Over 20 gardens were created especially for this year’s Show, many with an edible theme, including the highly acclaimed Nourishment Garden created by design duo Michael and Rohanna Heyes who are owners of Flourish Garden Design, and Hydebank Wood College’s award winning ‘A blooming construction’ whose imaginative design impressed the judges.
Prison Arts Foundation’s Artist in Residence Anne Scullin initially got involved in the ‘Garden Show Ireland’ Project, when Governor Austin Treacy asked her to help out with the proposed entry for 2016. PAF were able to support the project through our Inspiring Change in the Community programme which is funded by the Arts Council NI. Although Anne said she was initially concerned that gardening was not her area of discipline, after talking with the Gardening Instructor at Hydebank, she felt the project would be both challenging and inspiring for the students, Hydebank staff and members of the public.
The theme and thinking behind the design of the garden was based on some of the workshops offered to students at Hydebank Wood College as part of their daily activities within the Learning & Skills Department. The workshops involved in the design and build of the garden included bricklaying, plumbing, joinery, recycling, painting and horticulture.
Anne Scullin, Artist in Residence said
“I wanted the garden to incorporate and highlight some of the methodologies and materials used within the workshop environment. After several meetings with the instructors, I drew up preliminary plans of the proposed ideas for the Garden Design. I had also wanted to bring a quirky element to the design. Each of the instructors offered advice and suggestions on limitations and restrictions within their areas, throughout the project. The Events Manager of Garden Show Ireland, Claire Faulkner, was extremely helpful and encouraging. Overall this project was a very rewarding experience and a great team effort.
Throughout the garden design there was a simple hard and soft theme flowing, which reflected on how basic materials from a builder’s yard can be married with everyday garden produce, including fruit and vegetables to create a working garden design. One of the focal points of the garden was the large chair which amalgamated elements from some of the workshops. By uniting these workshops the whole team produced a garden that shows creativity, innovation and resourcefulness.
It took three days to build and construct the garden; the set-up was initially a bit daunting as the team were surrounded by fellow entrants who had teams of professional designers and landscapers working on their gardens. As the garden grew they became more confident and felt they had created something completely different to the others. Indeed it was this uniqueness that caught the judge’s eye as they later informed them that it was very inspiring to see such a quirky garden design.
The team were delighted when they received both ‘Best in Show’ and a ‘Gold Award’ and were presented with a carved-wood inscribed sculpture by TV Professional Gardener, Monty Don. Many visitors to the Garden Show commented and praised the teams unique design and told them how inspired they were by the many different elements they had incorporated into their garden.”