Display Gardens & Garden Exhibits

Does your garden attract the right attention for you and your business… ?


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:


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]


*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.


Once again the build time on site was just one day. But this did not pose any issue.


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.


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.


*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
  • telephone me direct on 087-6594688
  • or enquire via the contact page on

*The garden at the top of the page was called No Rubber Soul

Garden Containers, Pots and Planters

For those looking for that instant effect, immediate colour or simply a softening of your space outdoors, sometimes the simplest way to achieve this is through instant gardening. How it works is very simple.

  • Planters are pre-made off site with a pre-selected choice of best look plants
  • Hand picked to suit your favourite colours and textures
  • And chosen with only your business and/ or home in mind
  • Carefully positioned, delivered and placed right at your door or place of choice

In this, plant choice will and can vary from individual to business and from desired placing to season. I have personally found that most choose the following:

  • Mildly scented yet neutral in colour on business/ office entrances
  • herb, salad or/ and fruiting choices by kitchen and eating areas
  • stunning, attractive and stand out for openings, ceromonies and occasions
  • pretty, instant and welcoming by dwelling and homely places

landscaping dublin

Planting style aside, in your space you may decide on choosing the following containers

  • hanging baskets
  • window boxes
  • pots and planters
  • raised beds
  • something that little more unusual
  • or a one off just for you

Of course this can be tailored once again to suit your specific space and all fixtures and fittings can be supplied and fitted. I personally like the fact that, if you do feel that after some time that you need that little change…

  • not all plants or any [depending on what you choose] will need to be replaced
  • the planters won’t need to be replaced at all
  • and the same planters can simply be painted a different colour

Although some do choose to ask for something that mild bit different and one off in general most types, styles and wishes can be discussed and ordered by phone or email and designed/ pre arranged to suit your budget. After that, you simply continue on about your daily routine and let me look after the dirty work.

What do you do next….

You can contact me in the  following ways:

  • send an email to
  • telephone me direct on 087-6594688
  • or enquire via the contact page on

No matter how unusual the request may be….. I can make it happen for you.


Never heard of weedle before….. neither had I until yesterday. I went along to the launch and I have to say I was impressed.

!00% Irish run, developed, managed and owned…. all good so far…. and as of today employing 18 people and based in Blackrock Co. Dublin. That alone deserves a standing ovation….. 🙂

More than that Weedle is possibly the internet platform for the next generation. In short here’s how it likes to be described:

weedle enables a better way for you to connect with people who need your skills and to find the people whose skills you need

I’ll let Iain Mc Donald, CEO of Weedle, describes how it works…

My advice… go sign up. Use your personal name. Not your company name. Why? The searches work based on your skills…. as was explained last night. So if you are a gardener [for example] who likes to play guitar at the weekends…. you can be found and find others with those similar interest or skills.

It is new. It is being launched today. There maybe something you feel needs to be added or tweaked…. there is a suggestion/ feedback button on the bottom right hand corner of your screen. Use it…. the nice people in weedle will.

Check it out. You’ll find me under Peter Donegan btw.

Buy Irish…. Why?

This is a slightly odd one to write…. no reason in particular… You see I’ve listened for the last eon at politicians make the headlines wagging their fingers at the opposition, the tribunals and all the other crapola thats made the headlines regarding the economy. And I’ve had it up to my ears…. Not saying they dont know anything but in the context of boxing this element of the post aside…. [this answer courtesy gerard cunningham]

How many politicians have ever been self employed …?

I mean that in the context of  ‘not whilst they are a politician’ or prior to becoming one….? The alternate point I make is that when I went to inspirational Trim 2025 gig [read it and come back….] I heard Mr McWilliams speak that if you want something done in this country YOU do it. And without mis-quoting his words the point was not to be waiting for governments or anyone else for that matter to act. Simply put, just get on with the programme….

How many parents [or politicians] do that nowadays…. ?

But there is another side to this and with it comes the entire cross border/ shop as local as possible arguement. To this I have never done what one would call ‘cross border shopping’. As a child, my Dad, when he gave us our pocket money would incentivise the buying of Irish to the point that if we brought our 10 pence worth of sweets back with Irish wrappers we’d get half that amount back again until the money worth was of decimal value…

My theory is quite simple…. [courtesy]

The environmental consequences of all this are predictably daft. Never mind the landfill-clogging effect of all that plastic, water imports also clock up significant air miles. Ireland gets Perrier from France, while France, which also has a perfectly good supply, imports Ballygowan from Ireland.

