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phil… thursday garden guest #7

If you’d like to know more about Thursday garden guest time – click here

phil

phil

For the moment, garden guest #7 is Phil O’Kane alias Iced-coffee. A photographer of genius, a blogger of personality and a decent man who, if he could help – he would. That’s a pretty good start in life where I come from.

Apart from that, the reasons I like Phil are pretty plain to see. Pardon my wry sense of humour, but a ‘leaf’ through his photo archives pretty much say it all. My admiration for ones finest traits aside, gardens more often show an extremely different persona.

To the manor born, girls and boys, when the musics over turn out the lights… I give you Phil. Enjoy 🙂

So when Peter asked on twitter for guest posts about gardens I thought I would volunteer. I’m not sure why really, I don’t even have a garden, and have done very little gardening in my time, though I am always interesting in finding new things to write about. And yes, there will be a few photographs included too, naturally.

On the list of ‘most clichéd photographs’ there are a lot of flowers. I have tried not to go overboard on the flower photographs, though occasionally I say “screw clichés”.

beauty...

beauty...

all good...

all good...

My parents have never had much of a garden, but rather two patches of grass in front of the house with a path that runs up the middle leading to the front door. This didn’t give me much opportunity to experiment with seeds and soil. Mum would often say, “Go help your father in the garden,” but he didn’t want me using the hedge clippers or lawn mower anyway, and there wasn’t much else to do. And we didn’t have plants to speak of. The only times I can recall digging up the garden was to bury the hamsters. I loved those hamsters… except the last two, they were evil biters.

This picture doesn’t do it justice of how it used to look, always well kept. Recently though, it has been dug up and changed a bit, and not cut in a while.

still beautiful...

My Granny on the other hand had a large garden in her old house (which is still in the family), though it was just grass; a football pitch, tennis court, rugby, wrestling and general running ground; a good space when there are a lot of kids. She did have a small patch of soil with various flowers though.

Since moving house a few years ago, she has kept the same idea, only on a smaller scale; grass, flowers, eating area, oh and that massive monkey tree. She has an area of flowers, and can occasionally be found tending to them:

nature...

nature...

I do love nature, though it isn’t very often that I immerse myself in it.

Currently floating between rented accommodation, I don’t expect much of a garden, if anything that resembles one. A little bit of space at the back of the house is considered a bonus. My current abode includes all of this space.

My house-mates had great plans for it when we moved in in September: a canopy, get rid of the large weeds clinging to the wall, white-wash the wall, some plants, flowers, vegetables even. To be honest, I offered to help, though it hasn’t happened yet, and I doubt it will. It aint my house and I will probably only be here for the next year, so I’m not that concerned. We do have friendly snails though…

not so deer...

not so deer...

My friends in Rhode Island, a State with many many trees and woodland, have an awesome garden and their father loves to take great care of it. Whilst there in the last few years I spent many an hour wondering around with my camera. I wasn’t able to catch any of the wild turkeys on camera though I did spot a deer and crept as closely as I could before it scarpered – yes this is actually in their garden.

I am a fan of cities and city life, I don’t expect to have much of a garden, nor the time or desire to put into one for a few years. Though as I mature, I begin to see myself with lots of garden. Maybe in a house in the country. Maybe. My parents are considering moving in the next couple of years to the country, buying a plot of land and building their own (mostly my dad’s idea obviously) – geothermal heating, a large garden for the dog (the dog we haven’t got yet); the whole works.

Maybe then I will grow my own garden, but until that day comes I will continue to take the photographs.

Oh and I won’t let it get like this:

oh my God...

oh my God...

Thanks

Phil

Rick… thursday garden guest #6

dude...

dude...

If you’d like to know more about Thursday garden guest time – click here

For the moment writer #6 is Rick O’Shea. Everyone knows him as the man on 2fm that helps get us through the afternoon slumps. Without Rick’s help I’d have been giving someone a big pink Christmas present, luckily through his call across the airwaves we managed to find it a new home. Nuff said, ladies and gents I give you Rick O’Shea…

It was more than strange when Peter asked me if I’d write a guest post about gardening. To be honest my experience is practically zero, my hatred of the lawnmower practically legendary and I’ve destroyed one garden through incompetence in my time so my initial reaction was “I dunno about that dude….” But my other, contrary, voice in my head (there are many) said “Sure give it a shot, it’ll be a challenge” and when I came to write this it turned out to not be that hard.

I have a genuine love of gardens themselves, you see. I’ve spent more than my fair share of time idling away in summer and winter in places like the National Botanic Gardens out in Glasnevin, the Powerscourt Estate, Avondale and not just for the constitutional walks. When I’m allowed, the garden is one of the first places I nose around in when I’m in someones house for the first time. And by nose I mean just that, I smell, touch, root around in. I don’t have my own however and have had very few to call my own over the years.

I’ve moved around a lot since I left home first, so I was never given the time to grow green fingers. The exception was one time I was living in Killiney and I planted a tree I was given out in the highly manicured, fashionable and low maintenance tiny back garden of a house I was renting, I wonder if they ever noticed it when I was gone? I hope they let it be…

I lived in a house up until a year ago that had the most glorious of gardens to be discovered. When we were shown it first by the landlord the back garden looked small, no bigger than ten feet by thirty and hedged in on all sides. It was only when we walked out through the tiny gap on one side that we realised it swept on to a further garden with a path down the centre easily 5 times the size of the first one. A garden with hedges, bushes, flowers, even a compost heap! It was somewhere where that first summer meals were had in the broad evening sunshine, kids played, footballs roamed free and once or twice blankets were laid down and naps had.

I genuinely loved that garden even with the demands it put on me, ones I eventually fell behind on and had to get a professional in to look at before I destroyed it for good…

Someday I’d like to have somewhere to tend, a little patch I won’t move from where I can spend days getting dirty and on my knees begging things to work that may not first time but will on the tenth, twelfth, twentieth go.

That won’t happen yet, but someday.

10 things to make you happy…

oh happy days...

oh happy days...

I had written a list of [10] garden posts that were relevant to the people of Ballyboughal over here and I’d also given a list of the top 10 garden posts you liked the most. That aside, and with 8 odd weeks to Christmas this is my Top 10 thing to make you happy… or at the very least make you smile! You know where to come if you get stuck!

[ps the reason for doing this is because of george lee this… and I believe life is good… I dont have a gizillion dollar$… but life is good! If you’re smile isn’t as big as it normally should be… then this is for you enjoy! 😉

and finally….

UPDATE: the illustrated friar blog has done one over there
Sinéad has done a really happy cool one over here
Iced Coffe Phil has 10 happy things over there
winds and breezes has spectaularly going on over here
and Marie has it all smelling of roses over here at the strange quark 🙂
AND donna over at another nightmair blog just popped up with another bundle of happiness [i like no.9 😉 ]
…of course ballyboughal had to have my personal top 10 happy things ….

John isn’t happy at all…. and you can of course leave yours as a comment if you wish…

[Plant] Life – simply breath taking!

Rapeseed (Brassica napus) - inspiration in a field - peter donegan garden design

....

I awoke this morning to walk the dogs before going to the boatshow in Malahide with Aido [and the his two well mannered youngsters] to meet with Gene, another gentleman and associate. The weather was beautiful, the day simply amazing and the people I met just added to the brilliance.

This field of Brassicae napus [rapeseed oil], opposite my house could only make life quite inspirational and I must say added a somewhat breath taking smile! Amazing!