Gardens become the Stars of The Show

With RHS Chelsea almost upon us and Bloom in the Park, over in our native Ireland,  happening the week after we are full on in the thick of Show Garden Season and we’ve been busy ensuring that all our garden collaborations run smoothly with the plants (and lots of other products ) are looking in the best possible condition when they leave here but also that our deliveries work with all the other stages of the garden builds.

So let me run through some of the things we have been doing and lots of what I’m looking forward to most. Lets start with RHS Chelsea as thats first and always such a event to behold.

The first thing I noticed is the amount of charities involved, its great don’t get me wrong but I would like to see more commercial companies and garden companies getting involved in the sponsorship of the talented designers and the masterpieces they create but hopefully that will come back.

Designer.  Ann-Marie Powell.
Sponsors Blue Diamond with The National Trust.
A colourful community garden for people and wildlife on an old brownfield site.

The Octavia Hill Garden by Ann-Marie Powell

I’ve loved Ann-Marie’s work for a long time, she has created some amazing Chelsea Gardens and I’m sure this one won’t disappoint.  Octavia Hill (1838–1912) was a founder of the National Trust, she believed that ‘the healthy gift of air and the joy of plants and flowers’ were vital in everyone’s life – here, here!

Conceptually located on an urban brownfield site, this beautiful, plant-filled urban community wildlife garden is designed to stimulate physical, mental, and social wellbeing. The garden increases urban-biodiversity and encourages visitors to feel they are part of nature by making intimate connections with plants and wildlife.

The garden is built as a series of open-air sitting rooms, where visitors can experience different views and atmospheres. Sloping level changes with wheelchair accessible paths, lead visitors to a planted shade canopy, observation platform, wildlife pond or walking stream, providing multiple opportunities to enjoy the garden wildlife, feasting on the pollinator-friendly planting.

The Plant list for this garden is extensive so I’ll put a bit of work into creating a concentrated list with links


I’m really intrigued to see the Muscular Dystrophy UK,  Forest Bathing Garden by Ula Maria, a Lithuanian designer, now practising design in London but with a hankering for gardens and planting from her time growing up in the countryside and has a love of Pines, my favourites.

Muscular Dystrophy UK – Forest Bathing Garden

The design of the garden is inspired by the ancient Japanese practice of Shinrin-yoku, which means bathing in the forest atmosphere and reconnecting with nature through our senses. The garden seeks to awaken imagination and innate connection to nature by bridging a gap between us and the natural world.

The planting is inspired by a birch grove, with more than 40 trees enveloping the garden and creating a forest-like atmosphere. The birch trees are under-planted with woodland edge style plants, varying from deep shade corners to more open, sunnier woodland glades. The majority of the plants have been selected for their foliage, creating a green tapestry, rich in texture, with an occasional burst of colour.

The Key Plant in this garden is Betula pendula and I will produce a full plant list over the next few days


Tom Stuart-Smith is an amazing Garden Designer but I’m intrigued by this garden design for the The National Garden Scheme Garden.  The garden has an ‘edge of woodland’ theme and appearance, laid out through an open hazel coppice with a collection of more drought tolerant woodland plants suited to the south east of the UK. A portion of the plants have been contributed by National Garden Scheme garden owners, symbolic of the tradition of sharing and generosity in the charity.

The garden centres on a carbon sink timber hut where visitors and garden volunteers can congregate for tea and cake, synonymous with a National Garden Scheme garden open day. The garden celebrates the National Garden Scheme’s nearly 100 years of opening private gardens to the public and raising funds for nursing and health charities.

The national Garden Scheme Garden by nTom Stuart Smith

Some of the key plants in Tom’s garden are Corylus avellana,  Carex, Epimedium, Iris and Astrantia.

To all of you are heading  to Chelsea in the coming week, please do ket me know your favourites, what inspired you and what you didn’t like and any of the products you loved, I’m always intrigued but also have a professional interest to ensure we are listening to you guys too, drop me a line on _________________________________________________________

Bloom in the Park

So we move on to Bloom and everything that is good about Irish design and there definitely is plenty to shout about, we do punch well above our weight internationally with lots of our designers building gardens throughout Europe and further afield too but also entering those renowned competitions too.

We are working with two Gardens this year and supplying large and small items for both gardens

Óir – The Zarbee’s Garden by Leonie Cornelius


The first one is a balcony garden but this designer always draws a crowd. Óir – The Zarbee’s Garden by Leonie Cornelius is a garden I’m looking forward to seeing when finished.

From the Irish for “golden”, Óir is a balcony garden that is inspired by the power of the wild and the precious liquid gold which is produced by bees in our gardens and which also features in Zarbee’s products.

The design promotes connection in an often disconnected world, offering space for connection with ourselves, with each other, and with nature in an urban context. It explores ideas on wellbeing, how planting can attract both glimmers of light and life to the smallest spaces, and how the tiniest things can bring the greatest joy.

The planting scheme draws on inspiration from the textures and tones of Mediterranean-style scented herbs and medicinals as well as native plants and includes the surprise pop of dandelion. It nurtures pollinating insects, offering a wide variety of pollinating flowers as well as a source of tree sap for bees from the mature pine specimen.

I’ll be featuring our full plant list for this garden, as all the plants are from our Nursery including the beautiful specimen Pine and featuring a small piece from Finn & Elder.


The Family Friendly Garden

The Family Friendly Garden – Easy Steps to Dream Gardens  by Maeve O’Neill

The design for this split-level garden features three distinct zones: a patio with a vibrant raised bed encased in weathered steel; a lawn with a solid wall where the children can play ball; and a relaxed seating area at the back of the garden. There you’ll see the green-roofed playhouse with a sandpit and a shed which can be used for an office or storage, or converted into a den when the children are older.  I’m not going to give too much away but you will see plenty of both Caragh Nurseries and Finn & Elder products that I know you’re keen to see how to style.  From pots to furniture pieces and the star of the show too.

Maeve is a landscape architect, sculptor, and former art teacher who served as a design fellow with University College Dublin’s Landscape Architecture Department from 2017-2020.  She is the founder of Realise Landscape Architects, an award-winning landscape design practice with an expertise in creating timeless contemporary landscapes with a considered approach to design and we are delighted to be working with her.


We will be Sponsoring the Garden Stage at Bord Bia Bloom and showcasing our Furniture and Kitchens from Finn & Elder with our Caragh Nurseries pots with plenty of styling tips .



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