Originally from Germany, award-winning garden designer and interior architect, Leonie Cornelius, is best known for her television work on the RTE Today show as well as her role as mentor and judge on RTE’s Super Garden. Her designs for the Dubarry brand at Bloom in the Park have won her several gold and silver-gilt show garden medals and she has written for both the Irish Independent and the Irish Mail on Sunday.
“My grandfather used to send me parcels from Germany every Christmas with lots of sweets, toys and mini electrical equipment!”
A gift you received as a child that stands out in your memory?
My grandfather used to send me parcels from Germany every Christmas with lots of sweets, toys and mini electrical equipment! He was an electrical engineer and I loved to play with the sets he put together for me. He gave me instructions to build miniature circuits, bells, alarms and lighting systems. It's such a special memory.
Any objects you particularly associate with Christmas Eve rituals?
Natural beeswax candles. We have always had a tradition to cover the whole house in candles on Christmas Eve and natural beeswax scent always makes me think of Christmas.
Did your family pass on any Christmas traditions to you?
In Germany where I am originally from we open presents on Christmas Eve. Now we still have this tradition but we have a second Christmas at my friend’s house on Christmas Day! The best of both worlds!
What are the most valued items in your home, and why?
I love my Limoges cup that I found at a flea market in France. It has a gold base and makes the tea look gorgeous. My laptop is definitely up there too because I use it every day for work. I also love my collection of artworks - I have some Tina Brooks, Lorna Watkins and Marilin North who are all very talented Irish artists.