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Wednesday 6 December 2023 Dublin: 8°C

Camp for sick children will put Bloomin' lovely garden to fun use

The designer garden will be transplanted to Barretstown after the Bloom festival ends this weekend.

bloom3 Barretstown at Bloom Barretstown at Bloom

WELL, THIS IS lovely.

One of the gardens showing at the Bloom festival in the Phoenix Park this weekend is to be transplanted wholly to Barretstown camp for children.

The garden – called Sowing the Seeds of Magic, and a silver gilt medal winner – has been created by designer Tim Austen with children in mind. He said that he had “always wanted to create a magical garden for children”. He said:

The garden for me is all about children… how they’re going to engage with it, that there’s going to be lots of really fun features here but also that they’re going to feel safe. It’s kind of their own little haven that they can escape into and have fun in.

Barretstown is a camp in Co Kildare which gives seriously ill children a break from the endless rounds of hospitals and treatment. It is a not-for-profit and relies on fundraising and sponsorship like that of long-time supporter Glanbia, which has funded the creation of this garden.

“Sometimes treatment for cancer can last over three years,” said Barretstown CEO, Dee Ahearn, “So when these children come to Barretstown, they forget about their illness for a while. In fact we like to say they leave it at the gate.”

bloom5 Barretstown at Bloom Barretstown at Bloom

Barretstown at Bloom Barretstown at Bloom

Streamabout / YouTube

Bloom features a number of gardens inspired by the work of charities, including the You Talk I’ll Listen garden by Andrew Christopher Dunne for the Samaritans; Messenger by Paul Doyle for the Jack and Jill Foundation (both golf medal winners); Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital Crumlin Garden, designed by Anthony Ryan and Kieran Dunne, sponsored by Kildare Growers (silver medal).

Paul Newman leaves €7 million to Barretstown>

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