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Small Front Garden: Low Maintenance

small front garden, low maintenance

As small front low maintenance gardens go, especially those in which a car parking spot is a must I have to admit I quite proud of this one. That and the fact that, where functional must meet softened photosynthetic and as this is not a more private space, meant the scope for Peter Donegan memorial gardens here were limited.

Worth considering is that I could not fit the overgrowth pre-garden makeover shot into one image. Suffice to say at some stage in its former life it was a lawn. Also of note is that the client was not ‘green fingered’ and the budget was not a bizillion dollars; don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t a case of cheapest is best, more a case of done once and done extremely well.

The overgrowth taken down and removed, a semi permeable membrane was laid upon the grass. It was suggested that that should have been sprayed/ treated first with a herbicide. But of the factors required for the growth of any plant, one of them is light and the elimination of this via the membrane ensured that nature, with a little help, would do its own thing.

front garden, low maintenance dublin

Plants chosen very wisely I considered extremes of height in my selection ie. ground level and ground cover planting and those that were instant and immediately above waist height. The thinking behind creates a more open feel; that as versus the herbaceous border type formal tiered backdrop that blocks out the passage of light, if you get me. They were also 75% evergreen and colour throughout all of the seasons.

The pebble is bright in colour, though not bright gold, which just lifts it ever so slightly. Beneath the front window was placed a bench that I made from very heavy duty timbers painted black and a small raised platform beneath. I wanted them, alongside the more mature planting to look like they had been there for some time, though extremely well maintained.

The beauty about this small space, is the maintenance and plant growth per annum ensures the annual cut back, tidy and trim is not a hedge cutters and a skip, but very much more a secateurs clip and a nip.

Aesthetics and fine choice planting aside, personally, I like the fact that this side of the garden has remained free draining. There’s something about that that makes my smile just that little bit greener.

Peter Donegan:

peter donegan landscaping, contact

Garden Maintenance

I have been maintaining gardens since before I was a teenager and after 10 years in business garden maintenance is still one of the services that I pride myself on. In 2007 I won the overall ALCI award for garden maintenance – in this case it was a private garden.

I provide both commercial and domestic garden maintenance outside of and including Dublin.

I find that it is the preparation prior to any gardening works taking place that ensures the relationship between you and I works best and also guarantees the best results from your budget and the time I spend with your space outdoors.

Garden Maintenance can be done by way of the following:

  • a one off garden visit
  • regular scheduled garden visits

Within a one off visit you may simply require a good honest tidy over of your space  to give it a lift for the upcoming season or you may simply require a more manicured approach to an existing outdoors to get it back to its finest appearance once again. Others simply require a helping hand to get the garden back on its rightful course where it has been let go for some time.

Services for regularly scheduled and one off visits also include:

  • additional planting to suit the season or for additional colour
  • mulching of beds and play areas
  • fertilising programme for trees, shrubs or lawns
  • grass cutting of open areas or small spaces
  • hedge cutting and shrub pruning
  • tree services
  • weed control in lawns or through existing planting and borders

Whilst some wish to complete the garden maintenance tasks themselves one can also get that little added direction and consultation. In this regard, garden maintenance schedules, checks and calenders can be put in place to suit your specific space in the great outdoors if required.

If you would like to talk with me about garden or grounds maintenance you can as always contact me via the following options.

  • by email info@doneganlandscaping.com
  • via this website: click the contact page
  • call mobile – o876594688

My qualifications:

  • Certificate in Commercial Horticulture (1996)
  • General Examination in Horticulture – Royal Horticultural Society (1997)
  • Advanced Diploma in Commercial Horticulture (1998)

Hard Landscaping & Small Spaces

pebble and paving...

The key to landscaping small spaces is that the final result, when complete, gives the feel of a brighter, airy & open space. It is to give the eye more than a ‘oh that’s nice’ and a walk on effect. It is to give, even in the smallest of spaces, a visual journey.

The second key is that it is contains the functional aspects and also with that in mind that aesthetically the finished garden style suits. In the case above a front garden with an allowance for an extra car parking space was to be given, without making the garden stand out for the wrong reason. It may not win awards – but it doesn’t look out of place for the wrong reason and also [very important] it fitted the clients budget.

We could have hard surfaced the entire front garden… but there are considerations however with regard to being a little greener; specifically with regard to paving and moreso with regard to front gardens. [This has recently been written about by Ros Drinkwater in the Sunday Business Post.] But, consideration to this really should be given anyway. The answer is possibly to do a mix of the the two and/ or to just go without the hardened surface. That aside – a concrete jungle, simply put, would have looked wrong.

Of course the alternate is a mix of the two. This allows for the drainage of water within that area, assuming that the preparations beneath allow for the dissipation of water through it. In the case above it also allowed that the dark pavings were given a little something to brighten up what could have become a very dark space. For that reason a bright gold pebble was used.

This does not mean of course that no one hardened surface can be given. it is simply a solution to low maintenance gardens and gardening; to small garden designs; to poor draining gardens and at the same time considering the environment. It is a possible alternate solution to hardened surfaces.

cagney & lacey – the chickens

Yesterday I got these two guys. The simplest thing *anyone* can ever do in the smallest of spaces. It took a little for them to settle in but after one night they’re good now.

What You Will Need:

The run I made is from an old dog kennell; some chicken wire [burried about 3″ below ground] & old timber; feeders[2] one for water & one for dry food [from fingal farm supplies North Dublin]. Some timber shavings were used as bedding inside the kennell. This can be cleaned out once a week and put on the green waste heap. Now all you need to do is wait for the eggs!

I named these two girls Cagney & Lacey…. enjoy