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Saturday 24 August 2019

Grainne's garden is top dog at sun-drenched Bloom festival

Designer Grainne Walsh in her garden with assistance dog Farah
Designer Grainne Walsh in her garden with assistance dog Farah

It's one thing building a show-stopping garden for dogs, but when you get a show-stopping dog into the bargain, that's when it really comes alive.

Clothing designer Grainne Walsh created a doggy paradise at Bloom, inspired by her own dogs and a visit to Marrakesh.

Crowds thronged her garden throughout the festival in the Phoenix Park as the sun shone.

Winning

With a tunnel under the rockery, posts for games, a dog bunk bed and a plunge pool, it was the winning entry to RTE's Super Garden.

Although called The Under Dog's Garden, it was anything but, as assistance dog Farah showed.

Farah's owner, Kayla Harten (11), from Bray, Co Wicklow, has Rett Syndrome, a rare genetic brain disorder, and Farah is a vital aide in helping her to walk, said dad Emmett.

Kayla is now developing epilepsy, and part of Farah's training involved learning to 'speak' when seeing the warning signs of a seizure.

Grainne admitted she doesn't have a home for her garden when it is removed from the site.

"A dog charity would be great," she said.

Among the crowds enjoying the fourth day of Bloom was Dublin Green MEP Ciaran Cuffe.

New Green MEP Ciaran Cuffe in the Enable Ireland Diversity Garden on the fourth day of the festival
New Green MEP Ciaran Cuffe in the Enable Ireland Diversity Garden on the fourth day of the festival

He was touring the Enable Ireland Diversity Garden with Gary Graham, the creator of Bloom.

"It's an amazing show, with so many important themes," he said, adding that the gardens went side by side with serious issues such as biodiversity.

He also had a peek at the electricity-generating toilet in the E3 garden designed by Trinity College students, and joked that he had managed to avoid a photo.

Thomas Summers, from Wicklow, with his handmade feather hat
Thomas Summers, from Wicklow, with his handmade feather hat

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