After last weeks, RHS Chelsea bonanza we are now heading to Bloom at the Phoenix Park our very own garden and food festival. It is always a great show and I will be giving my observations and writing about the gardens over the week.
Weather will be on everyone’s minds over the weekend, according to RTÉ Weather presenter, Gerry Murphy, ‘I’m really looking forward to Bloom 2018. It will live up to its name with bright sunshine in store for most of the festival and perhaps a few showers at times. Temperatures will be around 20 degrees. So, be prepared for the sunshine and enjoy this wonderful event’.
The jewel in the crown at Bloom are the 20 spectacular show gardens created by leading Irish and visiting garden designers, worth some €1 million. Visitors can expect garden designs that range from artfully functional to whimsically imaginative and that communicate strong topical themes. The gardens are also being judged by a prestigious independent panel of judges including RHS Chelsea Flower Show gold medal winners Andrew Wilson and Mark Gregory. The adjudication takes place over a full two days and involves an analysis of how each garden designer met with their initial design brief, the overall impact of the design, the quality and finish and the use of planting and locally-sourced materials.
Gary Graham, Bord Bia’s Bloom Show Manager said, “We are now in our 12th year of Bloom and while the range of features on offer has steadily grown as our visitor numbers have increased, the heart of the show still lies in the magnificent works of art created by the show garden designers. We in Bord Bia are in awe of the creativity and imagination which many of the designers who return year after year exhibit. They are constantly coming up with new concepts, innovative design features and best of all, spectacular outdoor spaces which continue to captivate our visitors. And it is always exciting to have among them some garden designers who are completely new to Bloom who bring with them new influences and energies.”
The whopping site comprises:
70 acres at the Phoenix Park Visitors Centre
1 year in the planning by Bord Bia
20 spectacular show gardens
108 Food & Drink Exhibitors
33 Plant Nurseries
13 Postcard Gardens
In addition to the show gardens, there will be a large number of floral installations and gardening features including 13 postcard gardens designed by community groups. The Floral & Nursery Pavilion will be brimming with flowers and plants from more than 30 of the very best plant nurseries in Ireland. The complimentary Plant Crèche ensures that those who make floral purchases can leave them in a secure location to be collected before they go home. The Garden Expert Stage will host 30 demonstrations and talks.
Alongside horticulture, Bloom by Bord Bia showcases the best of Irish food. The Food Village will host in excess of 100 stands offering visitors an opportunity to sample and take home first-class artisan food and drinks, and meet the innovative people who make them. The Quality Kitchen Stage will see 25 cookery demonstrations take place over the five days by Ireland’s best-known chefs and visitors are encouraged not to miss a stunning miniature town featuring walls made from edible plants and cereals in tribute to Bord Bia’s food and drink sustainability programme Origin Green. There will also be copious food demonstrations and talks covering topics including school lunches, gut health and food waste will be hosted on the GIY Matters Stage and elsewhere.
For all the Bloom news and reviews see my daily updates here