I am more than aware that living in a smal village like Ballyboughal that if I buy local… and more of us do…. and someone gets a little overtime they may require a babysitter if they go for that drink together… the guy in the bar may get a little overtime and buy that extra something in the shop etc… and the babysitter might go to the pub for a drink…. now if [stick with me…] those products are Irish made then surely the knock on effect is a little more national rather than local…?

What have I really done to help….?

So if I am looking to get people to spend their extra cash on getting their gardens done …..go to your restaurant …purchase a new bicyle or whatever your employment may be…. surely one can only look in the mirror and ask what have I really done….? shouldn’t I try to buy more or only Irish ?



The example may well be that I only have so much money to spend etc… But as an example and very recently I was looking for furniture. 6 kitchen chairs to be exact. I called the guys I know in Ballymun Rediscovery Centre. With Ikea just across the road… and Ballymun literally just up the road from me… I paid €30 for the 6 fully restored, recycled and reupholstered chairs. The table, as a by the way, I got from my sister as – which a by the way she bought [where it was made] in Waterford. I doubt one can get better value than that…. yet people still assume and buy imported in some variation [?]

On a side note it is well documented that I borrowed the tools for my first job when I set out on my own 10 years ago this year, with no money in my pocket and a rented front bedroom. Also I have also never received a government grant in any format. I also don’t get paid [in any format] when it snows…. I do however work damn hard when it is possible. That said this isn’t particularly about me… it just may avoid that arguement of income versus buying ‘abroad’. I’ll finish up with this quote from the Petits filous blog

According to the Love Irish Food research, the importance of buying Irish is well recognised by consumers with 86% stating they agree or strongly agree that buying Irish products will help the Irish economy recover by protecting Irish jobs. 72% of those surveyed in the ‘Loyalty to Irish Brands’ study by Bord Bia buy or tend to buy what they know or consider to be Irish brands.

What do you think….?

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qik… technology for a gardener #3

you should...

you should...

The entire list of companies for ‘technology for a gardener’ is/will be here.

This is piece #3. This is Qik.

This is a toughie to explain. I find. For me. It’s not Irish. But there is no alternative. And it is absolutely amazing.


before I go any further. Please contact your phone company. In Ireland mine is O2 for example. You need a data package. I have the ‘1 meg’ data package. It costs about €15 per month. IF YOU DON’T sign up – do expect to remortgage the house…..

That out of the way. This is where the very intelligent people in QiK turn into amazing – It’s made simple. In every way. Its simple to sign-up – even for me 😆 You click on the website – a little box appears – pick a username, password and fill in your email address. You’ll then get a text to your phone with step by step instructions and after that you are just about done… *if* you do have any trouble – you email – it is answered. Genius 🙂

So what is Qik? So why do I use it? A gardener. A greenie. A green fingers etc… ?

It’s quite simple. You know when you need to explain something and one photograph just won’t do it? Qik allows one to video it – with a twist. That is, those watching can ask questions at the same time as you you ‘record’ – from their computer – which appears as question on your telephone screen.

Not the greatest example but, here’s one I did last year on growing in seed trays… I may not have had the greatest audience but the point is that – I did allow interaction with people – rather than ‘preach’ from a pre-recorded video….

Gardening aside – the finest example I used Qik for was when at a wedding – my brother in law was stuck in Dusseldorf airport and couldn’t get to the wedding on time because of airport strikes [Irish strikes for the record].

Naturally distraught – he called me – I told him to get to a computer in the airport [you know the pay per 30 min ones]. He did and I live streamed the couple to him saying they’d see him soon… and Phil typing in messages for me to read out….

The other great thing – no uploading to a blog post or an email – it’s already there. You just send the link or embed.

Anyhow – it is another amazing piece of technology that – makes life less complex… Thats said since I changed my phone grrrrrrrr 🙄 I have not been able to use Qik [click here for explanation] – but i’ll solve that one soon enough..