'HUMBLING COMPLIMENT' Dublin garden designer first Irish person selected for prestigious show

'HUMBLING COMPLIMENT' Dublin garden designer first Irish person selected for prestigious show

GARDEN designer Peter Donegan will be the first Irish person to design and exhibit a show garden for the Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show (MIFGS) 2023, it has been confirmed.

The event, which is the largest and most prestigious horticultural event in the Southern Hemisphere, is located at The Royal Exhibition Building and its surrounding Carlton Gardens - a World Heritage Site which has existed in Melbourne since 1880.

Returning next year, from March 29 to April 2, 2023, the event is rated among the top five flower and garden shows in the world, showcasing only the finest calibre of garden design and landscape architecture talent selected from Australia and around the globe.

This year Dublin-based Donegan becomes the first Irish garden designer in the event’s history to be invited and accepted to design a garden at the prestigious show.

“We are a small but beautiful design office completing designs at the very highest level for the last 21 years, but it is always an honour and another humbling compliment when invited anywhere,” he told The Irish Post.

“On this occasion to one of the world’s best and a very beautiful part of Australia”, he added.

“We are delighted to be working alongside Victoria-based Semken Landscaping to realise this show garden”, his design assistant Chloe Quinn explained.

“Since 1987 Martin and his team have been show garden building and contracting at the highest level and are the most medalled contractor in the show’s history,” she added.

Regarding his plans for his Australian show garden, Donegan claims his design will be based on the theme of “love”.

“MIFGS haven’t allowed us to release designs just yet, but I can tell you it’s a contemporary vision of a love story and hearts separated via a small island off the coast of Galway to the mainland,” he said.

“That the build will take place during my second only ever St Patrick’s Day away from home in a particularly beautiful country that I’ve never been to is another always interesting journey,” he added.

“I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Peter Donegan Garden Design is an international and local garden design, landscape architecture and project management practice based in Dublin.

In 2001, aged 24, Peter Donegan Garden Design was borne and swiftly won a host of awards for 17th and 18th century gardens designed and show gardens at national competition.

From 2019 to 2022 The RHS silver medallist became the series garden designer for the country’s most watched tv show and RTE television’s DIY SOS The Big Build Ireland.

Selected to represent Ireland to design & realise the Irish WW1 Centenary Peace Garden at Chateau de Peronne in 2018, he returned and designed a second inaugurated garden there in 2022 to commemorate the anniversary of Europe’s largest war museum housed within the castle.

Next year will see Peter Donegan become the first Irish landscape architect invited and accepted to design at Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show March 2023.