Posts

Planters: Two Spots Café. Swords, Co. Dublin

garden planters dublin

It was absolutely lashing out of the heavens when I put these planters together for Aoife at Two Spots Café in Swords and whilst our Irish rain [it’s wetter than you think….] might get some a little down, one really has to give credit and take some inspiration from any business that tries to make their punters smile that little greater amid the January blues.

Hand made with aged, rustic if you will timber, painted and branded; I decided upon a hand picked select choice of [not bedding] plants that would last the full year through, throwing out a trickle of colour as the seasons pass. Bearing in mind, this being the starting month of the year, one can gather [see image above] they have yet to show their true colours, if you’ll pardon the cliché. Read more

Landscaping: Back Garden. Swords, Dublin

donegan landscaping

There’s a wee bit of reeling in the years with this garden, but it cropped up [see what I did there ? cropped ? anyhow…] in conversation very, very recently and fair to say this garden and the people I made it for made me smile very much. The best ones always do. 😉

To the gardens advantage you might say horticulturally, there were neighbouring buildings overlooking and almost immediately that allowed the introduction of some younger lower in height growing tress and taller growing shrubs to be planted across the white-painted back wall. And though it may sound funny looking a little closer at the image above, the thinking behind this garden was for it to be of low maintenance. Not car park type zero maintenance, if you get me – just lower.

Wanna see what it looked liked before I got to the tasty bits ?

Read more

Garden Bargain: Fingal Co Co Composter Bins

Credit where it is due, I don’t think I have honestly ever seen compost machines or composter tumblers at these prices. They let me know, i’m letting you know. Very nice work by Fingal County Council if I’m honest.

In reality there are a few contained choices in which to compost your veggie peelings, garden clippings and the like. The first option is you take a trip to somewhere like Sonairte Ecology Centre and see the composting display area they have there. If however you dont fancy tying four pallets together ~ it may of course appear a little untidy, I highly recommend these by far prettier domestic versions.

The difference between the compost machine and the compost tumbler is little, as far as the compost is concerned ~ it will all rot down eventually ~ apart from the fact that the tipping is made easier.

My advice, buy one for your Dad and wrap a big bow around it.

Where do you go: Estuary Recycle Centre, Swords

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)

The Right Time To Get The Garden Done

It must be coming into your quiet time for the oul’ gardening now…..

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Just one of the many clichés I’m on the verge of hearing more regularly now that the temperatures start to drop slightly and the evenings start to get a little shorter. The answer is more the opposite in fact.

There is a point where there are certain things that cannot be done no matter what stage of the season one is talking from, but in general the wise owls, tend to, get the ‘garden done’ in what some would consider the off season.

The reality is that with the coming of October onwards and the drop in temperatures of the seasons comes the en mass planting of trees and shrubs. Don’t get me wrong summer is fine for gardening… but when one needs to plant en mass or is planning on a budget and has the patience to place into the ground what may appear as a twig – and wait – then planting when the specimen is dormant and the sky above is willing to act as your automatic watering system ie. you do not need to water every single plant to keep it alive during the pretty decent warm summer we have just had – then logic, in gardening terms is simply just that and has been applied extremely well.

Have you ever seen someone watering plants in November…?

The other advantage is that the new plant is not competing with weeds as it tries to settle into its new home, wherever that maybe. Because essentially, weeds are plants – they simply don’t know that we don’t want them to grow there – and –  like the plants we do want to grow, both are in their over-wintering state.

Generally speaking in this context, put into the summer months, the turning of the soil in order to plant [the plants] brings with it weed seeds flourishing to the surface. Come the rise in temperatures towards the end of spring it is hoped the developing canopies of foliage will assist in reducing this problem – and therefore the competition for nutrients. A mild nipping of the tips helps here.

The question then remains – when is the best time to get the garden done? And the answer is pretty simple – whenever you wish. The question back is what do you want from your garden [?]

If one for example wishes to have a ‘not always just green garden’ ie. one where the plants come and go in and out of flower throughout the seasons; like the forsythia below that flowers on bare stems in early and mid spring – if planted in summer – then there is a wait until the following season for it to come into its own and fullest glory.


Based on last year [2009] which was a complete wash out of a summer which followed straight into an iceberg…. there was a point where freakish summer climatic  conditions meant the gardener [yours truly] had to take time to let the clothes dry out, at some point, eventually.

But this year has been quite good. I’d easily gather bbq sales were up on last year and with that summer feeling has come a rise in requests for garden make-overs, tidy-ups and manicures [with mild additions to]. The other thing noticable is that clients and potential clients started calling in June to plan for the coming ‘off season’.

Tree and hedge planting season is what it may be called for some. But what are people calling Donegan landscaping asking for ?

The requests all have planting of some form involved, but generally speaking the reason to do it, as versus the type of planting, in the off season is the fact that the couple/ family or in the case of one residential complex – the client[s] do not wish to have to water or maintain the plants once planted. A smart move, when making the most out of ones budget, as versus reducing the budget in the main season and not getting the most from the project.

It also means the planting is not trying to flower, establish and settle itself throughout a period where transpiration and growth are also a trying to take place.

It may well be the weather for you to stay inside, but for the tree, the gardener and the plants, investing wisely now may just give you the same rewards for a lot less effort come next spring and summer.

And on top of that…. there’s some hedging and really, really nice trees to be planted 😉

How does your garden grow…?

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