Create Your Dream Garden With These Tips From Award-Winning Designer James Purdy

STELLAR PROMOTION: Create the perfect garden hassle-free

This time of year brings longer evenings, sunshine, and plenty of time to get out in the garden and make sure it’s looking its best. For many however, the challenge is where to start? Look no further as we get top tips from Bord Bia and leading Irish garden designer James Purdy!

For gardening enthusiasts and novice gardeners alike, Bord Bia has created a fantastic ‘Easy Steps to Dream Gardens’ resource which can assist in creating a stunning garden at home, no matter your level of experience.

Bord Bia worked with award-winning Bord Bia Bloom show garden designers to create seven flexible garden designs that are suited to a range of different locations, and that can be adjusted to suit individual needs, time available, and budget. One of these is James Purdy, an award-winning Garden Designer and chartered Architect from Belfast who has received gold medals at Bord Bia Bloom in 2016 and 2019 for his stunning creations. He created ‘The Coastal Garden’ design which is based on an east-facing garden and is inspired by the Irish coast but is flexible to suit any location.

The beauty of the ‘Easy Steps to Dream Gardens’ designs is that they are created to suit any garden or lifestyle and the plant lists and plans are at your fingertips free of charge! To make the process even easier there are a number of garden centres across the country that highlight the plants required with ‘Easy Steps to Dream Gardens’ displays.

To bring the designs to life, James Purdy has recreated ‘The Coastal Garden’ for Bord Bia Bloom which takes place from Thursday 1st to Monday 5th of June in the Phoenix Park, Dublin.

The Coastal Garden

According to James, “this garden is designed to be robust and will tolerate arid and windy conditions that are typical in coastal locations, but it will work just as well inland and lends itself to a good family space.”

James’ design incorporates many natural materials found along the Irish coastline including gravel, sandstone cobbles and paving. A Cor-ten steel shallow pond attracts birds and adds to the waterside theme, while the planting throughout the garden reflects subtle coastal tones.

James Purdy

Everything in the garden has been chosen to withstand harsh coastal elements. Once properly planted, the garden is low maintenance, however, James always says that “You can’t have a garden without being a gardener. Even a lawn can be intense time wise, so you have to be active.”

“Make sure you get the expensive items like trees and hard landscaping right but you can experiment and have fun with the rest of the planting. Don’t worry if something doesn’t work, the following year you can replace it. Failure is part of the learning process in gardening,” he added.

Start small

Each of the ‘Easy Steps to Dream Gardens’ designs has a distinctive border feature, which is a simple and impactful way to refresh an outdoor space if looking for a smaller way to makeover your garden.

In James’ design, the border is for an east-facing garden but it will work in most locations. “I like to use the same mix of plants throughout all borders as this creates a calming flow to the garden,” explains James, “colours can be contrasting but repeat the tones for a consistent look”.

What next?

Bord Bia and the garden designers have done the hard work, all you have to do is download your chosen plan from Bord Bia’s ‘Easy Steps To Dream Gardens’ resource and get gardening!

Or come see ‘The Coastal Garden’ brought to life at this year’s Bord Bia Bloom which takes 1st-5th June in the Phoenix Park, Dublin. Tickets are on sale now here.