Sunday 21 December 2014

Find a balance

Published 10/07/2008 | 15:23

For his entry into Super Garden, Sean was given a typical suburban garden in Shankill.

For his entry into Super Garden, Sean was given a typical suburban garden in Shankill, of approximately 12mx10m.

His brief was to put the seasons into a garden, to attract wildlife and birds for the owner. The garden was created for Anne Cannon and her two grown-up sons, Feidlim and Padraig. Anne is a volunteer worker in the local community.

Before Sean's visit, Anne had stopped using the garden, except for putting out bins. She wanted a nice space to sit or meditate in and dreamt of having a place to bring her friends around to. It was important that it would be a space where she could relax. Anne also hoped that the garden would be holistic, as she had studied colour therapy and reiki massage.

She was keen that the garden would reflect this side of her. The garden should be a healing place. Anne longed for a combination of wild flowers and old-fashioned plants and hoped that the garden would not just be alive during the day but also at night. Factors important to her were sounds and fragrances, and she felt it should have the addition of water. It was comforting to know that the garden would be a haven for wildlife.

Anne was keen to have a focal point in the garden and was worried that her shed was in a bad way. She was reluctant to lose it as she needed a storage space, so she asked Sean to see what he could do to improve it. Also, Anne had a special request — her late husband was a stonemason. Before he died, he brought home a large piece of granite which Anne has held on to. She was keen for Sean to incorporate this into the garden.

Sean found budgeting and looking for bargains the most difficult part of the process. He felt it interfered with his creativity, but he soon learned to haggle and make his €10,000 budget go a bit further. Sean was keen to use native Irish plants wherever he could, such as hawthorn and rowan, and he even planted a few nettles to act as food source for butterflies. Sean’s total spend was €9,916.13.

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