A Cork landscape designer has created a “sustainable dairy farm garden” as his first Bloom festival creation.
Designer Sean Russell teamed up with the National Dairy Council to showcase that while technology has changed over the past few hundred years, the end product of the milk is still the same.
Mr Russell said he was determined for the garden to have an old farmyard feel and that everything in the garden came from a sustainable source.
“The brief was to promote and highlight the high-quality milk that is produced in Ireland through grass-fed cows,” he told the Irish Independent.
“What we produced in Ireland 400 to 500 years ago, the end product is the same as what we produce today.
“So my garden shows that we came from an old-school farm but the product is still being made the same to this day. The methods are the same but the technology is different.”
The garden designer said it was also important to him to highlight the different wildflowers that grow in the Irish countryside.
“It’s also a biodiversity garden, it’s full of wildflowers and native trees and it’s sustainable as all the materials are sourced in Ireland and all the plants are sourced in Ireland and grown wild in Ireland, and the windows came from my own farmhouse in Youghal,” he said.
There are three different types of show gardens at the festival – small, medium, and large. Mr Russell’s garden is a medium plot, which is 10m x 10m, and all medium gardens were given four weeks to construct.
“It’s a small enough space but you need to fit it all in and design it to make it an enjoyable space while also functional and usable and you want to make it look like a farmyard garden that has been there for hundreds of years,” he said.
When in the garden, it feels like the inside of a white-washed cottage, he said.
Other elements include a stream that trickles down through the garden and a red gate typically seen in rural Ireland.
It is the first time Mr Russell has designed a garden for the coveted festival, and he said he is very happy with his creation.
“It’s my first time having a garden in Bloom, I’ve never done a show garden in a show before,” he said.
“It’s going good, I’ve won awards for my gardens through the Association of Landscape Contractors of Ireland so winning a few of those residential awards has given me a bit of confidence to enter this show.
“It’s the pinnacle of design and gardening in Ireland so you couldn’t get any higher accolade in Ireland.
“I am happy with the progress and I am happy with the way it’s turning out, definitely a good attempt for my first.”
The Irish Independent is a media partner of Bloom, which kicks off this Friday, June 4, in the Phoenix Park.