Phew, what a year!

I don’t know what your experience of 2013 has been but we feel the buzz is back.

It’s been a long and challenging recession for all of us but with hard work and a bit of imagination the future looks brighter.

It’s been our privilege to work on a variety of both private and public projects this year. We take great personal satisfaction from transforming gardens and miscellaneous spaces from drab to dramatic – or at least to green, clean and tidy.

Besides making life a bit easier for Mum and Dad with the kids and dogs no longer dragging in muck from outside, the following are some of the more public highlights from the past 12 months – see pictures below.

We did a pop up shop at Grafton street for ‘Innocent Drinks’ in January, covered most O2 shop floors in February for the 6 Nations rugby, March saw us changing the entire rooftop of ‘Kellys Hotel’ in Rosslare from grey to green and in April we scaled the highest mountain – literally! By covering a huge totem pole topped mound in ‘Tayto Park’.

Next came the most challenging, demanding and expensive month of May where most of our resources and energy went into building the ‘Wizard of Oz Sanctuary Garden’ at Bloom for the June Bank Holiday weekend. What a blast. 110,000 visitors, most of whom it seemed to us actually waltzed through and met Dorothy. We were delighted to be awarded a ‘Silver Gilt’ award – a step up from Silver for our previous “Alice in Wonderland Sanctuary Garden” in 2011 and a surprise given that the garden was mostly made of synthetic grass!

The rest of the summer and autumn was taken up with Schools, Crèches, Rooftop Gardens, Family Gardens and Dog Training units. We also did work in ‘Our Lady’s Hospice’ in Harold’s Cross and a couple of Special Needs Units in National Schools all over the country.

This morning we blinged out one of the vans with red and white grass and chauffeured the one and only Santa Claus into our Local Convent GNS beside our office in Naas – the screams! One Direction eat your heart out!

A huge thank you to all our loyal customers and friends and a very Merry Christmas from myself and the Sanctuary Synthetics crew.

– Mark O’Loughlin

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