CLOUD nine has a silver lining for a Laois garden designer who was runner-up in the overall ‘Show Garden’ competition at Bloom.
A delighted Brian Burke from Ballycarroll, Portarlington was presented with the silver medal at the 12th annual Bloom festival over the bank holiday weekend.
The award followed two days of adjudication at the huge festival in Phoenix Park, where Brian’s intriguing entry ‘Moving Statues to Marriage Equality’ wowed amateur and professional gardeners alike.
A DIY expert judge on RTÉ’s Super Garden, Brian said his design conveyed the passage of time, documenting Ireland’s dramatic social and cultural journey over the past 30 years. A photographic backdrop in his garden chronicled key national milestones, while a 20m steel rill abutting the backdrop symbolised “the natural unfolding of a newly-assertive society”. Each zone in the garden contained a commissioned piece of ceramic sculpture.
Brian’s garden depicted a past based on religious fervour, a present based on progressive secularism and a future featuring the ever-present threat of climate change. The planting of each zone reflected the trends and tastes of the period in question as well as a projection of the future.
A landscape contractor and garden designer based in Ballycarroll, where he lives with his wife Julia and their five children, Brian has won a series of top awards over the past few years. In 2015, he won the RTÉ Super Garden competition and a silver-gilt medal at Bloom. The following year, he designed and built Goal’s ‘Damascus Courtyard – War and Peace’ garden, which was rebuilt at the Syrian Refugee Reception Centre in Co Kildare.
Last year, he designed and built ‘On Cloud CaNine’ for dog welfare charity Dogs Trust. A graduate of Trinity College Dublin, he has worked for more than 20 years in construction and landscaping in Ireland, Britain and the USA.
A total of 113 awards were presented to show garden and postcard garden designers, plant nurseries and floral artists from all over the country at the Bloom festival.