Judges

Gary Graham
Bord Bia's Bloom Show Manager

Judge: Gary Graham
Bord Bia's Bloom Show Manager

Gary Graham Gary is the driving force behind Bloom by Bord Bia, Ireland's premier Garden Festival and returns this year as chairman of the Super Garden judges.

For the last 17 years, Gary has worked for Bord Bia, developing the Irish horticultural and gardening sector. He trained in horticulture in the National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin before completing an internship in Chicago Botanic Gardens. He also has a post-grad diploma in Executive Coaching and a Masters Degree in Business. During his career he has worked in garden and interior landscaping, garden centre retailing and the management of horticultural engineering enterprises. He has judged the Association of Landscape Contractors of Ireland Awards for the last 8 years and is chairman of GIY Ireland.

Eleven years ago, Gary recognised the need for Ireland to have its own version of the Chelsea Flower Show and in 2007 Bloom by Bord Bia was born. For the June Bank Holiday each year 70 acres of the Phoenix Park are transformed into Ireland's largest gardening, horticulture, food and family festival.

Gary believes that Ireland's professional garden designers are among the best in the world, ranking with other Irish luminaries in creative professions such as music, art, literature, acting and cookery. He regards both Bloom and Super Garden as perfect communication platforms, whereby novice gardeners can see and experience the joys and benefits of a well designed garden space.

 

 

Leonie Cornelius
Woodie's Design Ambassador

Leonie Cornelius
Woodie's Design Ambassador

Leonie is an expert in all things Super Garden, having participated as an aspiring designer and series mentor and now representing Woodie's as a Super Garden Judge since 2016.

Her winning Super Garden design in 2012 was awarded a prestigious Gold Medal and Best in Show at Bloom By Bord Bia. Since her Bloom debut, Leonie has gone on to win many awards including a Silver- Gilt Bloom medal in 2013 and a Gold Medal for her colourful installation for Dubarry Ireland at the Chelsea in Bloom event in London. 2017 will see Leonie return to Bloom by Bord Bia as a designer with another unique and inspiring show garden.

Born in Monchengladbach in the North West of Germany, Leonie grew up with surroundings of industrial architecture. On a search for a place of beauty to settle, Leonie's parents decided to settle on the wild Atlantic coast of Ireland.

Having initially studied Interior Architecture before completing a diploma in Garden Design from the prestigious KLC School of Design in London, Leonie's designs place a firm emphasis on combining inside and outside and she believes that there is a vital connection between the two. Her company Blume by Leonie Cornelius specialises in extraordinary customised Garden and Interior designs for companies and brands as well as private clients. Now also a best selling writer, Leonie has a passion for sharing inspiring design ideas.

www.leoniecornelius.com

Monica Alvarez
Super Garden Cuprinol Representative

Judge: Monica Alvarez

A previous Super Garden mentor, Monica is new to the judging panel this year as the Cuprinol representative.

Born in the beautiful region of Northern Spain, Monica 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 at Dundrum College of Further Education, where Monica lectures in Garden and Landscaping Design.

Monica's work for Dundrum CFE 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's career continues to be defined by her passionate way of teaching, passing on to others the benefits of the art of gardening.

Mentor & Judges

Mary Reynolds