New perennial movement: wash out or taking root?

[caption id="attachment_3838" align="aligncenter" width="614"] Grasses and perennials as used in my Bloom show garden for Barretstown[/caption] With the Garden and Landscape Design Association's (GLDA) seminar on the horizon this weekend, the focus is very much on the so-called "new perennial movement" or "prairie planting" style of planting design that has captured the imagination of garden designers for the last twenty years of so.  This is probably one of the biggest fashion shake-ups to have gripped the garden design world (both amateur and professional) for quite some time. Even minimalist and avant-garde designers who typically...

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The new gardening year

Around this time of year, I usually put out a little post to encourage people to get their design plans done in the next while before the construction season starts to hot up from March time onwards.  If you have been mulling over your garden situation during the holidays and have been thinking about what to do with it; this is a great time of year to talk to a garden designer. [caption id="attachment_3786" align="aligncenter" width="614"] From small ideas spring forth new gardens!...

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How to design your garden

  Tim is looking forward to visiting Mullingar, Co. Westmeath on Thursday to deliver a garden design talk in aid of the Carers Association.  Please contact the Bloomfield Hotel if you would like a ticket and hope to see you there! Tim will be running through his approach to creating a good garden design with recent examples of design and built projects, there will be a chance to ask questions as well. ...

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Catch Helen Dillon in Kenmare!

The fabulously friendly and go-getting Kenmare garden club are having Ireland's premier gardener, Helen Dillon, to speak at their evening event to be held this Thursday, March 6th at 7.30pm sharp in the Carnegie theatre.   I would thoroughly recommend this talk to anyone who is either a keen gardener or who would like to hear an excellent speaker or both.  This is a real treat for all gardening fans, as Helen has been leading the way in Irish gardening with her garden at 45 Sandford Road for quite some time.  An...

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Exposing Layers and Meaning in 21st Century Garden Design – GLDA Seminar FEB’ 2014

For a day of garden design inspiration and shared passion for all things gardening, I can recommend attending the forthcoming GLDA Seminar that will be held on February 8th 2014 at The Crowne Plaza Conference Centre Northwood. The Garden and Landscape Designers Association have put together an unmissable line-up of speakers who share not only a breath-taking knowledge of their subject, but also a passion for what they do. Attention to detail is a theme that runs through the day’s line-up. Landscape Architect, Feargus McGarvey’s title is ‘Observation’ where he reflects on spatial relationships and site...

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A garden anywhere

After spotting this planted roof to a bus shelter on Zaragoza's Paseo Independencia, it made me realise (again) that it truly is possible to grow a garden anywhere.  All it takes is a little imagination, some basic horticultural innovation and possibly (as with most gardening scenarios) some perseverance. What's good about this feature is that it adds a new dimension to the street scene.  The additional greenery is a visual bonus, it I am sure helps to a degree with rainwater catchment (reducing the volume of run-off) and the vegetation will...

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Garden boundaries and fences

In any garden design, close attention needs to be paid to the boundaries and how they are to be finished at an early stage in the project. [caption id="attachment_3437" align="aligncenter" width="614"] Traditional field stone boundary in the west of Ireland[/caption] The reasons for this are obvious but sometimes need to be restated: 1) They form the framework for the garden whether closely defined and solid or looser, more open boundaries that allow visibility to the surrounding landscape. 2) The boundary finishes (structure, form, texture, colour) can dictate the entire mood of the garden. [caption id="attachment_3439"...

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‘To boldly go’ – being brave with garden design

[caption id="attachment_3429" align="aligncenter" width="259"] Powerscourt Church, Enniskerry Photo from Parish of Powerscourt website[/caption] Enniskerry Garden Club talk Really looking forward to a return visit to see my friends at the Enniskerry Gardening Club tomorrow evening when I shall be delivering a talk. I will be explaining how to revamp an existing garden with a new design.  I will look at the garden design process and how the professional garden designer's approach can be applied to any garden situation. I will illustrate my talk using garden design projects in which I have overhauled existing gardens...

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Emeralds and the gathering

Gardening trends Gardening, like other design-related professions has its trends.  Sometimes these are created by the horticultural industry itself through clever marketing campaigns.  At other times these fashions reflect wider shifts in the way society is thinking, an example being the recent move towards gardens with a grow-it-yourself element, something of which I am very supportive of as you are well aware. Have  we missed an opportunity with Ireland's "The Gathering" to celebrate our greeness? One thing I am surprised about is that the Irish gardening profession, as a whole, has not capitalised...

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