Follow the yellow brick road to discover Bloom

Bank holiday weekends generally don’t inspire the feeling that there really is “no place like home” — unless you’re headed for the Bloom festival in Phoenix Park where homage to The Wizard of Oz may take centre stage.

Inspired by the Frank L Baum book of the same name, synthetic grass specialist Mark O’Loughlin has created an Oz- themed garden where spectators are invited to follow the yellow brick road from a black and white Kansas prairie to somewhere over the rainbow.

Retracing Dorothy’s footsteps past Munchkinland, via the Cornfield Crossroads, through a dark forest and drowsy poppy fields and on to the Emerald City, those who take part can expect to meet some familiar faces along the way, seeking courage, a heart, and a brain.

O’Loughlin said that like Baum, part of the attraction of creating a Wizard of Oz garden was the enjoyment he found in the underlying political interpretations of the original writings and film, which will also feature as part of his garden.

He contends that he has interpreted current-day issues into his garden with the same subtlety that Baum reflected in his writings.

Mark described the garden, made by Sanctuary Synthetics, as “a tactile, visually spectacular and interactive display, reflective of the versatility a garden space can achieve”.

He said it will be “full of magical wonder for children and their parents” at the Dublin festival which runs from this Thursday until Monday next.

“A garden is an extension of a home. It should be a tranquil, usable space that is cherished.

“It can also be about simple easy care alternatives that create the effect of something that is real but, in reality, is something quite different,” Mark said.

This is Mark’s second garden appearance at Bloom.

In 2011, Sanctuary Synthetics’s Alice in Wonderland garden was a huge hit with visitors.

Since then, Mark has installed his synthetic grass in hundreds of homes, schools, retail, trade, restaurant, pub, and hotel spaces.

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