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Garden Advice

catterpillar cabbage (2)As I type this weeks article the door off my outside room is open and I am wondering on the one hand if and how the weather reports for the last five days have been so far off the radar. It was due to become Noahs ark type weather but somehow or other a few short down pours, a sort of weather Gods mini-tantrum if you may, came and very swiftly passed. The importance of this to me and any garden enthusiast is of serious importance.

Last week I had tonnes of soil to shift, by hand, well, with a bucket shovel. Of which my upper body carried. And when I say tonnes, I mean twelve of them. Suffice to say, my left arm is at present the size of a bullock.

I have been reading back over what I have written on my garden blog for the last few days and noted my reference yet again to attire for the great outdoors and yes I hear you holler back at me

There is no such thing as bad weather – just the wrong clothing

But if you have ever lifted a bag of saturated and wet bagged compost you’ll have a rough of idea of what a difference this could make to ones day….. alone from a just keeping the place clean and trying to sweep up mud, as versus dry clay or from a muscle development perspective – have you ever carried eleven litres of milk ? Then try carrying eleven litres of powder milk. A bit of a weight difference ?

But within this there is a point where the methodology of the construction of the raised vegetable beds in which the soil was filled, has to be of extreme behind the scenes intelligence to be able to support the weight from inside forcing against the timber. And this is the point where all of the you get what you pay for type cliché’s come to mind, my favourite of which is

cheaper can often be more tearful than cheerful

Whilst I did touch on it in last weeks article I have yet to rummage through the seed catalogues and chose the crops I want to grow here for the seasons of lower temperature that are en route. I was stalled in this department because my hens, now touching three years old are slowly progressing to pet only status. Personally, I simply couldn’t shorten their tenure, if you understand me, but the eggs resulting from their stay here are lessening. In conversation with my good friend Paddy we found a solution.

Paddy has what I can only describe as a bird sanctuary. He also has twelve chicks and a Mom that need to be re-homed. It will be a straight swap. But once again, I am back to the point where construction of the area in which the hens will be housed will make life very easy for me. To side track mildly, I don’t, personally, understand the wee triangle type all-in-one hen-house set ups. They may suit fine the domestic, with three garden walls scenario, but when like me you live in an Emmerdale farm type affair – where the dogs keep the cats away and the cats keep the….

All Gods Creatures gotta place in the choir some sing low and some….

Again, it is horses for courses and one suit does not fit all. Funnily enough, outside of my own garden and fowl, I have two one-off hen areas to build within the next month, something that in my eleven years in the landscaping business, has never happened at all.

To the photosynthetic side of my garden, my garlic has developed some rust on the almost crozier like stems and are just about to burst into flower. I can’t wait for that one, but as soon as they pass I’m hoping to plant an autumn/ winter crop.

My apple trees were weighted to the point of leaning over almost at a forty five degree angle and the pear trees I can happily boast are quite simply in abundance.

Outside of that there’s not much else really to brag about. August running into September is a bit of a no mans lands type month for me and it is here I refer to gardeners hindsight in that forward planning is everything. Anything I have growing at the moment was planted months ago and I’m literally just waiting for the lettuce to bolt and the onion stems to die back so that I can plant something else in their place.

If you do want your greens on your table come Christmas, now is the time to act. In the meantime I’m going to go one step ahead and get myself ready for moving some of my trees. Digging holes and moving soil…. again.

Contact Peter Donegan

The Gardener, originally published in The Tribesman week Monday 29th August

The Sodcast – Episode 19

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 18 of the garden podcast ?

First Up:

the above all thanks to DavyMac 😀

Anything else you can contact me in the following ways

also:

  • Fancy a Sodcast Mug for your cuppa…. ? ;) because [say Pierce Comms] of course there is a consumer emotional attachment to brands and logos

This Week On The Blog:

none for this week….

Links For The Podcast:

Grannymar links:

also:

Images For The Podcast:

This Weeks Oddities:

Will Knott asks:

Dear Peter,
I have pumpkins. Two small (put one fist in the other sized) “live” pumpkins that were decorations for haloween. If I want the seeds inside to grow, what should I do. At the moment they are sitting in the front garden, frozen. Will they rot down and plant themselves, or do I need to break them open?
Love the podcast
Will

And Finally:

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You can catch the Niall O’Keeffe show on Saturday evening. Don’t forget to Text XMAS and your message to 57000 and let Niall know you’re listening….

Nice way to end the podcast. Thanks Niall, enjoyed that 😀

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)

Robinia Pseudoacacia Frisia

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I had an email in today reminding me that October was just around the corner…. And it is. With that comes tree planing season. That said, this photo was taken last week and there is great potential for me to end on an entirely different subject-ish 😉 My idea here is just to get you thinking of what is merely weeks away….  Plan now for when you will essentially be buying a twig, stick or dormant plant and you will reap the rewards.

Imagine if everyone in Ireland planted just one tree how beautiful this country would look….

This however is the Robinia pseudoacacia ‘frisia’.

Leguminosae/ papilionaceae. The Robinia’s are a genus of about 20 deciduous species and grow pretty well in Ireland. ‘The books’ note that it may upset your tummy if you eat any part of the tree. On one hand, who eats trees anyway. On the other, better safe than sorry and I tell you in advance.

To it’s name; Psuedo meaning false, and acacia being an entirely different tree, this is often commonly known as the false acacia or the black locust. It’s attractiveness comes down to its foliage which is almost like the sweet pea or pea’s that I have grown in my garden – but then it is Leguminosae [legume] which is essentially the pea family.

This variety of Robinia can grow up to 50 feet tall. It’s golden foliage turns to a more green in summer and to a more orange in autumn. I love it also for its perfumed [although I can’t smell diddly] white flowers than grow in little hanging clusters or racemes* in summer time.

They also remind me slightly of these Gleditsia – funnily enough, they are commonly referred to as the honey locust. Well, you learn something new every day. Go. Buy. Enjoy. Let me know how you get on.

*raceme: [def] a cluster of flowers along a central stem

Garden Gallery

There are many gardens I have created and designed over the last, more than 10 years now. These are just some of the images that may help in giving you an idea of just what kind of possibilities exist with your great outdoors.