Nourishment in a Garden (part 1)

Nourishment in a Garden (part 1)

Myself (Rohanna) and my husband (Mike) are really excited to become involved in this years Garden Show Ireland by producing a feature garden for the show. We both have a background in horticulture with experience in designing, working in public gardens, creating horticultural displays, and have even worked on ‘build-up’ at the infamous Chelsea Flower Show. We have different strengths but share a love of nature and cultural history and aim to express this in our design.


Rohanna working on ‘build-up’ at Chelsea Flower Show 2013 with designer Christopher BradleyHole, who won a Gold Medal for his design for The Daily Telegraph

Serendipitously, whilst brainstorming for our design we came across a very old Brigid Cross, a handwoven symbol, widely attributed to early Celtic religions. In pagan religion Brigid was the celebrated goddess of early spring, arts and crafts, blacksmithing, poetry, cattle and livestock and sacred wells (almost everything then!). At its simplest form a Brigid’s Cross consists of four arms which meet at a central point creating an even armed cross shape. Interestingly the even sided cross is found in ancient cultures throughout the world where it signifies the seasons, four directions, balance, good fortune and abundance. Without giving too much away this symbolism forms the backbone of our design.

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Mike walking in the South Downs of England, a great swathe of ramsons made us pause.

Meanwhile the planting throughout will celebrate the year of food and drink with a theme of holistic nourishment. Asides from the obvious interpretation of using edible plants (nourishing the body) we will also explore the idea of nourishment for the ecosystem, and also for the spirit/mind. Creating a garden offers great opportunity not only for the designer to express their ideas through symbolism and analogy but also for the viewer to explore their own interpretations. We hope to create a playful space which enables people to interact with it but also offers food for thought.


Inspiration can be found anywhere sometimes at your feet!

During the lead up to the Show I am going to be writing a series of short articles about the design and the plants we are using, the next one is about willow which you can read here.

Read Part 3 The Making of a Meadow

Read Part 4 Beginning to Build

Don’t miss out on seeing the finished garden!

Book your tickets here to avail of a special online saving.

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