Why Winter Gardens Are The Next Big Thing

Interior designers are BRINGING THE OUTSIDE IN with this new trend … 

The Arts Club in London

It may not be ideal gardening weather but we’ve noticed a trend in hospitality for garden rooms – The Merrion has recently opened its Garden Room restaurant, while the upscale Arts Club in London has a winter garden designed by Misty Buckley, responsible for stage sets for Take That and Coldplay. It features a retractable glass roof, a fire pit, planting and heaters.

A proponent of bringing the outside in, Jeffrey Aird, founder of Jonnmar (44-46 Donnybrook Road, Dublin 4) believes: “Plants should take precedence over occasional furniture I think. An empty corner which isn’t needed is much better filled with a plant than with another piece of furniture. They bend, grow, change colour, look so beautiful, filter air – and to take care of them is therapeutic too. They give context to manmade and machine-made things, which are always omnipresent in any interior. We always try to persuade our clients to get them too. Particularly palms and ferns in colourful or aged planters and pots.” Aird has recently completed a private underground spa in a hôtel particulier in Paris where he incorporated handmade silk plants into the scheme.

We’re marking our diaries for galanthophile Assumpta Broomfield’s talk on The Magic of Snowdrops at the National Botanic Gardens (January 20, 2.30pm) when she will educate guests on the origins of Irish snowdrops. And for those who prefer their flowers hanging on the wall, the forthcoming Christie’s auction of Peggy and David Rockefeller’s collection in New York in May will be one to watch. It features among others Claude Monet’s Nymphéas en fleur, painted circa 1914-1917 (with an estimate of $35 million), reflecting Rockefeller’s passion for Impressionists. Closer to home, Diarmuid Gavin will be creating a unique container garden on Gateshead Quays in Newcastle later this year. Gavin’s designs (above) feature a Plaza Garden and a Main Urban Garden using 90 shipping containers. Says Gavin, “I want out Gateshead Eden to be a world-class attraction that showcases the unlimited possibilities of urban gardening.”

Penny McCormick

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