Gardening strikes a chord with all ages to swap screens for the outdoors

Can a fun outdoor space tempt young people away from their screens? Eve Kelliher reports.

Gardening strikes a chord with all ages to swap screens for the outdoors

Can a fun outdoor space tempt young people away from their screens? Eve Kelliher reports.

Busker Sam Clifford and award-winning garden designer Brian Burke got in harmony to challenge youngsters to put away their phones and connect with nature.

Sam, 14, recently shared the stage with Keith Urban in Dublin’s 3Arena after wowing the country music star who spotted him performing for passersby on Grafton Street.

He tuned up this afternoon with RTÉ Super Garden judge Brian Burke as Brian unveiled his garden “Connectivity” which is set to be a central attraction at this year’s Bloom in the Park festival in Phoenix Park, Dublin (May 30-June 3).

Brian, himself a former gold and silver medal winner at Bloom, is the Woodie’s Garden and DIY expert judge on RTÉ’s Super Garden where five garden designers transform ordinary gardens into show gardens.

But this week he unveiled his own horticultural extravaganza at Bloom, which he designed to inspire the thousands and thousands of visitors — particularly children.

As a father of five, Brian is only too aware of how hard it can be to coax children away from their screens and the Connectivity garden’s clever design is sure to pique their interest.

The way our children live now is all about digital connectivity, their lifestyle depends on it.

"The future of our planet is also all about connectivity of a different kind; to the natural world,” he says.

Brian’s garden strikes a chord with all ages as it aims to nurture this link by offering an alternative to “screen time”, providing a stimulating and enjoyable experience, with multiple play opportunities and challenges — both physical and mental — with not a mobile phone in sight!

Pictured are Ruby and Flynn Hudson and Adele Pak with busker Sam Clifford. Picture: Paul Sharp/SHARPPIX.
Pictured are Ruby and Flynn Hudson and Adele Pak with busker Sam Clifford. Picture: Paul Sharp/SHARPPIX.

Children will be invited to navigate a moat, scale swinging rope ladders, cross bridges and even search for secret trap-doors.

The trees that Brian uses in the garden have been chosen for their familiarity and ease of recognition for primary school children.

His own children plant a new apple tree every September at the beginning of the new school year.

The flowering plants that populate the garden will also be familiar and recognisable to younger children.

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