is ‘nutritious’ http://gu.com/p/2mfty/tf
and on the other hand
@campbellsuz As a big supporter of Glenisk I’m very glad to see this – “organic milk better for you” – new UK study http://ind.pn/ebXGIC

And Finally:

Fancy becoming the first sponsor of 2011 for Irelands Only Garden Podcast ?

Simply click the coffee mug….

Brown & Black Leaves ?

In north Dublin last week I recorded temperatures just over -8 celcius and although the wind chill factor was something a lot greater than that, with the recent weather and the subsequent thaw….what one can see now is [maybe] mildly uncertain regarding what plants have survived the minus temperatures due to the fact that a lot are at present leafless and dormant.

A plants cells are made up essentially of water and in extreme conditions that water in the plant cells expands resulting in the cells bursting. The bit that’s important to you, the plant owner, is that once the plant cell has burst it is dead – and – put very simply beyond resurrection.

The question is how far or how much of the plant is actually dead, if it has just burnt some of the leaves or it has actually made it’s way into the ‘heart’ of the plant. For this there’s really no one definitive answer, but [for example] for my own bay laurel hedge [above] I’ll simply cut out the brown and work my way down the stems until I can only see green. It may well look a bit sparse and patchy after, but it’ll come back for next season. Smaller and younger plants may not have been so fortunate.

My advice is to get out into the garden and have a good rustle through the aftermath and give each plant a good close up inspection. In fear of a frost return you may consider mulching around the base of your plants which will aid them that little bit better – and – they will thank you for it come the new year.

Unsure if one of your plants has survived [?] you can contact me in the following ways…

See the image above…. this is [image below] the exact same hedge plant just 7 days ago.

Bord Bia Promotes….

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I am a horticulturist/ gardener/ landscaper etc call me what you may. I am aware that little if any promotion of gardening takes places in Ireland. This isn’t doom and gloom merchandising I am selling nor my opinion, this is mere observation. Apart from a garden show in June and some events Bord Bia detail below, one must essentially pay to qualify for almost all of the promotion.

This isn’t just me, or about just me, by the way. This is Irish plant sales fuelled by the general consumer combined with a demand for gardeners/ landscapers and garden designers who also buy plants. It is an entire horticultural industry that in 2007 was valued at approximately €1 billion

Bloom aside ie. one summer pay to enter event per annum; from what I can see and to the eye Bord Bia online and in print seems to be pretty much food/ organics etc. I hope I am proved wrong here or told with facts that I am incorrect – but what exactly if anything is or has been promoting horticulture in Ireland since June 2010 – to date.

On Tuesday November 16th I asked Bord Bia, via twitter:

@Bordbia any promotions/ pr for irish horticulture/ gardening planned any time soon…..? full page advert in @the_irish_times maybe ?

The following [below] is the conversation which followed.

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@DoneganGardens Hi Peter, you can check out the itsgardentime site & also http://www.bordbia.ie/Pages/IGT-Events.aspx for events 🙂

@Bordbia thanks for the link, are they not all events organised by garden centres themselves ?

@DoneganGardens you’re very welcome Peter, they are indeed, Bloom is then a seperate event organised by us.

@Bordbia ok so, outside of Bloom then there are no plans to do anything really ?

@DoneganGardens also running into our Christmas tree promo. Next we will be organising for the Amenity Quality awards in early Feb!

@DoneganGardens just sent you another tweet there – ships that pass an all that. We do have regular promotions throughout the year.

@Bordbia well, I didnt pay to do the awards scheme this year so I cant be in there – also I dont grow Christmas trees

@Bordbia …..what are the regular promotions since/ outside of Bloom til now ?

@DoneganGardens Actually Peter, if you’re looking for some further reading these days why not check out http://bit.ly/dcwexv

@DoneganGardens Peter what specifically are you asking, is it Landscape Gardening promotions you are interested in?

@Bordbia yeah saw that. most of covered on the blog. a list of ‘regular promotions’ [not Bloom] & landscape/ gardening specific, please 🙂

@DoneganGardens is this for a blog post Peter?

@Bordbia yes. an enquiry from a previous post[s] http://bit.ly/bp3A9E and http://bit.ly/5tmstG led to initial question

@DoneganGardens Hi Peter, all the details of awards, events, info etc are all on our website via about gardening & its garden time 🙂

@Bordbia are there 2 people running this account at same time or is this bord Bia’s response to what garden related promotions have taken…

@Bordbia ….place since Bloom to now ?

@DoneganGardens no Peter it’s just me as always – Maeve 🙂

@Bordbia *smiles at Maeve. Is that the official line then ?

@DoneganGardens Peter every activity we do for food/drink/hort is all on our website, hard to relay in 140 characters 🙂 (keep smiling)

@Bordbia a full page advert [plus] in the irish times promoting gardening would help Maeve. Either or its not much on Bord Bia’s part

@DoneganGardens thanks Peter – I’ve mentioned this to Carol & hort team & this is included in 2011 plans 🙂

@Bordbia http://bit.ly/bNaOt3

@Bordbia thanks for mentioning [?] to Carol Maeve. what is included in the 2011 plans ?

