Diarmuid Gavin to design Clockwork Garden at Antrim Castle

Celebrity garden designer Diarmuid Gavin is to create a “Clockwork Garden” at Antrim Castle Gardens to mark Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee and the return of Garden Show Ireland.

Diarmuid has been working with Antrim and Newtownabbey councillors  to design a commemorative garden in the events field similar to one of his award-winning designs at the Chelsea Flower Show.

This year’s Garden Show Ireland is the first to be held in the borough since 2018 due to the Covid pandemic. It will take place from April 29 until May 1. Television gardeners Monty Don and Charlie Dimmock have participated previously.

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To create a “hugely impactful” return  of Garden Show Ireland, the council approached Mr Gavin as its”garden personality” and to create a “Chelsea standard” garden installation not just for the event but also as a permanent new attraction in Antrim Castle Gardens on the 10th anniversary of its refurbishment and 100th anniversary of the Antrim Castle fire.

Diarmuid Gavin

The”Clockwork Garden” will see the garden “come to life” with a mechanical performance every 15 minutes when trees will “dance” and other elements will turn and move, councillors have been told.

The installation was discussed by the local authority at a meeting behind closed doors last month.

It will be created by Diarmuid Gavin Designs for an undisclosed sum to be funded by 50 per cent from the show garden and celebrity gardener budget

for Garden Show Ireland and the income surplus generated by the 2021 Enchanted Winter Garden event. The remainder is expected to be covered by profits from Enchanted Winter Garden events during the next five years.

The Randalstown Road entrance to Antrim Castle Gardens. Picture: Google

Antrim and Newtownabbey’s Enchanted Winter Garden event made a profit of £138,000 last year.

A report to councillors also stated that the “Clockwork Garden” would “provide a fitting project to mark the occasion of Her Majesty the Queen’s

Platinum Jubilee linked to the Queen’s Green Canopy initiative, which is a

key focus for this significant year”.

Minutes from the meeting also indicated that the Platinum Jubilee

Working Group agreed that it was “an appropriate Jubilee legacy project”.

It was proposed by Macedon DUP Councillor Victor Robinson and seconded by Antrim SDLP Cllr Roisin Lynch.

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