Episode 3 - Dunboyne
The Designer: Andy Booth
The Garden Owners:Sharon and Martin Kelly, and their 12 year old son, Jordan.
What the garden owner needs:
Sharon and Martin Kelly want their garden to be a tranquil space, while reflecting Sharon's roots in Connemara. Jordan's confirmation will be held at home, and they'd like the garden to be transformed by then. They'd like a space to relax, with a sense of privacy in their overlooked garden, and perhaps get involved with growing fruit and veg.
Andy wants to achieve a lot in this garden. He hopes to use native Irish plants, to provide a space for Jordan to work with his tools, and to create a living larder with its own sustainable water supply. Keeping to the sustainable theme, Andy will also include a chicken run with a couple of chickens.
Andy has also designed an Aussie-style barbecue shed to provide both shelter and privacy with a dining area complete with a wood-fired pizza oven. There will also be a hot tub, fired by a wood fire.
About Andy Booth:
Having arrived in Ireland 11 years ago from the sunnier climate of Australia, Andy now has a wife, two kids and an environmental business in his adopted home. Andy's passionate about sustainability and describes his own garden as being self-sufficient - incorporating fruit trees and bushes, ponds, chicken houses, raised beds and some forestry. With previous experience as a park ranger, Andy's knowledge of the different facets of land and coastal conservation is extensive. Andy's challenge is to combine his environmental and design skills to create a garden that is suitable for domestic use, and as a show garden.
The Garden Result:
Having spent time addressing drainage issues in the garden, Andy seems to have achieved everything he set out to. The living larder is particularly useful, taking up a very small space and using Growise Fruit & Vegetable Growing Bags to their best advantage. Connemara is strongly in evidence, with a dry stone wall, and planting including plenty of heathers and gorse. In terms of sustainability, the living larder has its own rainwater supply, and the manure and eggs provided by the chickens will be put to good use. The barbecue shed is an impressive feature, with Jordan's tool collection on prominent display. Andy has even made the set of chairs that the family will be able to sit on while enjoying their homemade pizza with salads from their vegetable garden.
What did the judges think?
The judges seemed impressed with Andy's use of a small space to provide a sizeable vegetable garden. There were questions raised over the lack of variety in the planting, with concerns that most families would prefer more modern plants. The lack of a lid or cover for the hot tub was a sticking point too. Has Andy done enough to take his place at Bloom? We'll have to wait and see!