Wednesday 19 June 2019

Inclusiveness is Leonie's garden aim

Leonie Cornelius selecting plants in preparation for Bloom 2019 in the Phoenix Park
Leonie Cornelius selecting plants in preparation for Bloom 2019 in the Phoenix Park

Local garden designer, Leonie Cornelius will feature at Bloom 2019 with a garden promoting accessibility for wheelchair users.

"It's incredible to have been chosen by the Irish wheelchair Association for Bloom 2019. Our garden will aim to highlight the powerful work this company does in promoting and supporting accessibility and inclusiveness," said Leonie, originally from Sligo (now living in Leitrim).

'The Great Outdoors' garden represents the journey from everyday life into the great outdoors and the idea that everyone should rightfully be able to immerse themselves in nature, gardens and the wild. It enables wheelchair users comfortable access, with ample room for navigation,

The garden, which features a cabin nestled in the wilderness, aims to create a simple accessible place of wild beauty for wheelchair users. It is inspired by the organisation's recent publication 'The Great Outdoors, A guide for Accessibility', which provides guidance on applying accessible design to open up natural beauty spots to all, including trails, parks, beaches and waterways.

From a build side, Sligo contractor Derek Shaw and his team have created a bespoke cedar structure which represents the subtle journey inside to the great outdoors.

"Attention to detail is so important in a show garden-garden-especially as it will be judged- and working with Derek has been phenomenal. I can't wait to show off the structure which is both inside and outside and see what people think," said Leonie.

Sligo Glass will be finishing off one section of the structure, the glazed sections will reflect the garden planting. The glass also offers us a reflection of ourselves and highlights the need for us all to take a good look at ourselves in how we take our everyday accessibility to the 'Great Outdoors' for granted.

Kilmurry nurseries, Colin Campbell and Kelly's Nursery will all provide plants and flowers by Boyle based grower Charlotte Moss and Sligo woman Ruth Monahan of Appassionata flowers give the garden some glamour, with many plants being grown especially for the garden.

"The plants for our garden were chosen to make people smile" Leonie says "We wanted to create a fun happy scheme representing a wild meadow scheme at the front of the more shady, fern filled mossy corner in the back. The trees form a canopy overhead and immerse the cabin in the 'Great outdoors'"

The Irish wheelchair Association garden 'The Great Outdoors' designed by Leonie Cornelius can be seen at bloom in the park over the June bank holiday weekend from 30th May - 3rd June at the Phoenix Park.

The celebrated horticulture, food and family festival, which attracted over 120,000 visitors last year, will feature 22 show gardens, 14 postcard gardens, over 100 Irish food and drink producers, 25 plant nurseries, 25 live cookery demonstrations with some of Ireland's best known chefs and some 100 retailers, all within a 70 acre site.

Western Plant Nurseries, from Skreen will also be featured at this year's event.

Sligo Champion