Born to Garden
Ireland's Homes Interiors & Living Magazine|August 2021
Introducing our new monthly contributor, gardener and exotic plant enthusiast, Conrad McCormick.

Foliage is king in the exotic garden. Ideally, a plant must have good leaves to warrant a place in my plot. I’ve filled my garden with tree ferns, Dicksonia Antartica... I’M A COMPLETE, TOTAL, OBSESSIVE PLANT GEEK!

I think about little else much of the time, driven by a primal desire to seek out the new, the exciting, something different or the downright weird. lustfully chasing the next thrilling plant acquisition to add to my already burgeoning bounty, I’m a more is more kind of gardener.

I had an inkling that I was different as a child when my family started to call me (80s reference alert!) David Bellamy. I could always be found roaming the countryside, looking under stones, searching for interesting insects and the likes, or taking cuttings from plants to add to my parents’ new garden.

I somehow found myself in charge of my primary school’s pelargonium collection, though I’ll admit I was rather neglectful, spending time in the playground often took priority overwatering and deadheading. but by the time I got to secondary school, peer pressure forced that love of plants to be suppressed, publicly at least. While at home my hobby gathered pace with the gift of a large glasshouse from my parents, opening up a whole world of plants to try.

I now design gardens, contribute to radio and tv as well as writing, so I’ve come a long way since those early days of hiding my gardening light under a bushel.

Gardening is, by nature, a solitary activity, however social media has created the opportunity for gardeners to share their creations with like-minded plant geeks the world over. one only has to glance at Instagram to see the massive and growing interest in both indoor and outdoor plants among younger generations.

Coastal Living

Since my teenage years, I’ve been obsessed with growing exotics outdoors. mostly plants that are hardy in Ireland but give that tropical vibe.

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