Peter Donegan – Pocket Profile
Peter Donegan Garden Design is an international garden design, landscape architecture and project management practice based in Dublin, Ireland.
In 2001 aged 24, Peter Donegan Garden Design was borne and swiftly won a host of awards for 17th & 18th century gardens designed & Show Gardens installed at national competitions.
From 2019 – 2022 The RHS silver medalist became the series garden designer for the country’s most watched television show and RTÉ television’s DIY SOS The Big Build Ireland.
Selected to represent Ireland to design & realise the Irish WW1 Centenary Peace Garden at Château de Péronne in 2018, he returned and designed a second inaugurated garden there in 2022 to commemorate the anniversary of Europe’s largest war museum housed within the castle.
2023 will see Peter Donegan become the first Irish Landscape Architect invited and accepted to design at the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show March 2023 – the largest flower show in Southern Hemisphere.
What can you tell us about your garden at the Show?
The garden is ultimately a love story and a want to be on the mainland when from an island the heart wants to be nearer and from afar that story is retold in a contemporary way via a gardens design.
The main feature becomes one tree and a giant ray of sunshine bouncing off the waters reflection as you look from the opposite end whilst the ability to believe there is a way to get there makes matters of the heart and seeing that love entirely realistic, but only of a daydream.
What are you most excited to see at the show this year?
The show gardens aside and in equal measures I have a real soft spot for the achievable gardens category. The imagination, creativity and industry collaboration that is required to piece together the drawings of the futures garden designers and their interpretations is deserved of huge ovation. For those lucky enough to get to see them, they are always worthwhile and I am entirely in awe of those who strive to realise in these categories.
What is your favourite current industry trend?
I’ll take two on this if I may.
Wildflowering meadows appearing by far more beautiful always than not real grass certainly seems to be leading one evolutionary transition whilst the step away from Buxus semprevirens has been a most welcome trend. The Royal Horticultural Society’s flagship garden RHS Wisley has been leading the latter charge for sometime and has “allowed“ others like the Saracocca humilis (one of the most beautiful scents I have ever met) to take a little of the centre stage.
What sustainable practices have you seen highlighted in the industry at the moment?
There was an era of low to no (in some cases) maintenance requirements for some time requested by clients and that in our design office’s case statistically for the greater to have drastically changed, for the better, to a case where gardens now are more considerate of the world’s future. It doesn’t necessarily mean they have to look rugged but more there is an awareness through that design that it starts not just in our public spaces but also in our own back gardens.
Gleditsia Triacanthos Sunburst – I have never ever seen one, even on the darkest of days, and not felt warmer in my heart.
Pineapple on a pizza?
Pineapple on a pizza is internationally accepted as grounds for immediate divorce proceedings. In a nutshell, never ever.
Gardening Gloves or Bare Hands
Spring, just as the first buds appear on the Crataegus. Mesmerising always and the beginning of an entirely new chapter in life, again.
Foliage or Flora
The lead singers – those that flower, never ever look as good without the bridesmaids. A little of both in equal measures I think.