Photo: Rainbow’s End Garden by 12 year old Alicia Kavanagh at Ireland’s Bloom Garden Festival, 2018

A Reflection of the Grief Process through the Eyes of a Child.

A Community Garden for Meath Springboard Family Support Services by 12 year old Alicia Kavanagh (Navan, County Meath). Alicia’s garden represents the grieving process for children participating in bereavement counselling. Alicia’s garden also highlights how children and adults grieve differently.


Alicia Kavanagh, Photo: Caroline Quinn for the Irish Independent

Garden Description by Alicia Kavanagh

“My hope for my garden is that its message will hep people. It’s about how children and grown ups see emotions differently. I’ve picked grief as a situation when people feel all sorts of emotions. I’ve used the planting in my garden to show you those emotions in colour, just life a rainbow”.

“My colour palette was chosen from the results of two surveys, one with adults, the other with children.  All were given the colours of the rainbow and the adults were given black, white and brown too. The results were very interesting and really showed that children and adults deal with emotions very differently. For instance, ‘shock’. For adults shock was white and for the kids it was pink and orange”.


Photo: Alicia Kavanagh, Rainbow’s End Facebook Page

“You will find the adult colours around the outer edge of the garden. The children are on the inside. The tall (adult) plants protect the smaller (children) ones. If the adult plants are not tended they will wilt and topple over on top of the small ones. Adults protect children, but the children still need to be able to feel freedom and to express themselves. Stand-by and provide support but you have to let the air in”.

“Plants chosen depended on the colour scheme of the stages of grief, with the red-hued bleeding heart plant representing grief, and herbs traditionally used as cures for anxiety disorders, being used to symbolise depression”. (Claire O’Mahony, Irish Independent,  May 27, 2018)


Community Blossoms

August 5, 2016

Fionnuala Fallon’s article entitled “Sustainable Flowers and Community Blossoms” (Irish Times) champions ecological flowers. The references and photographs below are inspired by Fallon’s writing, and offer ideas for community gardeners interested in growing flowers for artworks, local celebrations, educational workshops, and environmental programmes.


Photo: Fionnuala Fallon, The Irish Times, Rose petals, forget-me-nots, cornflowers and daisies, Preen’s SS17, London Fashion Week




Electric Daisy Flower Farm

DSC_1857-1022x1024Hellebore Chandelier, Hanako Floral Studio,



Manor Garden,


Photo: India Hobson,, Article/Anna Potter (Florist) of Swallows and Damsons, Sheffield



Photo: Flower House Detroit, Flower Installation Coordinated by Lisa Waud. A floral art installation constructed by American florists in an abandoned house. Source:


Photo: Constance Spry, Flower Activist, made at A Fair Land, Grizedale Arts and the Irish Museum of Modern Art, 12-28 August, 2016


Photo: Floret Flowers,


Delicate and relaxed, wildflowers evoke feelings of freedom and light heartedness. When placed in an unusual vessel these textural beauties offer an unexpected surprise. They are at the same time unruly and refined, elegant and free spirited. When sourcing flowers there is an entire world to be discovered beyond the boundaries of the garden. Roadside ditches, abandoned fields and overgrown city lots provide countless opportunities for foraging. Grasses, seed pods and interesting textures are just waiting to be collected and transformed into a magical display

(Erin Benzakein, Wildflower DIY Centrepiece, Floret Flowers)


Dried Peony Petals Dried and Sewn on the Fabric for the Northern Ireland Group for Art as Therapy Summer School, 2016


Artist: Rebecca Louise Law, Sculpture 2014, Odyssey, bo.lee gallery, London,