Why the ‘Garden of Hope’ at Bloom 2016 is something we NEED to see

Bord Bia's Bloom 2016 kicked off today in the Phoenix Park, Dublin and one must-see garden at this year's festival is the Garden of Hope.

The Marie Keating Foundation and Roche unveiled their medium-sized garden called Out the Other Side: A Garden of Hope, which aims to shine a light on cancer survivorship in Ireland.

The inspiration for this garden came from the photo exhibition, Out the Other Side: Stories of Breast Cancer Survival, which received an overwhelmingly emotional response when it was displayed in St. Stephen's Green in Dublin last October. 

The designer of the garden, Tünde Szentesi, who is also a previous Bloom medallist, said about the stunning design: “Instead of using images and words, the garden’s colour scheme symbolises the emotions often experienced by women at various stages of their breast cancer journey. 

"The beginning of the path is lined with dark purple and red foliage, plants and flowers, representing the feelings women may experience when they are first diagnosed or when they face difficulties during treatment. 

"Towards the end of the path, the plants gradually lighten with lots of white appearing at the end as a colour that reflects new beginnings, protection and encouragement. In this way, we hope people leave the garden with a sense of peace, calm, and hope, helping alleviate emotional upsets."

If you're visiting Bloom this year, the garden is definitely worth a stop, and be sure to check out the bra hammock, which was designed and created by students from NCAD and The Rediscovery Centre. Bras were donated by women all over Ireland, and it's certainly a site to see!

There is currently close to 30,000 women in Ireland who have won their battle with breast cancer, and it's safe to say that we all know someone who has been affected by the illness, so take some time out of this sunny Bank Holiday and make your way to the Garden of Hope. 

We'll see you there!

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