Bullets and Boiled Sweets - Small Show Garden Bloom 2016


The Irish Independent in conjunction with Bord Bia has offered readers the chance to help design the 1916 Commemoration Garden, by submitting a reflection on the events of Easter Week. Previous Bloom Gold medallist Fiann Ó Nualláin has brought to life the winning concept, “Rising Reflections” by Jacinta Sullivan;

“The shooting continued and the dusty smoke and pink flames rose in expanding pockets as we sneaked along the alleyways and skulked along the wall bases, trying to get as near as possible to the action. Still, we changed tracks and raced quickly towards Ryan’s sweetshop, having heard that there were bullseyes and gobstoppers and sweeties we could only dream of, for the taking.”

The garden recreates a street with authentic Dublin cobbles and a barricade of period furniture and paraphernalia. The planting that surrounds the street scene is a kaleidoscope of colourful and brash plants – echoing the riotous eruption of rebellion, but also the excitement of poverty-stricken children braving the crossfire to steal a sweet.

The poignancy of the stories of children who lived through Easter 1916 is shown in the cobbles, which are strewn with bullet casings and boiled sweets. Combining theatre set and living history, the garden invites us to ask if the promise of the Proclamation to “cherish all the children of the nation equally” has been fulfilled.



Fiann Ó Nualláin is an author, broadcaster and perennial bloom designer. With a background in medicinal botany and holistic therapies he is an advocate of the healing potential of the garden and has worked in the field of horticultural therapy for almost two decades.(View profile)


The Holistic Gardener

Source: Bloom in the Park - Bullets and Boiled Sweets - Small Show Garden Bloom 2016

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