Inspiration from Mount Usher

Inspiration from Mount Usher

gold medal winner, peoples’ favourite, Bloom 2008

Tim Austen’s debut show garden entitled ‘Inspiration from Mount Usher’ won a gold medal and peoples’ favourite garden at the 2008 Bloom in the Park show in Dublin’s Phoenix park.

The purpose of the garden is to celebrate the design and longevity of the renowned Mount Usher gardens and to show how key garden design ideas, such as, the naturalistic planting style and plant layering, or the marrying of formal and natural layouts can be extracted from the Mount Usher design and applied to other garden spaces. The latter is, perhaps, one of the key ideas that Tim applies to many of his own garden designs.

The garden includes a water feature with an ornamental bridge that takes its design inspiration from the fantastic and well-known ‘bouncy’ bridge crossing the river Vartry within the gardens. In addition, a formal gazebo is placed in the central part of the garden, set amongst woodland planting, and fringed by a formal lawn; this is representative of the house at Mount Usher. The boundaries of the garden are formed by beech hedging, taking a design cue from the formal hedging in the area of the Old Millstone, which is near the main entrance of Mount Usher.

The garden, broadly, contains three types of planting: herbaceous perennials, bog-garden plants (waterside plants and those tolerant of wet and acidic soil conditions), and naturalistic woodland planting (trees, shrubs and ground cover). Structural trees and shrubs, both evergreen and deciduous, are used to create the framework of the garden.