The 157,000 visitors to the Chelsea Flower Show voted on their favorite large garden and the winner was Diarmuid Gavin. It was my favorite, too!

I have always loved Diarmuid’s Irish charm as well as admired his design skills. Perhaps the judges felt that Diarmuid’s previous gardens were too whimsical. In his “Irish Sky Garden,” Diarmuid has come into his own as a serious, sophisticated designer with a great knowledge of design history. He credits the futuristic film Avatar, the landscapes of Capability Brown, Charles Jencks and the cardinals of the Italian Renaissance as his inspiration. His futuristic pod garden filled with flowers and topped with a rolling English lawn reminiscent of the Telly Tubbies floats suspended over an elegant green garden with sweeping ribbons of boxwood and Carpinus clipped to perfection, grasses, photinias, bamboos and 25 ink black circular pools of water.

Diarmuid’s aim was not to start a rash of floating garden construction but to create something so beautiful that the visitors would smile and go home saying, “I went to Chelsea and saw something amazing.” It was amazing and everyone is still smiling!

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