In Capable Hands on More 4

For gardening fans it’s all been coming up roses recently on More 4. A few weeks ago we were treated to The Autistic Gardeners and now we have Titchmarsh on Capability Brown on Thursday evenings. Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown was born in Northumberland in 1716 and throughout a career spanning fifty years produced a body of… Read more »

Reimagining Your Neighborhood

I contributed the final chapter to this new book on rebooting suburbia and our built environment, ‘Reimagining Your Neighborhood’. It has just been published in the United States, keep an eye out for it.Here’s the amazon link. Read more »

Picnic Time Again

If you really want to dip your toe in zeitgeisty waters you could do worse than get yourself down to Stradbally the first weekend of September every year. There is not a strand of popular and emergent culture worth talking about that doesn’t eke out a forum for itself at the Electric Picnic.   Naturally the… Read more »

Horticulture; Just The Job

It’s that time of year and all the talk is of the CAO, college choices and the points race. It’s a pivotal time in the life of a young person when the already pressurised environment is exacerbated by the inescapable but totally misguided insistence that these choices are final and irrevocable.  To some, of the… Read more »


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 »