Croí – The Cardiovascular Garden
About the Designer
Professor Derek O’Keeffe is a Consultant Endocrinologist at University Hospital Galway and a Professor of Medical Devices at the National University of Ireland, Galway. He works with patients to improve their cardiovascular health, many of whom have diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol and subsequent heart problems.
Derek enjoys gardening and knows from his training that many medicines used in clinical practice come from plants. Drawing on his background in engineering, Derek created a design for a cardiovascular Croí show garden to help inform visitors about the importance of cardiovascular health in a visual and engaging way.
Croí is a small concept garden inspired by the cardiovascular system. It is intended to raise awareness about cardiovascular health and the role gardens, plants and technology can play in protecting the heart.
The design has been created by Professor Derek O’Keeffe, a Consultant Endocrinologist, who believes a garden is an ideal medium to communicate the importance of heart health. Plants are used in many life-saving cardiovascular medicines, including Digitalis, which is a key ingredient in Digoxin, a treatment for cardiac arrythmias and heart failure.
The structures within the Croí garden are designed to mimic blood vessels. Key elements include the entrance, created from a large red cylinder, and an arterial green wall which is set within the planting. The planting scheme features greens, reds, and whites, accented with blacks and purples to reflect the cardiovascular system. Specimens include Prunus lusitanica, Prunus serrulata, and Dicentra spectabilis.
While it deals with a serious subject, the garden is designed to be whimsical, engaging and interactive. It will feature pollinating drones and a health-focused interactive robot.
A garden is an ideal medium to communicate the importance of heart health.