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Sun. Jul 14th, 2024

Navan’s pride at the Chelsea Flower Show after King’s visit

By Vaseline May30,2024

Mike and Jewlsy’s jungle-themed garden was one of three chosen by King Charles and Camilla during his visit.

Navan native Mike McMahon, now based in London, describes the experience of displaying a garden he and his wife Jewlsy Matthews displayed last week as “surreal”, at the prestigious Chelsea Flower Show .

Not only was Mike and Jewlsy’s garden selected when they first signed up for Chelsea, but they also won a gold medal and their garden was one of only three that King Charles wanted to view during his visit to the show.

“It was one of the most surreal and best experiences of my life. It was very emotional and my wife’s mother passed away last September, but not before we found out we had Chelsea, so I dedicated the medal to her,” Mike said.

He told how on the first day of the show their jungle-themed balcony garden was featured by media around the world.

“The people running the show were great and asked us to create another garden and told us our garden is unique, sustainable and exactly what they are looking for.”

Mike, a proud Navan man who runs a successful architectural firm in London, said he was pleased to meet several visitors from Navan during the week, including a family from Beechmount who were neighbors before the McMahon family moved to Athlumney.

Mike and Jewlsy spent ten days building their jungle-themed balcony garden, one of ten gardens featured in the balcony and container area. They did all the work themselves and used sustainable materials throughout, with the plantings inspired by Jewlsy’s family’s native India.

“There were ten gardens in total in our department and we spent ten days creating the garden ourselves. We became like one big family for contractors and designers who helped each other if you were missing a ladder or something. It reminded me of growing up in Navan in Beechmount, which was exactly the same. We had a wonderful neighbor and friend, Olive Reilly, who always put a pint of milk and sausages in our fridge for when we came home from holiday.

“I am an incredibly proud Navan man and amazed that the King chose our garden as one of three to visit.”

Mike, son of Mary and Michael McMahon from Athlumney, has lived in London since 2007 and opened his own practice with his wife Jewlsy Mathews just 14 months ago. Over the years Mike, who has a keen interest in nature and horticulture, has visited Chelsea many times and inspired by their own balconies at their home in Kings Cross, the couple decided to enter a balcony garden in the most talked about flower and garden garden of Great Britain. show and were happy that we were accepted.

Their Chelsea garden features an “explosion of hardy tropical plantings that reflect the four structural layers of the jungle”, a seating area surrounded by cascading flora, a small pond, bird nests, bat boxes and a striking folded back wall made from recycled paper.

Sustainability is hugely important to Mike and Jewlsy in their designs and they have incorporated recycled paper into the sustainable splashback, patio and furniture, while the pots are made from recycled containers.

After the show, the oval-shaped decking will be transformed into dining and coffee tables, guaranteeing a long-lasting and versatile life, and the garden will be moved to a new home.

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