@DoneganGardens Hi Peter, thanks for sharing!

@DoneganGardens Hi Peter, you’re more than welcome to contact Mike Neary here in Bord Bia Horticulture, would you like his email?

@Bordbia yes sure. what does mike do and what should I contact him about ?

@DoneganGardens Hi Peter! Mike looks after the Horticulture Dept so you’re very welcome to enquire about 2011 plans which was your last Q.

@Bordbia my guess is 2011 plans are already planned and will be pretty much the same as 2010, but i’ll enquire nonetheless. thanks Maeve

@DoneganGardens you’re very welcome Peter!

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From the answers I got …..[?] It seems there’s little or nothing to answer my [original] question. The weekend magazine in the Irish times had one full page advert [and more] promoting food.

A few Bord Bia relating links – where gardening is promoted [?]

Am I being finicky here….?

I wrote this article on promoting Irish horticulture / gardening. But I find this post I called the happy gardener tells, from my experience anyway – if you don’t pay the money – you dont qualify for the promotion and outside of that…. I am on my own.

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*note the word horticulture [singular and only] has been removed from the above Bio and is therefore different from the official Bord Bia twitter bio as shown at the top of the page.

My point[s], if even they have been made, is not to gain a higher hand nor insult in any way. I’ve said it before here that something needs to happen, something more regular. It doesn’t necessarily mean a big bag of cash or a dedicated team. Simply something more than a once per annum big show and then it fades away. I’m fully aware there are twitterati employed that may suggest well its just Peter and sure let him off. Maybe those who believe they own the Irish internet may even begin speaking in the third person again about me. But I am 34. I reckon I have another 30 odd years in this industry remaining [touch wood]. And it is I as one of so very many that is picking up the pieces from last years weather re-enactment of Noah’s Arc and Titanic combined and trying to make it work this year, still.

I run a weblog which is ‘great outdoors’ dedicated. It’s not just about Donegan Landscaping. It is podcast, video, images, twitter,garden group, blog etc done on a regular basis – daily and weekly. I do it for free. Pause it. Why I bother with a blog. It is done free gratis, in my spare time. The set-up is pretty decent. The stats are pretty good – I’m sure some computer whiz kid could tell you how bad/ good they are on an etch a sketch. If I can do it why can’t/ won’t or should there not be one to do the same under the banner of Irish Horticulture. It’s just a suggestion. But it’s the best one I’ve heard since June 2010 and most likely until June 2011. Whether or not and whilst assuming there is no [regular] tv, radio, print, advertising budget.

There should be – video’s for potting bulbs, plants, trees. Images and audio, interviews from people and places – and I don’t mean the usual suspects who are obviously a lot more tactile than I. I mean the guy and his wife team from Laois or Offaly [for example]  who is a gardener – and offer more than a one line listing on your site type of effort. I mean seriously promote the guy. Not an article that was written for your website done by those who you know best, only – or by those from an association. Because lets face it – how many memebers are there of the ALCI/ GLDA/ ELCA/ IOH etc combined – and then open a golden pages for just Dublin and count even just the landscapers/ gardeners ?

Am I missing something…..?

If this is the horticultural promotion board – then promote it.

horticulture n the art or science of cultivating gardens

source: collins english dictionary paperback edition

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The Sodcast – Episode 12

sodshow, garden podcast

The Sodshow Garden Podcast – every Friday – in iTunes, www.sodshow.com all good podcast stores.


Listen to The Sodcast in MP3 – or subscribe/ listen to the podcast in iTunes. Alternatively, subscribe to the blog and listen to them right here. Missed Episode 11 of the garden podcast ?

First Up:

Visit the Repak recycle Week 2010 blog – sponsors of the sodcast for October.

Of course my real job is improving the look of your garden and you can of course contact me on:

This Week On The Blog:

Images For The Podcast:

Links For The Podcast:

from 2008…. plastic hedges

and there’s more plastic hedges where that came from. But I prefer the real trees

Thanks as always to:

This Weeks Oddities:

I love this quote [Via @Carolaik @InvasiveNotes and @aquatic_habitat]

Suburbia is where the developer bulldozes out the trees, then names the streets after them.”~Bill Vaughn

Courtesy of @Graham_Rice and Jane Powers: Britain changes mind about banning all cotoneasters & all crocosmias as invasive. Details on the Transatlantic Plantsman

The lovely @OrlaMcDermott asks:

@DoneganGardens quick Q! Got a lovely pressie of tulips from Amsterdam! When to plant?

Also from @carolaik – A Green roof come to life

Culch.ie have some candidates [?] attending the Culchie Festival @ Leitrim October 22-24. There’s also a great gig called Are You Afraid of the Farm? Well worth checking out! Think I’d rather the Culchie festival somehow

I’ll explain this one in the podcast:

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And Finally:

The Sodcast will be [re] available to sponsor November 1st 2010 – Interested ?

It’s a bank holiday weekend in Ireland. I’ve got some hedging to trim and tidy. This one below is hawthorn. I’m not its biggest fan, only because of its thorns… but it so well worth it for what it does for nature and wildlife. The garden is about more than just me. I might just give them a little slow release fertiliser. I hope I make to a park as well.

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