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Inspiring Initiatieves

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Inspiring Initiatieves

The Chocolate Garden

Monday, 14 January 2008

A garden of exquisite taste.

  1. Garden Heaven . NEC. Punchestown. June 2006
  2. Markree Castle Fair. Co Sligo. July 2006

In Association with: The Fonamh Initiative& Lullymore Nurseries

Designed by: Fiann O Nualláin

Executed by: Lisa Kelly and Fiann O Nualláin with bespoke carpentry by Pádraig Ó Maolaobha

Inspiration: We were asked to design a luxury garden for the Garden Heaven Show so, with a sumptuous blend of simple elegant lines and fine plants, The Chocolate Garden is a luxury item made readily accessible. Just slump into one of the bean bags waiting on the cream floorboard deck with your favourite bar or evening mug of hot chocolate and melt into ultimate tranquillity and satiation.

The main body of plants are selected for texture, colour and fragrance all suggestive of ‘chocolate’. Chocolate tones in foliage plants, chocolate notes in the perfume of the flowering plants, coco mulch for continuity of theme and of course those added wafts of delightful coco fragrance, so evocative one can almost taste it. The overall mood of the garden creates a melt away hide away ... hmmm.

Gardeneners may delight further in the ‘chocolately’ nomenclature of many of the plants used: varieties like Carex comans ‘milk chocolate’ add to this fun project.

The project beyond a theme is a design exposition in the luxury of exterior living. With garden spaces increasing becoming rooms for home owners to use as a means to de-stress in and to entertain in, what is more welcome than a multi-sensory space that evokes such a lavish atmosphere. The use of bean bags and ‘floorboard’ decking recreate the interior comforts for the exterior experience.

Chocolate Garden Plan

Plant list :


  • Betula utilis’ wakehurst place chocolate’


  • Akebia quinata
  • Calycanthus floridus ‘sweetshrub’
  • Coprosma ‘pacific night’ – clipped as box
  • Corokia ‘frosted chocolate
  • Eupatorium rugosum ‘chocolate’
  • Hemerocallis ‘mahogany whispers’
  • Heuchera ‘Chocolate ruffles’
  • Ixia ‘giant’ (cream)
  • Phormium tenax ‘chocolate’
  • Physocarpus opulifolius ‘Diablo’
  • Rodgersia ‘chocolate wings’
  • Sarcococca confusa
  • Sarcococca hookeriana
  • Sacococca humilis
  • Trochodendron araliodes
  • Weigela florida ‘dark horse’
  • Weigela florida ‘folius purpureus’


  • Carex comans ‘milk chocolate’ interplanted with the fragrant Cosmos atrosanguineus (Chocolate scented Cosmos) & Berlandiera lyrata (Chocolate Scented Daisy) and Digitalis parvifloria ‘milk chocolate’


  • Ajuga reptans ‘Chocolate chip’
  • Aquilegia viridifloria ‘chocolate solider’
  • Coprosma ‘pacific night’ – clipped as box
  • Gaura lidheimeri ‘cherry brandy’
  • Pelargonium regalia ‘chocolate’
  • Sanguisorbia ‘chocolate tip’
  • Saxifrage ‘mount naachi’
  • Tiarella ‘mint chocolate’
  • Uncinia rubra
  • Zantedeschia ‘hot chocolate’
Last Updated ( Thursday, 28 May 2009 )
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