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This 'sanctuary space' has won RTÉ's Super Garden 2020

Mark Hoey’s garden-theme, Reflections, was inspired by a sudden death in his family.

SG Ep6 Finale Winner 2020 - Mark Hoey STRICT EMBARGO Mark Hoey will have the chance to recreate his reflection themed garden at Bloom 2021. Source: RTÉ

A CORK LANDSCAPE gardener has been crowned the winner of this year’s Super Garden on RTÉ for his sanctuary space garden. 

Mark Hoey from Middleton designed the garden for Shelly Gaynor (40), who is a wheelchair user and a disability and independent living campaigner.

“I don’t really know what to say. I can’t really believe it to be honest. I didn’t enter Super Garden before because I wasn’t fully confident that I would be good enough,” Mark said reacting to tonight’s win. 

The garden-theme – ‘Reflections’ – was inspired by a sudden death in Mark’s family, something he says helped him stay focused throughout the challenging build.

“The inspiration for this was very personal. You never think certain things are going to happen to you and those things can be good or they can be bad, so. I think this garden has been inspired by bad things but it has created a lot of good things.

It means a lot that a garden that means so much to me has been recognised by the judges as this year’s Super Garden. It’s amazing. The theme Reflection was inspired by mental health concerns and has been something that has affected my family. This is more to it than a bog-standard garden, it probably means more to me than that.

Mark Hoey - Garden Before back corner right Shelly's garden before. Source: RTÉ

Mark Hoey - Garden Before

Mark Hoey - Garden Before corner right Source: RTÉ

Wanting to give his garden a sense of space and freedom, Mark said he turned his design “on-the-diagonal”. 

The renovated garden’s key features are four black pools of water which reflect the sky and plants around them.

He also installed a garden room with copper fascia and a roof to provide a shaded area for Shelly to relax.

Low-level plant beds add some colour and stepped yew hedging separates the rear part of the garden. An artificial lawn connects the front and rear of the garden providing year-round access and low maintenance.

Mark used granite and cobbled Inish paving to give Shelly access to all parts of her new and improved garden. 

Mark Hoey - Garden After back left corner Shelly's garden after the three-week renovation. Source: RTÉ

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Mark Hoey - Garden After Garden room Source: RTÉ

Mark Hoey - Garden After Flower Bed & Black Pool Source: RTÉ

Mark Hoey - Garden After Garen room through hedge

Mark Hoey - Garden After left corner

Mark Hoey - Garden After view from left corner

“It is amazing from what it was before, it’s just unrecognisable. I think it is a super-dee-duperdy garden. I really think so,” homeowner Shelly said after seeing her garden. 

“Mark is a worthy winner. The impact is immediate, the drama, everything comes together to bowl you up. Combine that with this workmanship, his attention to detail and the level of quality on the finishes make Mark a worthy winner of Super Garden 2020,” judge Brian Burke said. 

Mark moved to Dublin full time for the three-week build but had a helping hand from his family. He was joined by his father Paddy and father-in-law Chris.

He currently works for a landscape gardening company, but would one day like to set up his own business. For now, he can look forward to recreating his reflection themed garden at Bloom 2021 

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Adam Daly

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