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Bloom In the Park. A Show Garden Return ?

donegan gardens

Talking today with Gary Graham for The SodShow, the garden radio show, conversation naturally led to show gardens and the question as to the ‘would I make a return to show gardening’ ? Gary is, in short for those who are not aware, the brains behind Bloom in the Park. Ireland’s premier garden show.

Personally, I’ve a lot of time for Gary. I’ve a lot of time for Bloom. Like it or not, Bloom is good for Ireland; it’s also great for Irish gardening and in that context alone, Bord Bia have done a real sterling job. One which deserves ovation standing, as versus applause.

We nattered back and forth and chatted ourselves into the easily led to conclusion that I missed, sincerely, the controlled pressure that came with the creation of show gardens.

mary mcaleese

For those who aren’t aware, I’ve done two Bloom show gardens:

After 2008, I took a pause. I was busy. I needed to be. I had showy gardens to create, but they simply weren’t gardens that were awarded medals at the end of it, though they did come with good PR.

The reality is show gardeners, to qualify a show garden submission need three strings to their bow. A proven ability to build show gardens, a great design and last, but by no means least, a sponsor. For two years running, I was missing the latter.

donegan gardens, bloom

Would I make a return to Bloom for 2013 ?

Yes, I would. Were this post going live now has relevance is that the work would be much easier less complex if it were to start within the next six weeks. So soon you might believe, but design submission begins around September/ October and whilst I have already the concepts, I like my designs QED ~ ie. without question, on time, fitting its budget [yours or/ and mine], show timing complete before schedule and with all of the ingredients in place ~ pre planned.

Don’t get me wrong, I can create a fine garden within a very short space of time, designs, submitted and accepted. No problem. But if show garden is to be about the, as Gary put it, the showmanship, then a little more homework/ light reading is far better.

As a by the way, The SodShow, A Bloom in The Park 2012 special, an interview with Gary Graham will air this Friday at 3pm and will be available a little later in the evening as podcast.

If I’m to do it and do it rightly and though I’ve always been blessed in that department I’m proud to admit, I’ll need the right people by my side. For now, I guess, I’ve a little thinking to do and for this bank holiday weekend I’ll happily settle for making daisy chains with my daughter, most probably in The Phoenix Park.

Thoughts on the matter/ Fancy a cuppa ? 😉

donegan gardens

Garden Radio Ireland – The Sodshow – Every Friday 3pm on 1032 Dublin City Fm

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

Listen!

The SodShow – Fridays 3pm – 103.2 Dublin City Fm

Listen to The SodShow in MP3 – or – subscribe/ listen to the podcast in iTunes. Alternatively, subscribe to the blog and listen to them right here. Missed The SodShow May 20th 2011

With thanks to this weeks guests:

  • Ann Lynch of The Hedgerow Society who will host this weekends Garden Group adventure

Listen Later:

Listen Live:

  • Tune in: 103.2fm on your radio dial if you are in the Dublin area
  • Listen online: every Friday 3pm just click t9.ie/SodShow
  • or: visit www.dublincityfm.ie and click the listen button
  • also: use the hashtag #SodShow

Making Contact:

Thanks for listening 😉

Irish Times Innovation January 2011

Todays Irish Times Innovation [new ideas in business] magazine features a story [page 47] by Olive Keogh about my online endeavours.

Case Study Peter Donegan Landscaping

Even the most traditional businesses can benefit from using social media

I took a screen grab of the article [below] which you can read if you wish. I think it’s a really cool piece actually. The quote below the photo [below] made me smile 😉

The image of the paper above was sent to me by Christian Hughes and the photo used in the piece by Olive was taken by John Williams. Thank you gentlemen 🙂

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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