On this weeks episode of The Sodshow Garden Podcast, Peter Donegan chats with the legend that is Rob Hardy of Hardys Cottage Garden Plants.
From how Hardys started to how Rob actually started in the trade, what he was before he was one of the greatest minds behind one of the most successful nurseries in the world – we talk Arsenal Football Club, Liam Brady and the possibility of Peter ever being invited to the VIP section.
We delve into the flower show arena where – it should be rightly noted – Hardys have won 21 consecutive gold medals at RHS CHelsea Flower Show, just what that means and also working alongside Rob’s good lady and former guest of The Sodshow, the very wonderful Rosie.
What a story and what an absolute gentleman. Thank you Rob. It was an honour.
This interview with very special thanks to Rosie at Rose Tinted PR. And also my thanks to CurrencyFair, this the first ever episode of The Sodshow that they have sponsored. Fingers crossed not the last – please if you can, wish ’em well and show them your support. Their support very much appreciated. Nice one lads.
On todays show Peter Donegan chats with David Tanner of Glenview Gardens.
David alongside wife Mary started this garden 10 years ago. Ten ! Which is amazing considering how mature it actually looks. What beats that however is that David is not of a horticultural background, he was formerly in haulage and then took to driving a school bus. And this now, by his own words is more than just a gardening addiction.
The gardens are stunning. Immaculately maintained and yet open pretty much the full year round. And when the visitors leave ? Mary and David then, just the two of them, start to looking after the maintenance. Isn’t that just beautiful. And what a story……
On todays show Peter Donegan chats with Serge de Thibault, the owner and creator alongside his wife Claudine, of Bamboo Park.
Mesmerising, unusual, different, eclectic and at times head scratching, but also very wonderful – this is the story of a man who made a garden; albeit 13 acres in size, set, in what has to be one of the most beautiful places on earth – Glengarriff, West Cork.
Of the landscape here, there is much history and some unknown to even its current owners. What I do know is that the estates former owner Lady Ardilaun was noted however in writing in 1910 by Wyndham Fitzherbert – which gives me some idea (gardens created in mind) of its age and history.
What I do know is that in 1999 Serge and Claudine de Thibault created what is now Bamboo Park, West Cork. Serge had visited Bambouseraie in Anduze, France – the largest bamboo park in Europe – and liked it that much, that he decided to make his own. And though they differ by Serge adding some species that are not solely bamboo – they also differ based on the stunning location in the middle of which Serge and Claudine live.
On todays show Peter Donegan chats with Tony O’Mahony, Head Gardener at Inish Beg Estate, West Cork.
Inish Beg is a private island estate reached by bridge in the beautiful Ilen Estuary in stunning West Cork, 4.5 miles (7.5 km) from the town of Skibbereen. Pretty much to ruin, it was bought by the Keane family in 1997 and then began its transformation. As of now it comprises a series award winning houses or cottages and its 97 acres of gardens and woodlands have been designated as one of the 100 Best Gardens in Ireland (Liberties Press,2011).
Today we chat the estate, the gardens, it and Tony’s history. And also how one turns a little of the great outdoors into a place where you could literally stay forever.
As a by the by, this is the first to air from The West Cork mini series of podcasts and only the 4th Irish interview by The Sodshow this year. The next 2 episodes will also come from West Cork and all 14 in total are part of West Cork Garden Trail.
I loved it so much I stayed there camping with family for an extra 5 days after – a far cry from my stay at Bantry House I’ll grant you (thank you Brigitte – an upcoming guest also – and Sophie), but still West Cork. And I’m due back camping there again in about 2 weeks time with friends. We are going looking at gardens, again.
Huge thanks to Miriam and Bev of West Cork Garden Trail for making this interview possible. And also to the people of West Cork and the very magnificient team at Inish Beg for being so very wonderful. Thank you all so very much.
On todays show Peter Donegan chats with Mark Francis of MKM Creations.
Peter first stumbled across Mark and the garden he made whilst at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2016 where Mark had created a garden. Based in Sheffield however Mark is not of horticulture but more of steel and whilst the garden was daring (as it should be in the fresh category) it was also extremely beautiful.
The question however is always how does a man who works with steel get to the worlds most prestigious show and more how did his creation manage to catch my eye. Higher than highly recommended it was an absolute honour to sit by his side, to chat and re-tell in audio his story.