Stunning Limerick Kathleen planter set to bloom in TV show

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CREATING a great garden for someone else is an experience Kathleen and Tommy Barrett “wouldn’t trade for anything in the world”.

Kathleen d’Athea, who has a wealth of experience in horticulture, gardening and landscaping, is the designer for Super Garden this Thursday April 28 at 8.30pm on RTÉ One television.

A busy woman, she works for the council as a horticulturist and runs a donkey sanctuary in her spare time, not to mention tending to her own three-acre garden in Valley View Heights.

But when the call came to be a designer at Super Garden, she couldn’t say no. She is one of five to have been given an identical garden in a new social housing estate in Kells as a blank canvas to create a display garden for residents. The winner will get a coveted garden spot at Bord Bia’s Bloom Garden Lounge.

They only had two weeks to design and three weeks to build their show gardens. Each designer had a budget of €15,000 including €5,000 for the plantation grown in Ireland.

Kathleen used her talent and creativity to create the perfect garden for the Majzels, who are from Poland. Sebastian and Barbara have two children – Alijca, 19; and Jacob, 8 years old. They have one of the smallest of the five gardens.

Kathleen said she had to create a design to make the garden look bigger than it actually was.

“It was a roll of the dice, a big gamble to get it right because it looked simple but it was a complicated design to pull off. The illusion to create this was to introduce angles that created depth and interest and the idea of ​​more rather than less.

“Secondly, as I am a floral artist and also a gardener, I wanted to showcase and merge a bit of my two skills in my design. Of gardening and floral design, the title of my garden was Floral Fantasy.

“My idea was to give viewers and family a sense of heaven on earth. A sense that as a family out there in the real world working hard and having eventful lives. That they could come home and step into this garden and forget about life and experience a bit of heaven on earth,” Kathleen said.

The Majzels wanted storage space, a seating area, a water feature, a lawn and a playground. As we do not want to reveal too much, go this Thursday to see if Kathleen made their dreams come true.

She said it was a big challenge for her and Tommy, but it was “a great experience and we wouldn’t have traded it for anything in the world”. And Kathleen says they would definitely do it again!

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