Meet fixing hero Peter Donegan
Peter Donegan is not your average run-of-the-mill garden designer. He’s an award-laden all-round green-fingered genius whose big personality and passion for creating beautiful outdoor spaces, make him one in a million. He’s also a huge fan of Sugru Mouldable Glue.
Peter’s love of gardening began at the tender age of five when he experienced the joyous miracle of planting a packet of radish seeds with his grandfather. From that moment on, he started growing plants under his bed.
He soon progressed to earning extra pocket money cutting grass to fund his Mars Bar habit and a stash of football stickers (he’s an Arsenal fan).
By the time Peter reached nine years of age, he’d completed his first garden, claiming that “growing plants just makes me smile the most.”
At the time, Peter didn’t have a bean to his name, so he borrowed tools for his first project and his car doubled-up as his first business premises – trading out of the boot! From such humble beginnings, he forged an incredible award-winning career.
Peter’s first award was for designing and building a 55-acre 18th century estate and a 27-acre 17th century estate. Many more garden designs and national competitions followed.
There was the Morris Minor garden with a flat screen television strategically planted under the car’s bonnet.
Next, a 33-foot pleasure-cruise boat painted bright pink with black windows. This creation ended up at the Electric Picnic arts and music festival opposite the main stage as part of the arts trail where The Sex Pistols were headlining.
In 2018, Peter was one of 14 international designers chosen by a French jury to represent Ireland to design and realise the Irish WW1 centenary peace garden at Chateau de Peronne (better known as the Historial de la Grande Guerre) in France.
Peter became the first Irish designer accepted to design at The Royal Horticultural Society, RHS Flower Show Cardiff winning Silver Medal for The Perennial Show Garden in April of 2019.
We were so thrilled when Peter invited us to visit him at his home near Hollywood, County Dublin (not California). Set in an acre of farmland in Ballyboughal, and almost two miles away from the nearest pub, it’s an idyllic place to imagine and experiment with new ideas.
Here Peter shares his top 5 ways to use Sugru in the garden.
1. Create a wall garden on the side of your shed
When space is limited, this simple project will help you to up the garden ante. Peter used the side of his shed, but you can use a wall or fence just as well. Sugru will bond to all kinds of outdoor surfaces and is completely weatherproof.
All you need are plant pots, a drill or something to make a hole in them, some plants, and a bit of Sugru obvs.
Make holes in your pots.
Apply Sugru to the holes.
Position the pots onto your vertical surface.
Leave to set for 12-24 hours*, then get potting. Peter has used parsley and chives, but other herbs, strawberry plants, even cacti or succulents would work too.
*Sugru sets to 1.5mm in 12 hours, 3mm in 24 hours and thicker applications may take longer. For load-bearing projects, or if Sugru's exposure to air is limited when squished between surfaces, allow up to 48 hours for it to fully set. Colder temperatures slow down the setting times.
2. Repair a fertiliser barrow using Sugru as a waterproof sealant
Due to its waterproofing properties, Sugru is brilliant for patching up leaky things like buckets, water butts or fertiliser barrows.
Sugru comes in 10 colours, including natural colours – perfect for any garden project.
Apply Sugru to the leaky culprit and leave to set.
Once set, you’ll have a totally sealed garden appliance. Job done.
3. Mount a birdhouse almost anywhere
Birds are an integral part of the planet’s ecosystem. With the help of Sugru, which sticks permanently to lots of stuff like wood, metal, glass and brick, we can easily do a little towards helping our feathered friends.
And it will hold up to 2kg in weight – more than enough for a bird’s dinner.
Once the Sugru has set, the bird bistro is open for bookings!
4. Make custom hooks in the shed
Every garden shed gets packed to the max with stuff. We’re all guilty of squeezing in just one more thing. So these Sugru hooks come in handy when you want to hang more, you know, stuff.
They’re especially useful for hanging up your outdoor gear. Think of it as a walk-in garden wardrobe.
5. Add custom grips to tools
No gardener’s tool kit is complete without a trusty pair of secateurs, or as Peter calls them, garden scissors.
But like all tools, the handles come in one size. Use Sugru to customise the handle of any tool to fit your hand. It’ll make it grippy and more comfortable to use. Now, you can get pruning.
Hey Peter, thanks so much for sharing your adventures in horticulture and top five Sugru garden projects with us. It’s been a blooming pleasure. 🌼