Belfast designer scoops major award at Bloom Festival

Dublin bloom SM Farm

Linda McKeown, the driving force behind Blueleaf Garden Design, won the overall medium sized garden award at this year’s Bloom Garden Festival in Dublin. Her ‘Enable Ireland Beyond Boundaries Garden’ caught the eye of the judges and the general public in equal measure.

This was the third year in which Linda had a design entry at Bloom. Her ability to combine aesthetic and structural themes within an overall garden design theme were the facets to the 2018 project, which most caught the judges’ eye.

“Providing accessibility was the overarching theme to this year’s design,” said Linda. “Obviously, coming up with an overall design that is pleasing to the eye was also important.”

To make this happen Linda included a mix of Silver Birch and pine trees, various grasses and a vertical wall.

“The wall is a feature that reflects the urban environment within which many gardens are set,” she said.

Work on the design of the prize-winning garden started in late December: “It took us three weeks to pull it all together, once we got on site.”

By common consent, the vertical wall formed a stunning backdrop to the overall garden. Significantly, it featured ECOncrete Bio-Active Wall Tiles, provided by County Antrim-based precast manufacturer Moore Concrete.

“These elements are designed to induce rapid plant wall coverage on urban buildings,” confirmed the company’s Richard Whiteside.

“Green plant coverage significantly improves urban landscapes, provides cleaner and healthier air, and reduces the ecological footprint of urban development. “

He added: “Typical green roofs or green walls systems usually demand elaborate soil and watering systems. However this is not the case with our ECOncrete Bio Active concrete wall tile design. It has a bio-enhanced substrate that supports the growth of mosses, lichens and climbing vegetation.”

The innovative ECOncrete Bio Active wall tiles differ from standard concrete units on three levels: concrete chemistry, surface texture and 3D macro complexity. These three elements work in synergy to increase the walls capacity to support and enhance the growth of plants, while requiring little or no soil.

The high surface texture, and the unique 3D design, includes micro pores, rugged textures, and varying elevations, increasing the wall’s ability to capture water and moisture, thus further contributing to flora growth as well as increasing the plants ability to effectively latch onto the wall surface.

Overall the ECOncrete Bio Active wall provides an effective, low maintenance, easy installed green wall solution.


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