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Bloom 2010 – reviewed

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If you did read my post on Thursday, you would have got my recommendations for Bloom In The Park 2010. And so I went along again on Sunday and Monday.

The weather was cracking for most of Bloom, but the last two days meant the umbrella’s had to come out. But then, this is Ireland… That said, I did notice in contrast to Blooms first year a massive difference in the ‘dealing with Irish weather‘ facilities around the festival. Well done behind the scenes team.

The layout did change slightly to the main area outside the show gardens and for some I wondered why they had a prime pitch, with almost little or no relevance to horticulture. It was however a little easier to navigate than the year previous so maybe there’s method behind the decision. From a visitors perspective it was one I was glad of.

I did like the food area and the tasting and it was nice to see the forgotten crafts speaking taking place. I particularly enjoyed the Burren Smokehouse talk. I Never really knew what went into making a good smoked salmon. I do now. As a by the way, they sold out of every single piece of fish by 4pm on Monday.

To the right of that were some crafted outdoor displays which I felt delivered a nice message. Of note was the Wicklow Educate Together School Tin Man and the display for oil versus renewable energy. This replaced last years Obama replica vegetable garden. Very refreshing.

As always I don’t really like to comment on the gardens, as I’ve built and designed, been awarded medals and not…. That said I do recommend you read this post on building a show garden. It’s not easy 😉 I think I’m personally still suffering the aftermath of 2 years without a sponsor. Anyhow, you can comment, I won’t, but I will say the layout was good and quite relaxing walking around. Well done to all the sponsors and gardeners.

I didn’t make it to taste the crafted beers… but I did get to hear some of the bands in that area and it was great to see on Monday evening families dancing in the rain to a chorus of ‘Hello Mary Lou‘. Next door, the crafts area was nice and open and left places for people to sit and picnic. I also like the arts and crafts dotted throughout and the gentlemen singing acapella were amazing.

I thought the fact that speakers like Shawna Coronado from the U.S. were introduced was a great idea – I also believe her talks went down extremely well. Well done Shawna. [Also: my interview with Shawna Coronado]

There were suggestions that the food was well priced. On a different note, phone coverage and in particular internet phone coverage was poor. This I heard from too many people and from a meeting up point of view I only found afterwards that they’d been there. It also meant I couldn’t do live video’s and picture posting.

From speaking with Aidan Cotter and some of the Bord Bia team I believe numbers were up on last year which is great to hear. Aidan also queried whether I was returning to Bloom 2011 to build another show garden, with a twist difference…. I meant to ask him if there’s a chance of me getting partnered with a sponsor 😉

Overall, some say the direction has changed. Some say the garden judges were a little tougher this year. Others simply say Bloom 2010 has come along way in, what one should not forget, is just 4 years. All in all, I personally and sincerely enjoyed the show. Whether I go back in 2011 as a visitor or as a designer is a question I’ll need to answer soon. Either way, you will see me there.

Well done to all involved. Take a bow and when you find the time a well earned rest.

I’ll have some video’s and information to go up this week. You can also view my other images from Bloom 2010. I personally love this picture taken by my good friend Stephen 😉

What do you think….?


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The Jasper Conran Waterford Crystal Planter

In an odd variance of requests, this week I found myself making up planters, hanging baskets and window boxes for a client. A nice thought and an unusual one in a sense as the planters were to be filled with not bedding plants and summer flowers but herbs and salads.

The unusual request bit came when one was requested for someone special. I came up with this prototype option as an alternate for them. It’s lemongrass in a jasper conran waterford crystal vase.

I filled it part way with vermiculite, then compost and then decorated the top milimetres with vermiculite again.

It’s very much a one off. I know that. But, I like it.

Irish Daily Mail – Free Seeds Collection

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Friday just passed I got a most welcome press release in my post box. I’ve a lot to be doing at this moment, but I thought this a happy and deserved post.

From April 24th and for 6 days following readers of The Irish Dail Mail will receive a free packet of Suttons seeds. The selection includes pansies, poppies, snapdragons, sweet williams and cornflowers. The press release says they are worth about €20. I would have thought more to be honest.

Apparently some gardener called Gerry Daly 😆 [Hiya Gerry, gardeners banter eh!!] who I know loves to read this weblog….. will write a nice article to explain all the how to do’s. No point in me doing so then….  😉

Humour aside, it’s a great offer. A happy one and one of the best I’ve seen this year. Well done to The Irish [give me a job 😉 ] Daily Mail.

*thanks Deborah

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Another Grow Your Own Gardening Course

NEXT CLASS: tomorrow saturday April 17th 9.30am – 3.30pm

***if you are stuck for directions to Ballyboughal and then to my house you can contact me on [vodafone prefix and then add….]6594688

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I did the grow your own gardening course about 2/3 weeks ago now…. It wasn’t until I was out recently at an event and I was beig asked was I doing another as the wife would love to do it…. Then a neighbour popped by…. he’d love to too…. then online I got it…

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So the response from the last/ first class was good. The demand for a second one seems to be there…. that’s also good. It’s now simply a case of can I get the numbers to make a day of it….? That bit is up to you.

Who is the Garden Class for:

  • those who wish to be green but not a full time farmer.
  • those with an apartment balcony or you that simply just wish to grow a bit on a space about that size
  • For those who work 24/7 and watch tv but are willing to do a bit

Whats the day like:

  • real coffee & homemade buns on arrival @ 9.30am – with an intro chat amongst the group
  • then outdoors until around around 12.30
  • homemade lunchin the kitchen until around 1.15
  • back out until about 3pm and finish with a fresh cuppa/some homemade biccies and a chat.
  • to take place in Ballyboughal [it’s near Swords/ North Dublin ;) ]

Other info:

  • Places are limited to a maximum of 10 people.
  • Cost is €60 per person
  • I supply everything you need. You get to to bring it home with you.
  • laughing is encouraged
  • original post on the garden class here

Louise’s post really does summarise it very well

Wanna come along ?

  • Pop your name[s] in the comment box below.
  • email me info[at]doneganlandscaping[dot]com
  • phone me on [vodafone prefix and then] 6594688

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straw grass…?

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I get loads of these…. some one liners…. some emails. Some without pictures But I try my best and quite enjoy answering them being honest 🙂

Email in on Saturday from Melanie. 😉

Hi Peter,

Thanks for this, myself and Alex are full of enthusiasm for the garden at the moment but neither of us have much of a clue 😉
Alex was out doing a bit of a tidy up this morning and he noticed that we have climbers planted around our wall (they were planted just before we bought the house so no idea what they are), and now there seems to be loads of what looks like straw around the bottom of them all. We’ve no idea where it’s come from, and are a bit worried it might be a sign of mice. I don’t know if you can shed any light on it, but I thought I’d run it by you in case you’ve seen it before. I’ve attached 2 photos.
Thanks,

I responded with the following via twitter [it was saturday…. i was watching Ireland get beat by Scotland at rugby. It was easier 😉 ]
I gave the following answers in 2 messages of less than 140 charachters:

hmmm. the plant is pyracantha. produces fruits and little white flowers – really cool and great for nature but thorny 🙂

the dead grass is just that. may have been sprayed a while ago…. or not. just mow over it. not straw. all looks healthy

Problem solved.

As I said when asked about watering seeds…. maybe a simple answer to someone with horticultural qualification….? but then you probably don’t read this blog 😉

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Other comments:

  • Yes you should no matter how silly ! 🙂
  • maybe do a monthly online publication on issuu
  • You should use them for a column in a magazine / newspaper, like a gardening problem page.
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