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Thursday 17 August 2017

Rex Factor - sniffer trails and outdoor shower create canine heaven at Bloom

Brian Burke at Dogs Trust in Finglas. Brian has developed a dog-friendly garden. Photo: Fran Veale
Brian Burke at Dogs Trust in Finglas. Brian has developed a dog-friendly garden. Photo: Fran Veale
Kirsty Blake Knox

Kirsty Blake Knox

Dogs and well-manicured gardens don't tend to mix.

There's the digging, the chewing, the sniffing and, well, I'll let you fill in the blanks...

But creating a canine-friendly garden with the 'Rex Factor' is more than achievable, according to award-winning designer Brian Burke.

The designer is creating one of the show gardens to feature at this year's Bloom Festival in association with Independent News & Media (INM).

His garden 'On Cloud CaNine' will be filled with 'adventure features' to keep dogs distracted.

Sniffer paths, tunnels and designated digging areas will keep both dogs - and children - entertained.

Tara McCarthy, Bord Bia CEO, and Fiona Muldoon, CEO of FBD Insurance – an official partner of Bloom – give it welly at the launch of the festival. Photo: Colm Mahady
Tara McCarthy, Bord Bia CEO, and Fiona Muldoon, CEO of FBD Insurance – an official partner of Bloom – give it welly at the launch of the festival. Photo: Colm Mahady

"We also have an area of rough grass called the sacrificial area, which is sealed off from kids," Mr Burke explained. "That's were dogs can go to do their business."

The garden, which has been created with Dogs Trust Ireland, also has an outdoor shower so pups' paws can be cleaned before they re-enter the house. Best of all, the garden will be filled with puppies and dogs throughout the Bloom by Bord Bia festival, which runs in the Phoenix Park from June 1-5.

"This is not an exclusive space for dogs; it's a dynamic and fun space that all the family can enjoy," Mr Burke said. On Cloud CaNine is one of 22 show gardens on display. There will also be a 'Despicable Me 3' themed garden complete with lots of Minions.

Some 115,000 people attended the 10th anniversary Bloom event last year. It is increasingly popular with women, with almost 80pc of the attendance being female.

Meanwhile, research carried out by Bord Bia discovered that vegetable patches have replaced water features, patios and decking as the most popular planned garden feature.

About 340,000 adults (19pc of gardeners) in Ireland grow vegetables regularly at home.

The research also found that 52pc of gardeners said supporting wildlife and birds was an important reason for them to continue gardening.

The number of people composting and rainwater harvesting has also increased.

Irish Independent

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