Diarmuid shared expert advice on the Demo Bench Stage inside the Floral Marquee on Thursday 14 June 2018.
Diarmuid Gavin studied amenity horticulture at the Botanic Gardens in Glasnevin in Dublin. Following this he established his own garden design business. After twice winning the Royal Dublin Society Gold medal for garden design during the nineties, he displayed at the prestigious RHS Chelsea Flower Show in 1995 and 1996. Diarmuid’s modern vibrant city garden in 1996 caused quite a stir and led to a career in television where he developed a unique style in contemporary garden design. The BBC made a five hour documentary series Diarmuid’s Big Adventure following Diarmuid building a garden which has subsequently developed an audience for his work in many foreign territories. 2011 saw Diarmuid return to Chelsea with his ambitious Garden In the Sky design being awarded Gold. While this year sees the unveiling of his Chelsea Magical Tower Garden.
Diarmuid has worked for all the main broadcasters on both radio and television in the UK and Ireland. For 8 years his main programme, Homefront, broadcast by the BBC achieved top ratings. But he has also been presenter and garden designer on other programmes such as I Want a Garden, and Planet Patio. He has worked on garden history programmes such as Art of the Garden in association with Tate Britain and Gardens Through Time, profiling the history of the Royal Horticultural Society over 250 years.
Outside garden television, he has appeared on Strictly Come Dancing, The Weakest Link, Mastermind, Celebrity Who Wants to be a Millionaire?, Celebrity Come Dine With Me and was the subject of the Irish version of Who Do You Think You Are.
He learned to show jump on a BBC television charity special called Only Fools on Horses and subsequently wrote and presented a series Diarmuid’s Pony kids where five children from disadvantaged areas who ride in fields on urban estates were trained by the top show jumpers in the world. The children were taught how to show jump, with help from Zara Phillips, and subsequently went on to compete at Ireland’s premier show. This series won Diarmuid the Irish Film and Television Award for Best Documentary Series.
A series that was aired in 2009 to great acclaim was Blood of the Irish – which has since won an IFTA - where he travelled the world, determining through genetics, the origins of the Irish race, going back 60,000 years.
In 2010 he took part in a 2 hour documentary aired on the BBC called Rich, Famous and Jobless - living alongside unemployed people for eight days to find out what’s it like to be unemployed in the UK. As well as this, Diarmuid took part in 71 Degrees North- an endurance show for 2 weeks set in the icy glaciers of Scandinavia.
Diarmuid was awarded an honorary Doctor of Art from Nottingham Trent University in 2007 in recognition of his contribution to garden design. He is a patron of the Southport Flower Show, Trees for Cities, Cricklewood Homeless Concern and is a supporter of the Niall Mellon Township Trust, The Rose Project which supports AIDS sufferers in Africa and the Cill Riallaig Arts Centre in Co. Kerry. Diarmuid also regularly works with the Duke of Edinburgh Awards Scheme.
Diarmuid has written 10 books on garden design. His 10th book is his autobiography which was launched in September 2010 called ‘How The Boy Next Door Turned Out’. It tells the story of how he became a garden designer and the highs and lows that followed him.
He gives seminars and lectures both nationally and internationally on garden design and the development of the modern garden and runs a successful business in garden design and construction based in Dublin with clients in Europe, South Africa and the Middle East. He is regularly called on by art, architectural and design colleges to give talks and seminars to students and to judge design competitions. He has recently worked with Moscow City Council examining the work of Russian contemporary designers.
Diarmuid is in high demand from corporate clients for promotional campaigns and works to identify emerging trends for some international consultancies.
His design philosophy follows the standard form and function, always listening to the client but adding a twist, an element of surprise and often fun.