Sunday, February 7, 2010

Honest Scrap

So this is a most unusual post for me it is a challenge or a passing of the gauntlet from Rebecca Sweet who is an amazing garden blogger in California with her Gossip in The Garden blog site. Rebecca has put some interesting facts about herself in this blog piece and thats the general idea so when you
get to number 2 on my piece I will wake you up by conveniently giving you a link to Rebeccas blog piece.

Nothing outstanding or startling included in the following just simple frivilous facts.

Here goes.....

1. Ok this is going to be a big admission, I was never interested in nursery production when I went to Horticulture college. Whats more I couldnt see the point in producing ornamental plants when it was so obvious they cant be eaten and people will always need fruit and vegetables. That was the logic of an 18yr old. This didnt change during my hort studies and ahemmm it was my worst subject even though I won two student of year awards for Fruit and Vegetable production and did my main project on the storage of Onions and the growing of Japanese onions :) .

2. When I was about 11 I tried to get a stand in role in the movie Barry Lyndon as it was being shot nearby they rejected me :( but my sister got a part in the crowd. My movie career cut off so young. rejection was so painful. SO you never hear of the movie Barry Lyndon starring Ryan O Neal? Aha well now you know why!

3. Before going to hort college I went to school at St Kierans College where in first year class I sat behind Ralph Fiennes the actor I cannot say anything remarkable other than he did use the term piss off Fitz more than once or twice as for some reason he didn't like being poked in the back during class. odd thing about some people. Ralph left St Kierans after one year hmmm now I hadnt thought about that and why he may have left :). He just didnt come back, whaaaattt I didnt poke him that hard. He wasn't the Dali Lama though so here is where you can go to
4. After college I worked on a vegetable farm for a year then a hop farm for a year before finally spending 6 years working with and managing a Horticultural Workshop for people with special needs and this was my first entry into nursery production. My friend Patrick Murphy began the workshop / nursery and I took over from him when he left to be a landscape designer in USA and now operates a successful Landscape business in New Jersey. Pat actually picked up an application form I was after getting from the American Embassy as I was considering going to USA on an Agricultural working Visa. I managed the workshop and nursery until 1990 when I left to set up FitzGerald Nurseries and it was the most fulfilling work I can imagine we had about 35 trainees all with varying forms of special needs and all very special people. There were too many funny, interesting and good times to recount from Special Olympics outing to various other events with the lads.

5. This one I probably will be sorry for bringing out but its fact. As you know Carex is a big thing for the nursery and we have our own varieties now all coming from my work on Carex Evergold. In 1989 having bought me beautiful Omega watch (yes which I still have) for my birthday NoirĂ­n my then girlfriend now my wife asked me what I would like for my 26th birthday. So this guy who didn't study nursery production too well at school but now working in it and had decided that year to set up my own nursery. So I said ummm how about buying me some Carex Evergold plants so I could start producing some. I thought it was a pretty simple and very attractive evergreen so I couldn't go wrong. So Noirin bought them for me :).

6. FitzGerald Nurseries produced over 500,000 Carex oshimensis Evergold last year has introduced 3 other varieties from using mutated selections of Carex Evergold. In 2010 we expect to sell close to 1,000,000 Carex oshimensis in 4 varieties all coming from plants received as a birthday present back in 1989.

7. No matter how I try I can never remember the jokes properly I love listening to them but when I go repeat them they re gone. Very annoying.

8. During by first year at college while making my first cold frame I cut my knee badly with a chain saw, that same summer I was passenger in a serious car accident and missed a summer job in Netherlands. I am a terrible carpenter and totally useless at DIY jobs so dont ask me to fix your shelves!
9. When I worked for people with special needs I sometimes used to just blend in with them when people from outside wandered into the nursery. I would let them assume I was one of the lads so they wouldn't ask stupid questions about plants which took up our time from what we were really meant to be doing. OK there I have admitted it :) .

10. These are two among my favourite songs, my favourite group is Meatloaf this is another one of my favourite songs corny as it may be My favourite month is September and colour blue.


  1. Wow, Patrick! This is why I LOVE these types of posts - it really lets you get to know the man behind the Tweet! And I must say I am SO jealous you sat behind Ralph...I would've gladly traded shaking his hand with the Dalai Lamas. That Carex story could NOT be more romantic, either...I'll never look at them the same - what a wonderful gift....and you know what - I can't remember jokes, either (It must be that same gene deficiency as the freesias and the words to songs..)

  2. Patrick
    Great post! If I ever meet you, remind me to tell the joke about the guy who couldn't tell jokes. Also, I'm also a Meatloaf fan.
    Have you ever seen the movie 'What about Bob?'? There's a reference in there about 2 kinds of people those that like Neil Diamond and those that don't. I'm surprised you're not on Bob's side...
    One more thing: How do you get 'Student of the year' in your worst subject? In my worst subjects, I was lucky just pass the course! No one was busy putting any awards together for me - except perhaps the resident alcoholic - but only because he likes drinking buddies...
    I really enjoy your way with words.. Keep up the great work! - Tom

  3. All my sons make fun of me because I never remember how a joke goes either! And I am forever grateful to you for your work with carex evergold. I use HUNDREDS of them every year for our winter container plantings. Great post!

  4. One of my favorite plants is Carex 'Evergold'. I like the pairing of Evergold with a Hydrangea. Great winter interest!


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