Wednesday 22 May 2019

Mallow native makes a stand for women with Bloom garden design

Landscape architect Cornelia Raftery's Bloom show garden design adopts the theme of gender inequality

Maria Herlihy

Landscape architect and designer Cornelia Raftery, from Mallow, will tell the story of gender inequality in the developing world with her 'No Limit's Garden for Women,' when she makes her debut at this year's Bloom festival.

Now based in Dublin, Cornelia has undertaken a number of design and build projects as well as landscape impact assessments, along with teaching design. Her work has taken her to numerous companies in Ireland, the UK, Australia and Canada. 

The 'No Limits' design by Cornelia, which is which is sponsored by the GOAL charity, has been created to celebrate the role of women in the developing world and highlight some of the challenges they continue to face. 

The design depicts a journey from the bleak to blossoming, which merges dry arid and lush tropical planting - all creatively assembled to represent some of the inequalities women endure and the efforts being made to improve their lives.  Bloom is a five-day event which returns to the Phoneix Park Dublin from May 31 until June 4.

It showcases the best of Ireland's horticulture and food industry and will feature 20 spectacular show gardens as well as endless garden and floral features. There will be more than 100 food producers and 25 live cookery demonstrations. 

Cork-based Shine - The Basement Resource Centre - is also represented at this year's Bloom with its postcard garden created in collaboration with the mental health charity See Change. 

Their 'Green Ribbon Garden' - a replica of the Green Ribbon Garden in Cork - symbolises the work being done to bring about positive change in public attitudes and behaviours towards people with mental health problems. It also celebrates the opportunity for people to come together to transform a once unused site into a beautiful green space for the whole community. 

The group hopes their design will open up conversations on mental health and challenge stigmas. 

The jewel in the crown of Bloom are the show gardens created by leading garden designers  - worth some €1 million which includes the plants, materials, sponsorship and labour costs. The magnificent works of horticultural art have become an engaging, colourful platform for many organisations to communicate strong health and charitable messages. 

Bord Bia CEO Tara McCarthy said: "This will be the 12th  year that Bord Bia has hosted Bloom in the Phoenix Park and we are incredibly proud of how the event has developed and evolved over the years.