To some, it’s very important to be on trend. Clothes, social habits, television shows, furniture, interior decor, these are areas wherein lies a fine line between being now and being then. We often happen across this word zeitgeist, things are described as being zeitgeisty. Sounds impressive but what exactly does it mean? Zeitgeist is defined… Read more »

Community Doesn’t Mean Parish

Let’s talk about Balgaddy in West Dublin, specifically The Balgaddy Community Garden. The garden was started by local volunteers on derelict land in October 2010. Since then, residents have worked to develop the approximately one acre space into a hive of horticultural activity which is used regularly by residents as well as a range of… Read more »

Treated Like Dirt; Where’s All The Soil Gone?

Quite rightly there is a lot of talk about finite natural resources, the raw materials that we get from the earth. They are finite because they occur naturally and thus cannot be replicated by man. Instead we have become very proficient in using and modifying natural resources in ways from which we can derive some… Read more »

The Common Good

We all share the same landscape.  A crime against horticulture is, on some level, a crime against humanity and the country is awash with great examples,rural and urban. There are certain practices which , anecdotally, it seems nobody agrees with and which attract universal disdain. Yet they keep happening. You would be hard pressed to… Read more »

The No Half Measures Monty

Last Saturday night myself and my wife, along with roughly a thousand others, enjoyed An Evening with Monty Don. The event was part of the annual Carlow Garden Trail and took place in the Arboretum in Leighlinbridge. Monty talked to us about his life in gardening and specifically the development of his own garden, Longmeadow… Read more »

School Gardening

Is it not time we had a coherent strategy to incorporate horticulture and gardening into mainstream education? You may have noticed the odd polytunnel in some of the new second level schools which have been built over the last decade or so. This is obviously to be applauded as a step in the right direction… Read more »

The Autistic Gardeners

I don’t watch much television but I have been tuning into a programme called The Autistic Gardener over the past couple of weeks on Channel Four. The show concerns a Garden Designer fortuitously named Alan Gardner. Alan has Asperger’s syndrome and believes that his condition allows him to bring something unique to his work; microscopic… Read more »

Face The Fear And Plant It Anyway

The fear is everywhere, the fear of making a mistake. The nobility of learning through trial and error, though often preached, is evidently  a concept that we abandoned with childhood. There is a view that mistake based learning stops at a certain point, a point after which we can be microscopically prescriptive  and everything will… Read more »

The Kids Are All Right

We have talked about the potential for the garden to provide a dynamic and stimulating environment for the entire age spectrum. Add this to what we have traditionally prioritised in our outside space and you have what seems to an irreconcilable cacophany of design imperatives. Modern garden design attempts to pack a lot in. The… Read more »

Design For Life

Biophilia, the theory as developed by the biologist Edward O. Wilson,  is defined as an innate and genetically determined affinity of human beings with the natural world. Now, we’ve all heard of horticultural therapy;  its multiple benefits have been well researched and documented. That same research, however, might just be about to acquire a new… Read more »