James McConnell is a sheep farmer from Navan, Co. Meath. James has always had an interest in gardening and garden design and has put a lot of work into creating beautiful and functional spaces in his own garden and for friends and family.
Brothers Art & Aodán Ó Coileáin live in Artane in Dublin. Art is the chef of the household and would love a bountiful vegeatable bed to keep is pantry stocked all year around. Aodán has a collection of unusual pets: he has 10 pet ducks and he needs a garden that will cater to their needs. But Art and Aodán do not simply want a functional garden: they would love to see a sweep of lawn and lots of colour and flowers in the garden.
The long rectangular garden measures 7x6 metres and gets great sunshine throughout the day. In the existing garden there is a very old apple tree, perhaps over 100 years old, and Art & Aodán are keen for the tree to remain. There is also a wooden house for the ducks and a small pond, both in need of rejuvenation!
James is given the brief to create "a living garden" for Aodán's 10 pet ducks, which harnasses rain water and also accomodates a vegeatable bed to supply Art's kitchen.
James' design incorporates Victorian elements with the ordered vegetable beds and terracotta rhubarb forcers, and James describes the wooden garden furniture as "Amish" in style. Wooden cladding encapsulates the space, creating privacy and a warm back drop to the carefully chosen planting. James has used different shades of "duck egg green" to unify the space; the colour is disctinctive yet subtle. As James says, "Wow is so last year!".