Enable Ireland’s award-winning garden from the Bord Bia Bloom festival is to be recreated at Arklow’s Rathmore House Respite Centre.
As part of the June bank holiday weekend gardening extravaganza in the Phoenix Park, Enable Ireland, supported by the Applegreen Charitable Fund, showcased a respite garden designed by Wicklow based designer Robert Moore.
The theme of the garden, which won a silver medal, was respite, the journey into adulthood and independence. It aimed to highlight Enable Ireland’s vital disability services and their mission to maximise independence, choice and inclusion for the 13,000 children and adults with disabilities using their services across Ireland.
Planting in the garden was inspired by the rural setting of Rathmore House, where Mr Moor spent time speaking with the respite centre’s operators to understand the needs of those availing of their services.
Now that Bloom is over, the garden is moving to its permanent home at Rathmore House.
According to Gillian Murphy, Enable Ireland’s Communications and Marketing Manager, the garden will be enjoyed for years to come by adults and young people availing of respite breaks there.
‘All of the features and design elements included in the garden reflect the wishes of the Rathmore House service owners.’
‘For example, it’s a fully accessible garden with wheelchair accessible meandering paths. It includes a new pod with a sensory room which can be used for 1:1 quiet time and it features a raised platform which serves as a social area for get-togethers.’
‘It gives families a much needed planned respite break whether that is for a weekend or a few hours. For children with disabilities, respite breaks are often their first taste of independence. For adults, they are a chance to try out new activities and socialise with friends.’
‘We have made a number of improvements to the front and back gardens at Rathmore House over the last year, including the addition of a patio area at the front, which was kindly sponsored by Applegreen Charitable Fund.’
‘At the back we have added a polytunnel with raised beds for growing fruit and veg and a hen coop with five hens providing fresh eggs for breakfast every day! Our hens will shortly be joined by two baby lion-head rabbits.’
‘The Bloom garden will be a very welcome addition to our outdoor areas at Rathmore House. We are very grateful to Robert Moore and the Applegreen Charitable Fund for their support with the project.’