Marie Keating Foundation at Bloom through the Years


SunSmart Garden

With thanks to MSD, we focused for our third year at Bloom on the important message of being SunSmart with our yellow themed SunSmart Garden. This garden aimed to make the public, young & old, male & female, aware of the importance of protecting themselves in the sun

A big feature of the garden was the Pom Pom oak tree offering shade from the sun which is represented by a 2 meter inflatable which could be seen from far and wide. Member of the public were invited to ‘tie a yellow ribbon around the old oak tree’ or to buy a hat and to wear sunscreen. The uphill pathway in the garden represented the twists and turns of the cancer journey. Whatever your age, whether you are male or female, our yellow garden was designed to raise awareness of the fact that skin cancer is very preventable and to highlight the importance of being SunSmart. Using trees and canopies for shade as well as umbrellas, hats & sunscreen, we asked people to protect themselves in the sun.

MKF ambassadors Dublin footballer Johnny Cooper and former Kilkenny hurler Eddie Brennan, visited the garden to promote the message of being safe in the sun when you play or watch sports outdoors.


Heroes of Hope Garden

For our second year at Bloom, we developed a Heroes Of Hope garden to offer hope to people affected by cancer and inspiration to men to talk about their health.

Inspired by the Heroes of Hope exhibition which features the positive stories of 14 cancer survivors from all around Ireland, the garden had a positive and hopeful message highlighting the fact that thanks to early detection and advances in treatment, more and more men are surviving cancer. In this way the garden aimed to continue to shine a light on cancer survivorship and to give hope to others affected by cancer.

The Marie Keating Foundation garden also highlighted the Foundation’s men’s health campaign and its work with men. Every year 10,948 men are diagnosed with cancer and the Foundation’s nursing team educates men and women on the signs and symptoms of the common cancers affecting men (prostate; colorectal; lung, skin and testicular cancers) and what steps men can take to reduce their risk of cancer. The garden has flowers in all different shades of blue and a cross-word theme portraying some inspirational words and messages, the key message being one of hope attributed to the increase in survival rates of cancer. The garden entitled “Heroes of Hope” naturally has a blue colour scheme, which has dark and light shades, reflecting the emotional journey of cancer survivors.


Out the Other Side – A Garden of Hope

Thanks to the kind support of Roche, we had our first ever garden at Bloom. Out the Other Side: A Garden of Hope was designed to offer hope to people affected by breast cancer.

The stand out features of the garden designed to inspire hope were a Pink Bench as well as a specially created Bra Hammock:

  • The Bra Hammock, designed and created as part of a collaborative project between The National College of Art and Design and The Rediscovery Centre, has been repurposed from bras donated by women all over Ireland as part of the Marie Keating Foundation and Roche’s ‘Give Your Bra for Breast Cancer’ campaign
  • A Pink Bench and Ribbon weave throughout the garden, representing the journey from diagnosis to recovery. On the back wall of the garden, quotes from the ten women featured in the Out the Other Side photographic exhibition were used. They are quotes of elation and anti-climax, which are happy and sad, funny and irreverent, and filled with confusion, guilt and gratitude. Because just like breast cancer, we know that no survivor’s journey is the same.

The Out the Other Side exhibition, developed by Roche in partnership with the Marie Keating Foundation, featured the stories of ten brave women who have survived the disease. This exhibition was displayed along the Main Avenue of Bloom.

Read more about the Out the Other Side exhibition and the ten women who inspired it.

The garden was designed by Tunde Szentesi. You can find her website here: Tunde was helped in the garden construction by Saxa Landscape.