Gorey Guardian

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Mary's garden grows ...into a quirky movie


Mary Reynolds with her children Ruby and Ferdia.

Mary Reynolds with her children Ruby and Ferdia.

Mary Reynolds with her children Ruby and Ferdia.


A VISIONARY Wexford garden designer who found fame at the Chelsea Flower Show is to be the subject of a new film about her journey to make it big at the gardening world's Olympics.

Mary Reynolds, who won a Gold for her Celtic Sanctuary garden at Chelsea in 2002, is in the process of returning to her roots in Wexford to be closer to her family and her main source of work on the East Coast as a garden designer.

While looking for new commissions, Mary also hopes to design and create a garden in Wexford that will be open to the public.

The new film, 'Wild', tells the story of Mary, who puts everything on the line to compete at Chelsea.

'It's an Indie movie – a kind of romantic comedy based around that story,' Mary told this newspaper as she was packing to return to Wexford.

'Parts of it are fictionalised, but truth is stranger than fiction. It is a wonderful story and very funny,' said Mary, who took time out following her Chelsea success to bring up her children and 'try to be a good mum'.

'I had my children very soon after Chelsea. It is difficult to do both things. I did Super Garden and presented that programme for RTÉ, but kept everything else to a minimum,' she said.

Mary said she had been heavily involved in supervising the garden build for the movie and was very excited at the recent news that international rights to it were sold at Cannes ahead of next year's release.

Radiant Films International picked up the international rights to 'Wild', which marks Vivienne DeCourcy's feature film directorial debut.

The movie stars Ella Greenwell and Tom Hughes, who plays the part of Christy, an idealist envionmentalist who Mary recruits to help her compete at Chelsea.

Mimi Steinbauer, CEO of Radiant Films, calls DeCourcy's script 'fun and quirky' and 'a great antidote to today's toils and troubles'.

Mary said she met Vivienne DeCourcy, an Irish-American lawyer, when she designed a garden for her.

'She asked if she could use my story for a screenplay. It has taken about nine years to get this far,' said Mary, who hails from Larkinstown.

Her parents Shea and Teresa and sister Maread live on Forth Mountain close to Wexford and almost within walking distance of her rental home in Ballindinas, Barntown, following her move home from the Gaeltacht

Mary went to school at Piercestown National School and the Presentation in Wexford.

'I want to be nearer to my family and it's just mad living in West Cork when most of my work as a garden designer is on the East Coast. It's too much time on the road,' said Mary, who has two children, Ferdia, aged nine, and Ruby, 'nearly seven'.

'And it's gojng to be nice to be near everybody'.

'Wild' is funded by Green Earth, the Irish Film Board, RTÉ and the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, and will shoot in Ireland and Ethiopia over the coming months.

Mary, the first Irish winner of a Chelsea Flower Show Gold Medal for garden design, started her own landscape design company – maryreynoldsdesigns.com – in 1997.

Following her Chelsea victory in 2002, the British Government commissioned Mary to design a garden for the world-famous Botanical Gardens at Kew in London.

She has also done makeovers for the BBC and RTÉ and has been featured by CNN in a programme about designers with a spiritual dimension.