This show garden is a representation of how the concept of Social Farming can play a vital role in the therapy of participants within the healthcare system. The garden is broken up into different areas of representation. The square room represents conventional therapy. Within the room is a figure facing an open barrier. Crossing this barrier, the participant takes their transitionary step from conventional care into a naturalistic farm-based therapy. The garden is further broken up into primary farm environments, held together by a natural stone wall. Gwen Wilkinson’s sculptures represent farm animals using chicken wire as material, while traditional stiles recall the built heritage of Ireland. After being displayed at Bloom, the garden will be integrated into an existing social farm. The meadow and some of the planting were sourced from the farm and will be returned post-show.
Barry Kavanagh is a landscape designer and graduate of the National Botanic Gardens. He teaches at Monaghan Educational Training Board in the areas of garden design, plant care, organic principles and plant identification. He is also the founder of Natures PATCH Network, a social enterprise that works with communities in the development of natural heritage and greenscape plans.