A Belfast woman who was crowned the winner of RTE’s Super Garden this week is exhibiting at Dublin’s prestigious Bloom show.
As the winner of Super Garden, Mary Anne Farenden has created a garden space at the Bord Bia Bloom Show which showcases Ireland’s indigenous horticulture, food and drink industry.
But Mary Anne Farenden, 29, revealed she never believed she’d make it to Ireland’s leading garden festival.
She said: “When I applied for the show I never thought that I’d get to Bloom, I never thought that I’d win, so for me it was, getting to be on the show was the first thing and like I’m a very one step at a time kind of person.”
Mary Anne, made her debut on the show in episode three where she transformed the garden of the Devine family into an enchanted woodland in just five weeks and with a budget of only €15,000.
Competing with four other budding designers from across Ireland who were battling it out to secure a coveted garden spot at Bloom, Mary Anne likened the experience to a rollercoaster ride.
“The whole experience has been amazing, it’s been a rollercoaster. A lot of stress, a lot of things happening and it hasn’t really sunk in yet. It feels like I am living someone’s life and watching it happen” she said.
“When it came to creating the garden, I wasn’t doing it to win, I wanted to help Shannon and Kevin build the garden of their dreams.”
At Bloom Mary Anne’s theme remains creating a beautiful and functional family space.
She explained: “My theme would be family areas for everybody in that space – different things for different interests – the fruit patch, the play area, the fairy place where there are fairy houses. Then there’s a gated dog area and a relaxation sofa space.
“When creating my Bloom garden I asked myself ‘what would a family of five soon to be six with two dogs – how would they best use a garden space?’ So I divided it up but in a way that the whole thing feels like one area.”
Creating her gardens for Super Garden and Bloom have come with a lot of hard work, something Mary Anne is no stranger to.
“I believe in hard work, just like my mum. The whole experience has been something we’ll never forget. My mum supported me in the background with the business side of things which meant I could get on with the garden and dad flew in from England to help me with the build.”
For Mary Anne, Super Garden and Bloom are just the start of her journey.
“After Bloom I have some gardens in Belfast to do. They’ve been very kind to put on hold for Bloom” she said.
“I was also filming a show during Bloom so I did seven day weeks for six weeks and I’d three days on the North Coast and then down to Dublin.”
Between Bloom and Super Garden, Mary Anne says she’s been given a massive confidence boost to build her artistic business Mary Anne Designs.
“I feel like I can believe in myself a bit more, you know, now, that’s the best thing it did for me – it gave me confidence in my abilities.
“It does feel amazing to have won, like I feel so proud of myself and everything that I have achieved and all the people that helped me, I’m just so grateful for them.”
Running from June 2 to June 6, this year’s Bloom marks the 16th anniversary and is expected to attract over 110,000 visitors annually to Ireland’s favourite gardening and lifestyle festival.
This year’s series of Super Garden is available to stream via RTE Player https://www.rte.ie/player/