Bloom 2014: my highlights

New+Bloom+LogoAfter a tortuous week of seriously hard work in the pouring rain for those setting up the annual garden and food festival in the Phoenix Park in Dublin the sun finally came out. The show gardens have been transformed from virtual swamps into a dazzling array of colour, scents and not a small amount of sophistication. There are so many things I could blog about, from the design ideas in the show gardens (lots of circles and squares this year); the planting (lots of repetition in the planting types, with the exception of a few such as the two gardens designed by graduates of Landscape Design at Senior College Dún Laoghaire, more on these later) to the food (I ate far too many tasty bits) and the entertainment (sheep shearing a personal favourite). So here is a selection of my highlights. Continue reading

Do you have designs on your future career?

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Is there a designer lurking inside you? Or someone close to you? If, so, listen up! it’s never too late (or too early) to learn. I have taught for many years in the Design Department of Blackrock Further Education Institute (formerly Senior College Dún Laoghaire, SCD) on a variety of design subjects. Over the years the courses have evolved to suit the changing needs and interests of our students. Continue reading

The Joy of Upcycling

IMG_0242There is recycling and then there is upcycling. We are all familiar with recycling in the home but upcycling is something else entirely.

The “Upcycling Movement” definition of upcycling is as follows:“…the repurposing of items that may otherwise be seen as “waste”. It is the process of converting these materials or “useless” products of higher value and quality, giving them a new purpose and most importantly avoiding adding them to landfill.”

I like to think of it as making something even better (sometimes more useful, sometimes prettier) than it was before. Continue reading