Gary Graham Gary Graham is the driving force behind the Bloom show, celebrating its 10th birthday in the Phoenix Park, Dublin, and will return this year as chairman of the Super Garden judges. He has worked for Bord Bia, the food, drink and horticulture board, developing the Irish horticultural and gardening sector for 16 years. Ten years ago he recognised the need for Ireland to have its own â€˜Chelsea Flower Showâ€™ and nine years ago Bord Bia took on the role of organising and underwriting the now highly successful event. 100,000 visitors attend the Bloom every year Gary now spends much of his time with Bord Bia ensuring that the Bloom visitor experience gets better every year.
He regards both the Bloom Show and Super Garden as perfect communication platforms whereby novice gardeners can see and experience the joys and benefits of a well designed garden space.
Gary trained in horticulture in the National Botanic Gardens Glasnevin before completing an internship in Chicago Botanic Gardens. During his career he has built gardens, worked in interior landscaping, garden centre retailing and the management of horticultural engineering enterprises. He is also trained in marketing, has a post-grad diploma in executive coaching and a Masters Degree in Business. He has judged the Association of Landscape Contractors National Landscape Awards for the last 7 years and is chairman of GIY Ireland. Gary Graham is Bord Biaâ€™s Bloom Show Manager, is representing the Bloom garden festival in the television series, Super Garden.
Leonie Cornelius, who represents the Woodie's brand, is an award winning garden designer and Interior architect based on the West Coast of Ireland who is no stranger to Super Garden. In 2012 Leonie was one of Super Garden's aspiring designers. After winning the series, Leonie went on to design two award winning gardens at Bloom in the park in 2012 and 2013 where she won a gold, a silver-gilt and Best in category medals. Her colourful installation for the Dubarry of Ireland brand was judged by RHS judges and also won her a Gold medal at the Chelsea in Bloom event in London.
Leonieâ€™s love of creating inspiring design teamed with her love of sharing her work with the public has seen her write columns for the Irish Independent Weekend Magazine and the Irish Mail on Sunday and her work and brand has been featured in many newspapers and magazines including The Sunday Times, The Irish Independent Weekend Magazine cover, The Business Post, The Daily Mail, Living etc, You magazine, Home and Build and many more. Leonie also worked on numerous RTE productions such as the RTE Today show with Daithi and Maura as well as The Ploughing Live and in the new series of RTE Super Garden she is excited to take on the role of Judge for Woodie's.
Leonieâ€™s brand Blume by Leonie Cornelius intends to bring the highest quality of design both inside and out and strives to create design that is unique and inspiring. Her work aims to create real gardens that are functional, beautiful and extraordinary in design.
Monica Alvarez, lecturer of garden and landscaping design at CFE Dundrum, was born in the beautiful region of Northern Spain where she lived until she moved to Ireland in 1994. Her appreciation of stunning landscapes and love for the outdoor life continued in Ireland and encouraged her to pursue a career in horticulture and garden design.
Monica's career in horticulture began in 1996 when she attended a Teagasc course on soft fruit in Clonroche, County Wexford. There she quickly developed a love for plants and the horticultural environment and subsequently she trained in Amenity Horticulture with the National Botanic Gardens in Glasnevin. She soon obtained the position as Head Gardener in the splendid Luttrelstown Castle Demesne in Castleknock which boasts over 300 species of exotic trees and plants. There she maintained the castle grounds for three years, specialising in pruning and garden restoration. This work provided her with a genuine practical knowledge of gardening techniques, which now benefits her students.
In 2001 The College of Further Education Dundrum decided to run a full-time certified course in Garden Design and Monica was invited for interview. She was soon offered the position as Coordinator and Lecturer and the rest, as they say, is history. The course quickly became successful as many people interested in gardening saw an opportunity to up-skill, pursue their passion or seek a more fulfilling career.
Monica's work for CFE Dundrum has led to the development of the most "hands on" gardening course available in Dublin. Over the years, she has brought many students to showcase their designs at Bloom, providing both a valuable and a practical learning experience. The reward came as several of these students succeeded in winning medals. Many of such students successfully followed on the design career path and have become well known designers in the horticultural community. Monica and her students have in recent years also become involved in an Outreach Community Project for St Michael's House. Together they design and build customised gardens for the organisation with the aim of providing the service users with a peaceful, beautiful, accessible and friendly outdoor place to enjoy.
Her career continues to be defined by her passionate way of teaching, passing on to others the benefits of the art of gardening. Monica believes in networking and joining enthusiastic stakeholders, customers and students into a journey to contribute to this land being a more natural and enhanced place to live in.