The garden depicts how those suffering from mental health issues can feel, as well as the positives that can be achieved by seeking help
19th May, 2016: Saint John of God Hospital, Stillorgan, a leading provider of mental health treatment and care services in Ireland and Europe, is proud to sponsor the ‘Sharing the Load’ garden at this year’s Bloom festival.
The garden has been designed and constructed by Padraic Woods, a self-employed garden designer and brother of a sibling suffering from bi-polar and borderline personality disorder. Through the use of planting and a central garden structure, Padraic’s garden depicts how those suffering from mental health issues can feel, as well as the positives that can be achieved by seeking help.
The main garden structure is a giant see-saw that depicts the highs and lows that are experienced by people suffering with mental health issues. Tight planting of trees to the rear of the garden creates a shaded area, which represents how a person suffering from deep depression can feel. Dark coloured planting and plants with spikes and thorns depict a person who is trying to block out the world because they are finding it difficult to cope. Loose gravel from the centre of the tunnel towards the rear of the garden will give the sense of instability.
In contrast, the front of the garden is a colourful, bright, positive space. A number of Cupresses sempervirens are used to highlight to those suffering from mental health issues that they are not alone and that with the right help and support, they can start to enjoy a healthier, happier life. Paving will start from the centre of the tunnel and finish at the front of the garden, again to show that life gets easier when help is sought.
Padraic Woods, designer of the ‘Sharing the Load’ garden said: “I see Bloom as a unique opportunity to shine a light on mental health rather than my expertise as a garden designer. My garden depicts how sufferers can feel and the positive outcomes that can be achieved when help is sought.”
Emma Balmaine, Chief Executive Officer of Saint John of God Hospital, commented: “Saint John of God Hospital is delighted to sponsor Padraic’s ‘Sharing the Load’ garden at Bloom. It provides a unique opportunity to shine a light on mental health whilst beautifully and imaginatively demonstrating that there is light at the end of the tunnel and recovery is possible.”
Bloom in the Park takes place from 2nd - 6th June at the Phoenix Park, Dublin. Padraic’s ‘Sharing the Load’ garden can be located in the show garden area.
Following the show, Padraic will deconstruct the show garden and rebuild it on the grounds of Saint Joseph's Centre, Shankill, using the same materials and planting.