Saturday, 1 March 2008


The sight of daffodils and crocuses dancing in the wind is the sign that spring is upon us. This glorious season brings with it the beauty and promise of new beginnings and longer days. And of course, spring is the time to kick start the gardening year. So what are your plans for your garden this year? Whether you are re-vamping your established plot or starting from scratch, it is worth taking a bit of time to plan. What are your requirements for your garden this year? Perhaps you might expanding your vegetable plot, planting a few fruit trees or reshape a bed? What about adding a new feature; maybe a patio or even a pond? And when you get out in the fresh air to prepare for the season, remember, Inishowen has everything you need to build, maintain and plant our prized plots.

If you are thinking of a total design package for your garden then Gareth from the Lifestyle Garden Centre in Newtowncunningham has a complete garden design and build service. With a team of professional, experienced landscapers behind him, Gareth says that there is no time like the present to bring your garden up to it’s potential “Now is the perfect time to get your garden sorted for the year to come” Gareth advises. “Don’t put it off until the summer! Thorough planning and designing now will pay dividends as your site matures.”

If you are the type of gardener who just likes to do a little sowing, weeding and pruning, but you aren’t keen on the heavier jobs then A&M Landscaping from Moville provides a great service. They are happy to do the jobs you hate, from groundworks, fencing, drainage, lawns and garden maintenance, as well as building and stonework. The company also have a digger and dump trailer hire available.

If you are thinking of building a new boundary or feature and the price of a wall scares you, think again. You could use moulded stone. “The cost of building a wall can be kept to a minimum with the moulded stone,” Brendan McKinley from Templemoyle Concrete Products tells us. Brendan produces the versatile moulded stone and concrete slabs from his company in Culdaff. “There is no limit to the size of wall you can build and they age beautifully”, he tells me “They are great for retaining the sides of steps too and will finish off the edges of a patio perfectly”.

Grianan Precast Concrete, who are based in Burt, supply a comprehensive range of concrete products for the garden and they also supply fencing and decking. Eddie McBride from the company realises the importance of good quality products which can cope with our climate. “We supply a wide range of quality products from kerb edging to fencing, decking and patio slabs, which make up the structure of any garden” said Eddie. “Spring is the perfect time to be building new features in the garden.”

Garden centres are stocking up with spring plants and flowers. Jacqueline from Willowhill Nursery in Fahan loves the riot of spring colour that these bring. “Daffodils, primroses and pansies are perfect for brightening up any rainy day and they cope with our climate so well!” she tells us with great enthusiasm. Besides the spring flowers, Jacqueline is also receiving new plant stock in daily. “We have a fine selection of trees, alpines, roses, heathers and climbers for our customers to enjoy” she says. If you are in any doubt about what to plant, Jacqueline, with her vast horticultural knowledge will be more than happy to let you know the best plant for your site.

As the ground is drying out we can start repairing any damage the winter has done to the lawns. Regular maintenance of your green space is important and if you need a contractor to take the effort of lawn maintenance, Stephen Proctor from SP Landscapes is here to help. Stephen from Buncrana stresses the importance of booking early to get the lawn maintained. “ The lawn is growing all of the time and regular cutting is very important to keep it looking good,” he advises. “It’s never too early to think about the lawn and I am taking bookings now for the coming season. I am also very busy doing the last cuts of hedging” And as Stephen says, the growing never really stops.

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