Planning for a seaside garden

Posted on: 10th February, 2014

Category: Home, Garden & Environment

Contributor: West Cork People

Many of us dream of a house with a sea view, whether it is a quaint cottage or a steel and glass designer pad. But the perfect oceanfront home can present a whole range of issues when it comes to designing your perfect garden. Holly Melton from Clonakilty Garden Centre advises on how to get it right.

There are many different factors you have to take in to account when planning your seaside garden. The main one is location. It is an entirely different thing to be designing a garden in Glengariff, with its wonderful micro-climate that allows you to grow all manner of exotic things, to planning one on top of the Galley Head! You will have to consider just how exposed you are — whether you are in a sheltered bay or feeling the full front of the prevailing southwesterly coming in off the Atlantic. Though the basic principles of design will remain the same; what you want the garden to be used for, its style and amount of maintenance involved? You need to answer those questions first, and then apply the results to fit into your gardens situation.

One of the most important elements of seaside gardening is working out how you will provide shelter. The hardest part of this is how to protect your garden without blocking those all-important sea views. If you have the space, the best thing to do is plant trees and hedging in several lines of defence. That way you can plant tougher but maybe less attractive screening closer to the sea, and that can shelter a more attractive screen closer to your house. This will take time to establish though. A windbreak will definitely help this grow faster, and allow you go get on with the rest of your garden sooner.

Then comes the tricky question of what to plant in your garden. Being closer to the shore means that on the whole you have fewer frosts in the winter, which gives you more options. I always advise people to take a good look around them to see what survives in your location. Perhaps you have inherited a garden. Take a look and see what thrives. Or if you are starting a garden from scratch, ask your neighbours what grows well for them. Scour people’s front gardens. Have a nose around in the hedge rows. If you find something you like and you don’t know what it is, take a photo to your local garden centre. They should be able to identify it, and show you other plants that grow in the same conditions.

Having a seaside garden is both a wonderful and scary thing, even for the most experienced gardeners. But with a bit of well thought out design and some clever planting it is not as daunting as it first appears. And you can create a thing of beauty that you can enjoy for years to come, literally on your own doorstep.

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Ballineen Foróige Young Engineers Exhibition 23 February 2018

The inaugural Ballineen Foróige Young Engineers Exhibition will take place in Gort Mhuire Hall in Ballineen this Friday 23rd February. As part of Engineers Week 2018, leaders and members of Ballineen Foróige Club have organised an exhibition which will showcase a diverse and exciting range of engineering projects that have been undertaken by members of the club over the last few weeks, with the aid of leaders and a number of local engineers.

With the aid of local pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly, along with the support of STEAM Education, a UCC based company focused on promoting science, technology, engineering, arts, and maths subjects in primary schools, Ballineen Foróige has been engaging members and leaders in all things engineering over the last six weeks. From researching, designing, and prototyping a project based on local problems, to participating in various workshops on coding and careers in engineering, Ballineen Foróige have been extremely busy in preparation for the exhibition this coming Friday night.

On the night itself, Michael Loftus, Head of Engineering at CIT, Fintan Goold, Manager at Eli Lilly and All-Ireland Cork winning Footballer, along with Geraldine Coughlan of GCA Architects & Designers, a local business, will act as judges on the night, evaluating the different engineering projects and offering some advice to the members of the club. Also in attendance will be the CEO of Foróige Seán Campbell, along with a number of local councillors, TD’s and Senators.

Leading the team of Ballineen Foróige leaders organising the event, is Rebecca Dwyer, a bioprocess engineer at Eli Lilly. Rebecca recently became a leader in the club and says that Ballineen Foróige Young Engineer Exhibition 2018 “promises to be a fun, challenging and rewarding experience for all involved and we look forward to welcoming parents, relatives, friends and members of the public to the exhibition and film screening on the evening of Friday 23rd February.” Overall, there are twelve projects entered in the exhibition. One project, led by Cian Kennefick and Charlie Nolan, members of the starting out club, examines the possibility of installing speed ramps on the road near local primary school. Fourteen-year-old Charlie says he got involved in the project as it was something to do and it gets you thinking. Cian says the most exciting part of the project was the building of the prototypes.

Both Cian and Charlie, along with thirty other members of the club will display their projects this coming Friday 23 February in Gort Mhuire Hall in Ballineen. Doors open at 8pm and the event runs until 10pm. All are welcome to attend, and admission is free. Catering, including tea and coffee, will be provided on the night.
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