Changing Perspectives – Show Garden Bloom 2012

by Ciaran Burke

Grafitti covered walls, dumped and battered old washing machine and litter strewn ground greet the visitor, not the typical welcome for a visior to a Bloom garden. Between the concrete blocks there are glimpses of a brighter place, a more colourful and welcoming place.

Changing Perspectives designed by David Shortall and Peter Fitzpatrick

This was a show garden that took the visitor on a journey, to understand the barriers of disability and the potential of those who are allowed to develop their gifts once such barriers are broken down in our society. The vandalized walls represent untapped talent and expressions of the individuals that could be art work in a different environment. The visitors enter the garden through a vortex emerging into a place of hope, opportunity colour and beauty.

Changing Perspectives designed by David Shortall and Peter Fitzpatrick

David Shortall one half of the garden design team works with REHAB, an organisation who for over 60 years, has been supporting people with disabilities and the marginalised to achieve their goals, maximise their potential and participate fully in communities.

The full effect of their contrasting effect was nearly ruined by the hard working cleaning staff working in the show gardens area at Bloom. Dedicated workers picked up every bit of his show garden litter, even the tiniest pieces of plastic, luckily the garden designers were able to quickly get their hands on some rubbish to throw around their garden.

Changing Perspectives designed by David Shortall and Peter Fitzpatrick

A feature of the garden was a wheelchair accessible tree house which some lucky visitors were able to enjoy and get a high point view of the Bloom show gardens.

A happy visitor to the wheel chair accessible tree house!

Changing Perspectives designed by David Shortall and Peter Fitzpatrick

All the plants in the garden were grown by people on REHAB programmes and garden furniture and sculptures were made from recycled materials like old washing machine drums that made up the stylish garden seating. The garden was a show garden with a different perspective,  demonstrating the challenges faced by people with disabilities, and the need to break down barriers, and demonstrated the important role art, horticulture and gardening can play in developing opportunity and allowing people marganilised by society to find expression. A garden which was about people,  all people.

Changing Perspectives designed by David Shortall and Peter Fitzpatrick

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 Learn about the work of REHAB

3 Comments to “Changing Perspectives – Show Garden Bloom 2012”

  1. Lovely post Ciaran and so glad you took such great pictures. I visited this garden ten minutes before closing so it was quiet but I was tired and didn’t get to fully appreciate everything it offered. Although I loved the pretty Greenhouse garden, this was definitely the most imaginative in terms of sustainability, reusing and recycling which was sadly lacking elsewhere. Great to see the concept captured so well here.

  2. Ciaran, Cant believe you took the time to work out so well what the garden was all about. You got it spot on!
    thanks! I’m speachless! if you get what i mean! The pictures are great too! sorry i was’nt around when you called….

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