PICTURES: Laois garden designer unveils ‘Moving Statues to Marriage Equality’ masterpiece at Bloom 2018

Brian is one of the top gardeners at the heart and soul of the five-day Bloom festival.

Express Reporter


Express Reporter

Laois man, Brian Burke has unveiled his garden ‘Moving Statues to Marriage Equality’ at his Bloom Garden 2018. 

Brian Burke, Woodie’s Garden and DIY expert judge on RTE’s Supergarden puts final touches to his Bloom Garden today, which is guaranteed to inspire and excite the thousands and thousands of visitors that will flock to the capital this bank holiday weekend for the biggest and most popular garden event in the country.

Brian is one of the top gardeners at the heart and soul of the five-day Bloom festival.

Through his garden design this year, Brian seeks to convey the passing of time, documenting the dramatic social and cultural journey of the past thirty years, from moving statues to marriage equality, whilst also reflecting at the same time, the journey the garden’s sponsor Woodie’s has undergone since opening its first store in Ireland thirty years ago.

In the garden, Brian ingeniously uses a backdrop where he mounts a series of photographs that represent our social and cultural thirty year journey.

The photographs are dramatic and portray the huge changes we have undergone since 1988, from the era of the religious fervour of moving statues to the passing of the marriage equality and the new era of liberalism, reinforcing the sense that the sponsor has also been part of this same journey.

The garden  includes a 20-metre-long raised steel rill adjoining the backdrop which symbolises,  a journey of continuity, fluidity and coherence despite certain difficulties  - natural unfolding of a newly assertive society.

Each zone features a commissioned piece of ceramic sculpture to suggest the prevailing values of the period – the past will refer to religious fervour, the present to progressive secularism and the future to the omnipresent threat posed by climate change.

The planting in each zone reflects the trends and tastes of each period, the progression from ‘then’ to ‘now’, as well as a projection of the future. Each zone has a centrepiece tree synonymous with its era with period appropriate shrub and herbaceous planting. And needless to say all materials used in the garden are sustainable, eco-friendly and re-useable.

So if you have been inspired by Brian’s master creation Woodie’s has the answer. If your garden is in need of a summer spruce up, a team of horticulturists will be on hand for planting advice (free of charge). And even better there will be a Woodie’s pop up shop selling a cross section of popular products, bedding plants and summer garden products, from garden furniture to lawnmowers! 

Brian Burke is a landscape contractor and award-winning garden designer based in Killenard, Co Laois. He attained his B.Sc. Hons. (Surveying) from Trinity College Dublin in 1994 and has over twenty years’ experience in the construction and landscaping business in Ireland, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Brian was the winner of RTE Super Garden, a national garden design competition, in 2015 and won the Silver-Gilt Medal for his garden 'Non Forsit' at Bloom in the Park 2015.

At Bloom in the Park 2016 he designed and built 'GOAL's Damascus Courtyard - War and Peace' which was rebuilt at the Syrian Refugee Reception Centre in Co. Kildare in September 2016.

At Bloom in the Park 2017 he designed and built 'On Cloud Canine' for the dog welfare charity, Dogs Trust.

Brian lives in Killenard with his wife Julia their five children, a donkey, two pigs, four chickens and two dogs. 

Bloom in the Park takes place at Phoenix Park in Dublin from May 31 to June 4. 

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