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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?

rain water harvesting butts

peter donegan - rain water harvesting buttsI always reuse the grey water from my house & throw it over the veggie plot. Butt [!] it’s time to go a stage further. I wanted a water butt. It took a little research and I go two from… fingal county council.

Made from recycled plastic, Dublin City Council [their page is a little more informative] are selling them too. I dont know about the rest of the country. Sorry!

How much? I paid €40 by bin tags [which is tax deductable] and collected myself. Thats really good value by the way. I thought they’d be sold out – but – the guy in Swords Estuary Recycling Centre said the uptake hadn’t been so great. That’s a bit of a shame and a little surprising. Maybe water charges should come in after all?

HOW TO FIT YOUR HARVESTER[what the instructions don’t tell you]

Anyhow – the fitting is a little tricky. Partly, because my instructions were wet! remember – take your time – measure twice & cut once

peter donegan - rain water butt install 1] place the butt where you want it near the down pipe from your gutters. Hold the pipe in place [as it will sit]; mark where you will cut; make sure it reaches. Cut the down pipe with a hand saw and again removing about 1cm of pipe. You may need a little more – but a good ‘wallop’ [careful and easy! measure twice – cut once!!] should knock it back into place. The section supplied should now be in place & the black hose should now protrude.

rain water harvesting - peter donegan landscaping 2] With the butt sitting on its stand, you now need to drill into the side of the butt – again careful measure twice and cut once – to fit the connection so as the pipe from the downpipe will connect to the harvester and don’t forget gravity!

water butts - peter donegan landscaping ltd3] you’ll need a decent screwdriver to knock the lid into place

That is pretty much it! Careful when cutting – or you’ll take most of the paint off the walls [and your fingers too…!] and make sure and leave the tap in the off position… I don’t need to explain that one…. ? All one needs to do now is wait for it to rain.

We really should allow fixtures like this more readily into our garden designs…