Irish designer heads for RHS Cardiff

Dublin-based designer Peter Donegan will be heading for the 2019 RHS Flower Show Cardiff in April to create a Show Garden for Perennial, the charity celebrating 180 years supporting horticulturists in the UK.

Peter will be the first Irish garden designer to appear at RHS Cardiff and he is looking forward to designing a Show Garden in the beautiful surroundings of Bute Park, Cardiff, where the first major RHS Show of the 2019 calendar will celebrate the best of springtime.

Last November saw Peter in France creating a WW1 Centenary Peace Garden at the Chateau de Peronne in the Somme region. He was selected by a French jury to represent Ireland to create the garden in the dried-up moat of the 13th century castle. The Jardins de la Paix (Gardens of Peace) formed a series of 15 gardens of remembrance in the Hauts-de-France region, commemorating the centenary of the end of World War One. Peter’s garden will form a permanent feature at the Chateau for the people of Peronne – a peaceful spot where they can sit and find peace and reflection or simply enjoy the company of friends and family.

Peter set up Peter Donegan Landscaping Ltd., in 2001 and has since won awards as both a designer and landscaper for 17th and 18th century gardens and Show Gardens at national competitions. He regularly gives garden talks and is a speaker and MC of live garden events. He is also a member of the Garden Media Guild.

For the Cardiff design, Peter will be working with Ed Burnham of Burnham Landscaping who will construct the garden for partner Perennial, supported by CED Natural Stone.

Peter explains that all he has ever wanted to do all his life is make gardens, pointing out: “When you get the chance to go to the first major Royal Horticultural Society Show (RHS) of the year, with a wonderful charity like Perennial, who are celebrating their 180th anniversary – which is impressive in itself – and you look at the wonderful things they do, it is an honour to exhibit this garden at Cardiff. In addition, when you are working with a constructor like Ed Burnham, whose last garden was at RHS Chelsea, and CED Stone, you know that when you go through the gates of Bute Park you are holding hands with committed people.”

Peter points out he has heard a lot of good things about RHS Cardiff Flower Show and how friendly it is and is looking forward to the build there. The garden itself is a celebration of Perennial’s amazing work, particularly in the field of mental health in the horticulture industry, and will invite visitors to look beyond the polished exterior and imagine the challenges its creator may be facing: “No matter what problems horticulturists have behind the scenes the show still goes on,” says Peter.

Take 2018 as an example, we had months of freezing weather followed by months of drought,” adds Peter. “For many it was particularly difficult to earn money or cope with the conditions. We get up in the morning, polish our shoes and go on with the show whether or not we have problems behind the scenes. Perennial gives free and confidential advice and support to everyone working in or retired from horticulture and their families whether it be for emotional support, sickness, poverty or financial hardship and I hope that the garden will highlight the fact that Perennial are there to help,” adds Peter.

We will post an outline of the Perennial garden and further information in the next few days.

The RHS Flower Show Cardiff runs between 12th and 14th April 2019 at Bute Park. Information on the Show can be found here

Picture credit: All images strictly © Peter Donegan, Picture of Peter credit Eoin Delaney, Directing Media.