Last night, we saw a humble Swords garden transformed into a Lion King-inspired paradise, with all the magic and beauty as the Disney classic. The astounding design was dreamed up by Lelia Walsh, who is one of five gardeners vying for a spot at Bloom this year in Super Garden.
Once again our five competitors will take on the challenge of transforming five ordinary gardens into show gardens worthy of a spot at Bloom, the coveted garden show. They have just four weeks and a budget of €15,000 for materials which includes €5,000 for Irish-grown planting.
This year, the designers will be judged by design lecturer Monica Alvarez, former Super Garden winner Brian Burke and, representing Bloom by Bord Bia, Gary Graham.
Catch up on all episodes of Super Garden on RTÉ Player now.
On tonight's show, we meet Property Manager Lelia Walsh who plans to design a garden inspired by the Disney film The Lion King. Lelia wants to create a social space for children and adults to explore nature, bringing education as well as relaxation into the garden.
In just four weeks, Lelia will transform the garden of Nikita Dunne and Darragh McCarthy in Swords, Co. Dublin into a show garden. She hopes her ‘Circle of Life’ design will be crowned King by the Super Garden judges!
60-year-old Lelia Walsh lives in Portmarnock has worked in finance all her life but her true passion has always been for her garden. After restoring her own six-acre Victorian walled garden, Lelia returned to education and six years later she holds a First Class Honours Degree in Horticulture and a Masters of Architectural Landscape Studies.
Her daughter Sarah and son Daniel, whom Lelia adopted from Romania in 1990, do not share their mother's passion for horticulture but, regardless, they were 100% behind her decision apply for Super Garden.
She would like to create a social garden to encourage the homeowners to spend more time outside. Using all her experience and knowhow, Lelia hopes her ‘Circle of Life’ Super Garden will take her straight to Bloom!
Nikita and Darragh live in Swords, Co. Dublin, with their sons Ryan (10) and Alex (5). They started their family young, with their son Ryan arriving just before Nikita’s 20th birthday. They bought their family home the following year.
The last 10 years have been busy for the couple, raising two young boys, studying and working full-time. Nikita and Darragh admit that their home, and in particular, the garden, have really taken the back seat.
Now that they have a slightly more relaxed schedule, a garden space would be ideal for them to catch up on some much needed family time with their boys. Nikita and Darragh are behind Lelia 100% and they’re confident she will be crowned Super Garden Winner 2019!
Circle of Life
Inspired by Disney's The Lion King, circles are an important part of Lelia’s design and they are represented throughout her design in her lawn area, water feature, sculpture, and planting. Using natural elements such as wood, copper, stone and planting wildflower beds Lelia is bringing nature into a suburban garden.
Lelia has two separate seating areas in her design for the homeowners to take advantage of the garden whatever the weather. One out in the open, on a circular paving area connected to the second, a copper roofed summer house, using copper leaf stepping stones. Comfy seating inside the summer house will provide shade from the sun or rain cover while the family take in the view.
A semicircular performance space for children includes a blackboard. Nestled amongst a backdrop of ferns her circular water feature further cements Lelia’s ‘Circle of Life’ theme. Being crowned the winner of Super Garden 2019 would be the ideal kickstart for Lelia’s new life chapter.
For a non-professional designer winning Super Garden can be a life-changing experience. Tune in every Thursday at 8.30 PM on RTÉ ONE.