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creating a garden at the smithfield festival ’09

Do you remember Urban Garden Smithfield that took place last year…?

There are a lot of elements involved in it. But from my point of view…. it’s obviously got to to be about gardens.

This year it going to be a little different.

This year I’m building a garden. Of sorts. 😉

I can’t really tell you what it’s going to look like when it’s complete.

But I can tell you some of the specific elements it will involve.

First up…. I’m gonna take some of the ‘waste’ you would find here…

Second… I’m going to use some plants supplied by a good friend of mine…

Then I’m going work quite closely with the lovely people from here….

Before you ask…. sometimes I even wonder what goes on in that head of mine 😆

But… if it gets people thinking about ‘waste’ and it makes you smile… it can’t all be bad?

When is this all taking place….

This Saturday 15th & Sunday 16th August ’09 in Smithfield square. I’ll put more information up on this weblog when I get the full details.

it’s also a free event.

Why not drop along and say hello 😉

More details on the day at Dublin.ie website

rediscover [y] ing ballymun….

when one thinks of a town in North Dublin called Ballymun, it’s maybe not so usual that ‘recycling’ would be the associated word that would first come to mind. Surpringly, possibly – it should be.

As I walked around it was amazing to see the old Ballymn versus the new. The contrast, infallable. The new architecture genius, but different. even the little areas outside the new houses, the attention to the little things, the bin covers, the plaques at the base of the street trees, their involvement in the tidy towns competition…. I’m so happy I took the time to walk around. It was an honour.

I had gone there initially for very different reasons.I had heard about a recycling gig that was going on. I got a contact number, from a contact. I had heard about the rediscovery centre….?  I’d heard it was the greenest of them all…..  I wanted to find out more…

I went there to meet Dr Sarah Miller to find out just how green the rediscovery centre in Ballymun was. What I expected being quite honest was maybe another government scheme that because a bag of cash had been thrown at an issue, it would ensure no eyes raised in the minutes of state meetings…..

What I got and what I saw was inspiring, brilliant and quite honestly a little touch of genius. Isn’t it amazing what happens when the person at the top of the classroom gives eqaul effort from the both heart and brain.

and just in case….. remeber Sarah talking about the fashion gig that they do…? Here’s the short film that aired at Electric Picnic in 2008 showing the results of their first fashion show…. Prepare to be blown away!

If you are looking to find out more or just wish to say you like what it is they do… 😉

email: info [at] rediscoverycentre [dot] ie

The Rediscovery Centre,
c/o Ballymun Regeneration Ltd.,
Civic Centre,
Main St,
Ballymun.

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recycle a [red] satellite… ?

I wanted a bird bath for my ‘wild’ fruit garden area

remember my very dead [& red] tree….?

remember my long grass under the fruit trees….?

I found a satellite and had some paint left over….

I also needed a bird bath… 😉

And I fancied a little ACDC….

It makes me smile in the morning 🙂

Here’s how it was all done…. enjoy!

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The Chicken Hen House


I had chickens… Long story all covered very recently. I now have four new ones….I have learned a lot recently. A real case of if I knew then what I know now. In brief snippet format here’s what I know

  • These hens are just over 6 months old.
  • All hens start laying at approximately 7 months
  • The run I have is over 6′ tall.
  • Its very sturdy [and built from old timber]
  • The wire mesh runs to the top and is very well attached
  • Foxes wont go in if there are dogs present
  • The shed faces away so I can collect the eggs/ clean out easily
  • The hens will only sit in the hatches if they are laying
  • They will eat anything… within reason!
  • It will take them 2 weeks to settle in
  • They are very friendly
  • I have called them The Supremes
  • Cocks are very loud – I didn’t take one
  • They will be fed on barley and whatever is leftover
  • My green waste bin should be very empty from now on
  • there’s a lot of money to be wasted on bad ‘eco’ books
  • not one book on sale could tell me what it would be like
  • Eggs are expensive
  • Eggs can be bartered for potatoes
  • Don’t cut the grass for the hens before they arrive – they will mow it for you
  • hens like a little bit of height a pole to perch upon

Regarding what I built for the hens… here’s the facts

  • the area of the run is 5m x 2.3m and just over 2 metres tall
  • the shed I got is a 6′ x 4′
  • the hens ‘boxes’/ rooms [?] are the shed width divided by 4-ish and are 40cm off the ground. Do include a lip so the eggs don’t fall out.
  • the wire mesh is just ordinary chicken wire – as its called
  • I used the green ‘tennis court’ type mesh because it was left over and I had ran out of chicken wire
  • the timber is approx 1.5″ x 2.5″ – it was whatever I had lying around
  • the timbers are 2′ below ground level and compacted in. No concrete was used.

anything else I’ve missed out on? what do you think… ?

Oh and have a happy easter 😆

organic, recycled gardens …?

...unless you own a truck that is

...unless you own a truck that is

Why is there a picture of a man sitting on a truck at the bottom of this post…? The man is my good friend Thomas. You may know him from his most unusual garden guest post here. But you may also know Thomas from the much famed Irish Allotments – something, unknowns to most, he does in his spare time. All told that makes him a pretty good guy. And he is. Genuinely.

Anyhow Thomas and Máire [another story, but, via genuinely the sincerest gesture of genorosity I’ve ever heard – yes niceness still exists 🙂 ] have just moved out of their apartment and into their first house home. Naturally, like all young couples – the extra dollars didn’t exist for their first garden to look like Southfork immediately… and Thomas being an eco-geek like myself wanted it to have a story anyway charachter.

Tommy, would you like a recycled garden… ?

...organic gardens

...organic gardens

To answer the original question… We had taken apart a garden recently and rather than dump the stone to landfill, I called Thomas. Client also agreed and felt it was very much the ‘thing to do’. A truck was hired for one hundred euro.

What had actually accumulated was

  • 45 metres squared paving
  • 2 tonne of decorative gravel
  • 20 metres squared steppings
  • 25 metres squared cobbles
  • and some chicken wire
  • …and a half sheet of trellice
thomas...

thomas...

I thought of some of my friends, years ago, when the starter home and mortgage deposits were being paid back to the sibblings they were borrowed from [funny thing, a story like that would probably make the news today 🙂 ]. A shed, a fence, a something to enhance the eyesore was required and we all chipped in. All of the friends. There were *no* complaints, it was the done thing. Feng Shui’s weren’t on the wish list. Thomas was starting were I started 🙂

As a by the way he lives in Cork and although I will be there whenever he needs help… I will not be responsible for the final outcome of the ‘design’. Note no.2 is that apart from the truck hire of €100 all materials were taken/ given free gratis. More important. There was a massive feel good factor for all parties concerned. Everyone felt good about this story. Thomas has also agreed to write a little story with pictures of the complete garden and its progress on his weblog:)

So from now, if I do a garden and the client decides/ agrees with the decision to do so – I will take the ‘whatever it is’ to my home rather than to landfill [where possible] and write a post on my blog to see if we can find a good home for it.

What do you think?