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Show Gardens



'The Shared Spaces Family Garden' Bord bia 2022 Large feature garden category unjudged



Originally designed for Bord Bia’s Easy steps to dream gardens this garden was created for a family with teenagers or young adults but aims to show how a small suburban sized garden can cater to all members of a family throughout a lifetime. The design is simple, with three distinct spaces that are multi purpose to be used in different ways as a family grows. Seating areas are separated to allow each some privacy, with an area in between for growing food.


Three simple methods to promote and support wildlife are illustrated in the garden; Water saving, composting and growing food. Plants are chosen for all year flowering to provide food for pollinating insects.









Gold Medal ‘DLR An Exercise in Sustainability’ Large garden category 2018


Designed by Nicola Haines and Ruairí Ó Dulaing of DLR Parks, Foreman Neill Molloy DLR. This garden highlighted the challenge for parks to balance protection of the environment with a human need for outside space. Fernhill was recently acquired by DLRCC and provides much-needed parkland for the local community. The park includes a unique collection of spring flowering ericaceous plants and is teeming with wildlife. DLRCC has a rigorous sustainability plan for the garden which keeps areas protected from disturbance, while offering alternative spaces for visitors to engage with this special place. The show garden was an interpretation of the sustainability aims for Fernhill.



A reclaimed birch-clad wall created a divide between protected and active parts of the garden. Breaks in the wall encouraged glimpses into the protected landscape. The wall broke down to reveal a woodland playground, half in, half out of the protected environment and a community garden, complete with wheelchair accessible raised bed.













Gold Medal and ‘Best in Category’ ‘UCD Evolution of Land Plants garden’ Large garden category 2016

Designed by Nicola Haines and Dr. Caroline Elliott-Kingston UCD, Concept Dr. Paul Mc Cabe UCD

The UCD garden allowed visitors to walk with plants through half a billion years of plant evolutionary history. The show garden told the story of plants moving from water onto land, making land suitable for animals which followed later. The garden was divided into five sections, beginning with ‘Before Land Plants’,followed by four key innovations in land plant evolution; development of plant cuticle, vascular system, seed and flower.




Following Bloom, the garden was reconstructed as a permanent outdoor classroom in the grounds of UCD, where it is used to teach plant evolution and the diversity of plant life on Earth. (see Educational gardens)