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Bloom In the Park. A Show Garden Return ?

donegan gardens

Talking today with Gary Graham for The SodShow, the garden radio show, conversation naturally led to show gardens and the question as to the ‘would I make a return to show gardening’ ? Gary is, in short for those who are not aware, the brains behind Bloom in the Park. Ireland’s premier garden show.

Personally, I’ve a lot of time for Gary. I’ve a lot of time for Bloom. Like it or not, Bloom is good for Ireland; it’s also great for Irish gardening and in that context alone, Bord Bia have done a real sterling job. One which deserves ovation standing, as versus applause.

We nattered back and forth and chatted ourselves into the easily led to conclusion that I missed, sincerely, the controlled pressure that came with the creation of show gardens.

mary mcaleese

For those who aren’t aware, I’ve done two Bloom show gardens:

After 2008, I took a pause. I was busy. I needed to be. I had showy gardens to create, but they simply weren’t gardens that were awarded medals at the end of it, though they did come with good PR.

The reality is show gardeners, to qualify a show garden submission need three strings to their bow. A proven ability to build show gardens, a great design and last, but by no means least, a sponsor. For two years running, I was missing the latter.

donegan gardens, bloom

Would I make a return to Bloom for 2013 ?

Yes, I would. Were this post going live now has relevance is that the work would be much easier less complex if it were to start within the next six weeks. So soon you might believe, but design submission begins around September/ October and whilst I have already the concepts, I like my designs QED ~ ie. without question, on time, fitting its budget [yours or/ and mine], show timing complete before schedule and with all of the ingredients in place ~ pre planned.

Don’t get me wrong, I can create a fine garden within a very short space of time, designs, submitted and accepted. No problem. But if show garden is to be about the, as Gary put it, the showmanship, then a little more homework/ light reading is far better.

As a by the way, The SodShow, A Bloom in The Park 2012 special, an interview with Gary Graham will air this Friday at 3pm and will be available a little later in the evening as podcast.

If I’m to do it and do it rightly and though I’ve always been blessed in that department I’m proud to admit, I’ll need the right people by my side. For now, I guess, I’ve a little thinking to do and for this bank holiday weekend I’ll happily settle for making daisy chains with my daughter, most probably in The Phoenix Park.

Thoughts on the matter/ Fancy a cuppa ? 😉

donegan gardens

The Sodcast – Episode 12

sodshow, garden podcast

The Sodshow Garden Podcast – every Friday – in iTunes, www.sodshow.com all good podcast stores.


Listen to The Sodcast in MP3 – or subscribe/ listen to the podcast in iTunes. Alternatively, subscribe to the blog and listen to them right here. Missed Episode 11 of the garden podcast ?

First Up:

Visit the Repak recycle Week 2010 blog – sponsors of the sodcast for October.

Of course my real job is improving the look of your garden and you can of course contact me on:

This Week On The Blog:

Images For The Podcast:

Links For The Podcast:

from 2008…. plastic hedges

and there’s more plastic hedges where that came from. But I prefer the real trees

Thanks as always to:

This Weeks Oddities:

I love this quote [Via @Carolaik @InvasiveNotes and @aquatic_habitat]

Suburbia is where the developer bulldozes out the trees, then names the streets after them.”~Bill Vaughn

Courtesy of @Graham_Rice and Jane Powers: Britain changes mind about banning all cotoneasters & all crocosmias as invasive. Details on the Transatlantic Plantsman

The lovely @OrlaMcDermott asks:

@DoneganGardens quick Q! Got a lovely pressie of tulips from Amsterdam! When to plant?

Also from @carolaik – A Green roof come to life

Culch.ie have some candidates [?] attending the Culchie Festival @ Leitrim October 22-24. There’s also a great gig called Are You Afraid of the Farm? Well worth checking out! Think I’d rather the Culchie festival somehow

I’ll explain this one in the podcast:

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And Finally:

The Sodcast will be [re] available to sponsor November 1st 2010 – Interested ?

It’s a bank holiday weekend in Ireland. I’ve got some hedging to trim and tidy. This one below is hawthorn. I’m not its biggest fan, only because of its thorns… but it so well worth it for what it does for nature and wildlife. The garden is about more than just me. I might just give them a little slow release fertiliser. I hope I make to a park as well.

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The Sodcast – Episode 10

sodshow, garden podcast

The Sodshow Garden Podcast – every Friday – in iTunes, www.sodshow.com all good podcast stores.


Listen to The Sodcast in MP3 – or subscribe listen to the podcast in iTunes. Alternatively, subscribe to the blog and listen to them right here. Missed Episode 9 of the garden podcast ?

First Up:

Visit the Repak recycle Week 2010 blog

It’s about time I mention myself in all this and….. I do of course make gardens amazing [no matter the budget]. If you are in need of that extra bit of [green outdoors derived] smile to your day – you can of course contact me on:

This Week On The Blog:

Images For The Podcast:

Links For The Podcast:

Jane Powers Links:

This Weeks Oddities:

via @DiscoverIreland and @VisitDublin Dublin can trace its origins back over 1000 years.Why not visit one of the many historic sites http://bit.ly/bwN8KA

Kiltrea Bridge Pottery in Enniscorthy Co. Wexford have their pot sale on where you will find huge reductions on all their pots. They are Irish made and all hand thrown with mostly Irish clay; a little bit of British clay thrown in – just to make the Irish clay work better I’m told. The dates are 2010 are 16th – 30th October 10am – 5.30pm Monday to Saturday and Sunday 24th October 2 – 5pm

  • 2011 RHS show tickets (inc Chelsea) are now on sale. 2010’s sold amazingly so book early is recommended

Had a late lunch today and walked back through Stephens green .. nice to see so many people out on the grass in the sun! – Jason Roe

The Irish Garden Plant Society Annual Plant Sale 2010

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And Finally:

From the lovely people at @WalksIreland

I noticed that their twitter page links to Walks Around Britain and asked them why? I got this reply. Great to see the interaction and also the logic.

@DoneganGardens Because we’re working on our Ireland site atm – as soon as we have something worth while to show you, we’ll change it over.

On that note…. I love the video below. Directions, video of where to park, the mapped routes…. makes life so much easier. Well done lads. 😉

Battle of The Boyne Site Visit & The Garden Group

To those attending there is of course the original garden group guide post to this trip to the battle of the boyne site.

A note of thanks and deserved applause to Nick Reilly and Aisling Mc Mahon [OPW]  and also to you who decided to make this your Sunday day out.

Really looking forward to this. 🙂

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the day I met President Mary…

Peter, Martin and Mary

Peter, Martin and Mary

It took a while for me to get this and if you want to know the full story of how and why – you’ll have to read about why Peter Donegan was a bit shy here…

If you would like to get involved with Peter Donegan and Bloom 2009 via sponsorship or any other proposal you may have – please do not hesitate to contact me. Of course you can guess what I am doing!