Flower Magazine

MAY-JUN 2019

Browse "flower" to learn techniques from established and up-and-coming designers, be inspired by the floral decor of weddings, galas, and flower and garden shows, and infuse your lifestyle with chic floral fashion and home decor.

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i IRISH DESIGNER ARTHUR SHACKLETON grew up in the garden, learning from one of the best—his father, David Shackleton, an internationally known plantsman. Located next to the family's Georgian house at Beech Park in Clonsilla (west Dublin), David's acre-and-a-half walled garden was a cornucopia of rare and unusual plants and the largest private collection in Ireland. For young Arthur, it was a living library, "where I spent many happy hours working alongside my father," he says. "David didn't suffer fools," recalls Jim Reynolds, the esteemed landscape designer who restored and refreshed the grounds of Ballyfin, a Regency mansion turned into one of Ireland's grandest country hotels (for more on Ballyfin, see the July/August 2017 issue of Flower or visit flowermag.com). As a young man, when Reynolds first met the elder Shackleton and they walked around the garden, he feared he was being tested and found wanting. "But at the end of my tour, he smiled and invited me in for a drink, so I knew I'd passed," says Reynolds, who became a friend to both David and Arthur. Arthur agrees. "My father could be very intimidating," he says. "But we got on well. I was a lot like him, and we shared a passion for plants." As Reynolds observes, "Arthur inherited his father's gift for gardening. And he's designed many fine gardens." More rooted in place than their relative Ernest Shackleton, the famed polar explorer, David and Arthur stayed more local, journeying through the most impressive gardens in the British Isles. "My father knew all the leading lights of the gardening world, and I traveled with him," Arthur recalls. "I would meet these amazing people and learn from them as well as him. It was a great education." Arthur supplemented that education BELOW: Arthur in the walled garden at Dromoland, which is now a hotel. LEFT: In the Butler House garden in the town of Kilkenny, paths radiate like spokes from a circular pool ringed by a low hedge of Sophora japonica and cryptic stone blocks that serve as seats. Inscribed with letters, the blocks are remnants of an IRA-bombed Dublin monument to England's Admiral Horatio Nelson. M AY/J U N E 2 0 1 9 | 45

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