|Tim Austen's Gold winning garden at bloom|
|Outdoor classroom under |
construction during spring 2013
It was during this time that I was contacted by renowned Irish landscape designer Tim Austen. A regular medal winner at Bloom, Tim was designing a large garden for the competition and was wondering if I would be interested in creating one of my mosaic panels as a centre piece for his garden.
|Aquilegia vulgaris ‘Black Barlow’ standing proud in front of my mosaic panel.|
|Tim Austen's Giardino della mostra|
|Tim Austen's Giardino della Mostra|
When making mosaic panels (as well as other stone art pieces) I try and see if the client has any connection with any particular stone. In this case, as Tim is a proud Wicklow man, and golden granite being the stone of Wicklow, we decided to incorporate granite into the mosaic.
So my first task was breaking up chunks of granite into usable pieces for the mosaic.
|At work in the studio with help from my lovely wife.|
|Christine cleaning the mirror|
Back on site, work was commencing with the garden. There was some friendly rivalry between designers on site, and they were often seen walking the grounds checking out the competition. It was for this reason that Tim wanted to keep the mosaic secret only to be installed for the big reveal at the end. The framework for the mosaic did have to be installed earlier in the build, so to keep people guessing 'flatscreen TV here' was written on the framework to throw the rivals off.
|Installing the mosaic. Photo Tim Austen|
Tim had a really great crew working with him on the garden, and it took most of them to help me get the mosaic into place. Made of natural stone and cement, it weighed well over 200kg.
|The finished piece. 220cmx 120cm granite, Liscannor sandstone and mirror mosaic panel by Stone Art|
Tim was also keen for me to be involved in two of the other stone features in the garden, the old forest-like dry stone wall and one of the water features. As I was short on time I thought this would be a great opportunity for some of The Dry Stone Wall Association of Ireland to get involved in the project. Two good friends of mine from the DSWAI Ken Curran and Alex Panteleyenko took over the responsibility for this from me and did a really wonderful job of making a dry stone wall look like it has been sitting there for decades.
|Dry stone wall built by DSWAI members Ken Curran and Alex Panteleyenko. Photo Ken Curran|
|Finished wall surrounded with woodland shade planting and a bronze sculpture by Eamonn Ceannt|
|Limestone pebble water feature by Stone Art|
|Myself and Alex setting the first stones in the water feature. Photo Tim Austen|
|The finished piece.|
|Some of the 110,000+ people who visited Bloom in the Park last year|
|The President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins and his wife chilling out by my mosaic.|
|Delicate blue flowers of Camassia cusickii (Cussick's camas)|
|Mosaic reflected on wet tiles on Tim Austen's Giardino della Mostra|
|Evening shot of the water features. Photo courtesy of Tim Austen|
If you have time check out this great short film about Tim's road to Bloom and the building of the show garden. Well worth a watch.
Thanks again to Tim Austen for letting me be involved in the wonderful garden. I would also like to make a very special thanks to Alex who after Bloom was over came and helped me for a day to finish off the outdoor classroom which I am pleased to say also got finished on time.
contact me with your enquiries should you want one for your garden.