DIRT with Diarmuid Gavin and Paul Smyth
About DIRT with Diarmuid Gavin and Paul Smyth
Diarmuid and Paul predict what the gardens of the future will look like. It's likely fewer people will own cars so perhaps driveways will be reclaimed as green spaces. Will VR and the metaverse mean we can travel back in time to see the likes of Hadrian's gardens at Tivoli? Diarmuid also tells the story of his balcony bath. Yes, he actually is bathing outside even though it's winter. And as a follow up to last week's episode, we hear how Diarmuid interpreted the story of Mary Eleanor Bowes in garden form. This is the series finale of DIRT. We'll be back next month for a Christmas special with more episodes in the New Year.
Diarmuid and Paul are urging you not to be overzealous with your raking of leaves. If you want to get rid of them from outside your home you can collect them in a refuse sack, punch holes in the bag, leave it for a year and you'll have brilliant compost for potting plants. Diarmuid tells the amazing tale of Mary Eleanor Bowes who was the original (unintended) feminist hero and who's story he has interpreted for a National Trust garden in England.
Diarmuid and Paul help Go Loud tech guru, Paul Bonass, with a very BIG plant problem. His partner, Luke, won a massive philodendron and it's taking over their apartment. Diarmuid is upset with his podcast hero, Joanne McNally, for saying Dermots can never be sexual. The lads talk about their favourite ever gardening books. Might be of use if you're doing your Christmas shopping soon!
Diarmuid has failed to get out of doing a landscaping job for his scary agent. So he's bringing Paul over to London to help him. The lads are also discussing the move to a peat-free garden industry. "Our bogs are our rainforests" and we need to do what we can to save what's left of them. As consumers we can opt for peat free products wherever we can, while the industry can use alternative compost made out of things like coconut husks.
Do you want a riot of autumn colour in your own garden? Diarmuid and Paul explain which trees, plants and shrubs will produce the most glorious displays of gold, orange, red and rust. You can shop for them right now and plant them without even having to wait until next year for the results. The lads also recommend the best places in Ireland to go 'leaf peeping' i.e. the best displays of autumn colour.
If you want the garden of your dreams next summer - now is the time to (quite literally) lay the groundwork. Diarmuid and Paul chat through making a plan, how to edit and what to plant. Diarmuid tells the story of his garden and what ambitions he has for it next year. Even if you don't want to plumb an outdoor bath like he does, you can still take a leaf out of his book. Paul tells the story of how his garden went from side-hobby to horticultural splendour. The lads talk about what patio trends will still be big in summer 2022. Decking hasn't gone away, you know!
Paul is away so Aideen lands a surprise interview on Diarmuid. And so follows a big chat about his upbringing, his influences, his drive to create and the pivotal moment that changed everything. There’s despair, fame, partying, burnout, fatherhood, a crossroads… But it’s not all deep and meaningful; there’s the garden that was inspired by taking a slash in a Dublin nightclub.
This episode is all about the real cost of fruit and veg and why we should be consuming more locally grown food.Diarmuid and Paul visit the Cork Rooftop Farm. Literally, a fully functioning farm growing vegetables, with hens and bees and everything! And all located on a roof in the middle of Cork city. This is a fascinating look at how you can grow almost anything anywhere, and how food production doesn't have to hurt the landscape or environment. That, and Diarmuid reminisces about his time on Strictly Come Dancing. Y'know. That whole dancing/gardening connection....
The lads head to Cork which prompts a discussion about gardening on challenging, sloping terrains. They also take a look at the controversial 'Robo-trees' installed on Grand Parade. Conclusion? Just plant real ones! Diarmuid is bingeing on every franchise there is of The Real Housewives, to alleviate the stress of organising Garden Fest. Paul's fine!
Diarmuid and Paul answer their most frequently asked question - 'how to prune hydrangeas.' In this episode they're also looking at how gardening can be seriously political. From Melania Trump's overhaul of the Kennedy's rose garden to farmers planting up the Champs Élysée. And did you know that bamboo comes with its own in-built countdown clock to its demise?
This is the big wildflower spesh! Diarmuid and Paul always get a huge reaction when they post photos of wildflower meadows on Instagram and there's a big move towards this type of gardening. They'll tell you how to choose the right seed mix, where to sow it, how you should go about doing it and at what time of year. Do you think summer begins in May or June? Well it turns out, it doesn't matter because you shouldn't be gardening according to the calendar.
This is the big houseplants spesh! Diarmuid and Paul have chosen some great entry level plants, as well as some slightly challenging ones for the more experienced plant mom/dad. Many of them are almost indestructible, so if you're prone to killing your plants, these are the species for you. Chances are you are over-watering, so there's advice on how to care for them. There are also tips on how to choose the right spot in your home and how to cut through the marketing jargon. Plants featured: Aspidistra (cast-iron plant), spider plant, Aloe vera, Schefflera (umbrella plant), Aglaonema (Chinese evergreen), Alocasia (Yucatan Princess), Tillandsia (airplants) and a Phlaenopsis orchid.
Diarmuid's been commissioned to create a massive garden for a Moroccan aircraft lessor outside Marrakech. 500 people have been invited to a party in the garden next year. The lads reveal their gardening pet peeves. Paul helps Diarmuid with a parenting conundrum. Oh and by the way, we've all been pronouncing fuschia wrong. It should be 'fucksia' not 'few-sha'.
The lads discuss the controversial topic of rewilding. They're urging you to look for less perfection in your gardens; ditch the pesticides and let the weeds grow. There are also tips to create habitats for bugs and hedgehogs. Diarmuid talks about the garden that most influenced him growing up. Mrs Pegman's gnome extravaganza on Dublin's Ballyboden Road was (in)famous for its eccentric and exuberant design. There's also a 'cardening' update: Paul's cactus garden croaked it.
Diarmuid and Paul discuss urban greening and balcony gardening. The low-brow bit involves pondering whether plants poo but then there's the bit outside Trinity College, so swings and roundabouts! There's an essential rundown of what you need to create a green space on your terrace. The lads meet Keelin Egan who ran a wine bar until Covid hit. She pivoted into gardening and has designed the outdoor dining spaces on Merrion Row in Dublin.
Diarmuid and Paul are having a gardening festival and you're all invited. The lads run through their best gardening hacks as voted by their online community, The Riff Raff. They explain deadheading, rose pruning and how to take a cutting. (Paul likes to add a Beyonce mic drop flourish.) We drop in on one of their nightly Garden Conversations on Instagram Live, but it all gets a bit awkward when Paul judges Diarmuid's weeds. His attitude? Let 'em grow, let 'em grow, let 'em grow.
Diarmuid and Paul visit a jungle garden in Co. Kerry. They speak to Peta O'Connor who turned a craggy outcrop of land, beside the sea in Ballinskelligs, into a tropical oasis. The lads have advice for anyone trying to garden in an exposed location. Paul won't get in the sea.
Is the gardening world racist? Diarmuid and Paul believe there's a lack of diversity in horticulture, and a root and branch change is needed. Producer Aideen's pursuit of a tree is usurped by garden centre shortages. The lads answer your questions; including how to make your own nettle fertiliser. Paul recounts his amazing plant hunting expeditions in Vietnam.
Diarmuid and Paul select their Top Ten Trees for Small to Medium-Sized Gardens and get Producer Aideen to choose one in a penalty shootout-style competition. The lads have a go at ‘cardening’, which is gardening in a car. Diarmuid incurs the wrath and indignation of Daily Mail readers after suggesting everyone stops mowing their lawns… and as usual, the lads are answering your gardening questions.