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Put your thinking caps on for a Donegal garden


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Good guy
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Joined: 11 Feb 2013
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Location: Donegal

PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2015 12:14 pm    Post subject: End of day 9 Reply with quote

Here we were at the end of day 9, on Friday. Blockwork more or less complete and ready for fill. That will leave the ramps ready for concrete.
It is now possible to make out the three beds, the concrete plinth where my new open-plan shed will be and the route the ramps will follow.

As I'm writing this, the men are placing fill and I'm waiting for an electrician to come to see about lights for the ramps and power in the shed.



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tagwex
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Location: Co. Wexford

PostPosted: Mon Sep 28, 2015 10:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now it is starting to make sense.
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Its my field. Its my child. I nursed it. I nourished it. I saw to its every want. I dug the rocks out of it with my bare hands and I made a living thing of it!

This boy can really sing http://youtu.be/Dgv78D2duBE
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Good guy
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Location: Donegal

PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2015 8:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The work proceeds. Slowly, today because the builders needed power tools and it was too wet. So after delivering a load of stone for the wall, they went elsewhere. The boss tells me they should still be finished by the end of the week, though.

A while ago, Sue asked me if my trip to Brittany had given me any ideas. I mentioned that it had confirmed my intention to use yew hedging as part of the design - since then, I've decided to incorporate yet more yew. It will help to frame the area under development and will complement the block forms of the raised bed.
I think I also said that some of the gardens I visited used ferns very well and that this tallied with my intentions for the shady area in front of the house and below the new retaining wall. Now that wall is finished, I've decided to convert a sizeable chunk of the lawn in that area into beds in which ferns and other shade-lovers can flex their muscles.
And now that I've had time to digest what I saw in Brittany, other things have come to mind. Several of the gardens contained little 'fontaines' which, on reflection, were very similar to some of the holy wells we have in Ireland - no surprise there, really, given the Celtic connections! I think I will construct my own 'holy well' as part of the fern garden and incorporate the gargoyle I bought at Mont Ste Michel. I may dedicate it to St Fiacra, (patron saint of gardeners and taxis) who was from just up the road in Glen Swilly!
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Greengage
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2015 6:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://kildare.ie/knn/fiachra.htm
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Ado 2
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2015 6:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

yes it was a very wet day yesterday. There is a St. Fiachra s garden at the Japanese Gardens in Kildare. His statue sits on water surrounded by monastic cells and has ferns and orchids planted around. Outside the gate of the Japanese Gardens and National Stud is a St. Bridget's Well and just a walk away is another one that has a hawthorn tree that people leave " stuff " on. I love wells. Good on you and all the best with your venture and with St. Fiachra on your side you can't go far wrong !!
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Good guy
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2015 8:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It seems there were at least 3 St Fiacras!. One of them was from near here and is associated with the ancient ecclesiastic site at Conwall, just outside Letterkenny. Last year I helped the local branch of An Taisce plant a hop near the ruined church because hops used to grow wild in the neighbourhood, within the lifetime of one local old lady. The theory is that they originated from hops grown for brewing by the monks there. It is something of a local tradition to venerate the Saint. Incidentally, I also found a shrine of sorts to him in the public gardens near the harbour in Malaga!
I know what you mean, about wells, Ado2. They do often seem to have a mystical/magical presence.
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medieval knievel
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2015 9:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i was up in donegal last week. it was sunnier than i remembered from previous visits.
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Good guy
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2015 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, the weather was lovely last week. In fact, for most of this building project we have been blessed with fine weather. Yesterday was the first day work stopped because of rain, and then only because of the power tools. Today was dry again and this afternoon the sun shone.
It really is better up here!
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tagwex
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2015 7:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It effing pissed down here all effing day. And I do mean ALL day. Got soaked through.
_________________
Its my field. Its my child. I nursed it. I nourished it. I saw to its every want. I dug the rocks out of it with my bare hands and I made a living thing of it!

This boy can really sing http://youtu.be/Dgv78D2duBE
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medieval knievel
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 06, 2015 8:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good guy wrote:
Yes, the weather was lovely last week.

i don't think there were too many weeks we could have picked as a better time to pop up to donegal, this year.
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Good guy
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2015 9:17 pm    Post subject: The builders have gone! Reply with quote

The builders have gone now and all that remains is to have the lighting fitted and to fill the beds and get planting! I thought it might be useful, at this stage, to reprise the whole project, with photos. So, here goes:


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These first three show the offending part of the garden as it was, early this year
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The design process: I ended up making a card model to help me examine alternatives. Eventually I decided on a plan and drew it up in enough detail that a builder would be able to understand my intentions.
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These three photos show approximately the same views as the first three.
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The three alpine beds can be seen clearly. That in the centre will be for lime-lovers. The ramp works really well - I've been up and down it a few times with wheelbarrows. Such a difference from lugging mowers, barrows etc up and down the steps. The diffe
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Looking east along the new terrace
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Looking west. The alpine beds and the new open shed and utility yard are visible. I'm pleased with how the stone wall has turned out - can't wait to plant it!
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This is a view on the kitchen/front door side of the house with the herb garden to the right. I had the old fence which closes off access around the house replaced to match the new fencing. I also increased the height, vastly improving privacy in our kitc
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Good guy
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2015 9:37 pm    Post subject: Continued Reply with quote

It seems I couldn't put all the photos in the one posting, for some reason. So, here are some more.
II'm pleased with how it has worked out - there were a few heart-in-mouth moments when I wondered if it was going to work. But I'm happy with how the ramp works and with the way the proportions of the beds work, whether seen from the drive or from lower in the garden. Overall, the change in level from drive to lawn ended up at 1.5m. I'm also happy that extending the treatment of walls, capping and fencing has visually linked the older part nearer the kithchen to the new. And the pergola provides a physical link as well as a visual one, between house and garden. That was lacking, before. I will add my own trellises to the basic structure the builder has left and I'll plant it with honeysuckle, another rose (there are two already, by the house) and some clematis.
Then there are the alpine beds........
Happy days!
Heavy rain is forecast for Tuesday. I'm glad, because the whole place is covered in building dust and it needs a good wash! Also, it will begin to fill the new water butt in the utility yard.



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The alpine beds withe the new open shed and utility yard beyond
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The bed at the east end of the terrace. It is a good three feet wider now - used to finish just left of the witch hazel. New planting up against house, too - a camellia
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View over the garden, as seen from sitting room. To the right will be ferns and other shade lovers, to just beyond the crab apple.
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Last edited by Good guy on Sun Oct 18, 2015 9:42 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Ado 2
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2015 9:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome to the new and well done Best of luck with the planting !!
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Greengage
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2015 6:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

looks good well done,
Calamorgistis is a lovely grass and verbena bonariensies gives height and structure.
Rudbeckia is a lovely late Autumn flower butr a bit overused at the moment. i also notice a lot of people planting Astelia while it looks good new from the pot it usually doesnt do well long term. i also like thre rock roses.
A suggestion for a rose Rosa geranium Maresi nice flowers and hips.
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kindredspirit
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 19, 2015 7:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Like the "Pice de Resistance", the Lewisia Wall.

Are you going to put in boulders as Wow! effects in the three Alpine Beds? The bigger and taller, the better. Smile

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A little garden in Co. Limerick.Some non-gardening photographs.
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