100,000 visitors attended Bord Bia Bloom 2023
15 June 2023
The Phoenix Park, Dublin was a-buzz over the June Bank Holiday weekend as over 100,000 visitors attended Bord Bia Bloom 2023. According to the organisers, business was booming, and spirits were high at the popular event throughout the weekend, in part due to the warm summer weather!
In keeping with previous years, and the renewed focus on sustainability and waste reduction at Bord Bia Bloom, many elements of the show and feature gardens will be relocated after the event including:
- The Rise Garden, designed by Eugene Higgins in collaboration with the young people at Oberstown, will relocate to Oberstown premises and will kickstart its new horticulture programme for young people detained to learn and develop new skills.
- The Coastal Garden – Easy Steps to Dream Gardens designed by James Purdy, sponsored by Bord Bia will be donated to the ‘What Darragh Did’ charity in Blessington, Co. Wicklow, and enjoyed at its community centre.
- Green Cities Europe Parklet designed by Daibhí MacDomhnaill, sponsored by EU Green Cities on behalf of the Irish Hardy Nursery Stock Association (IHNSA), will be relocated within Dublin city centre to support its message of ‘greening’ urban spaces.
- Elements of the Marie Keating Foundation Catching Cancer Early Garden designed by Robert Moore and sponsored Astra Zeneca and MSD, will be rehomed in a cancer service centre in Co. Kerry linked with the charity.
- Planting from the First 5 Garden of Wonder and Discovery, designed by Oliver and Liat Schurmann, sponsored by the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, will move to Creative Kids Childcare centre, Walkinstown, Dublin 12 who helped in the design of the garden.
- A Breathing Space for Fingal, designed by Jane McCorkell, sponsored by Fingal County Council, will be rehomed in local parks across the Fingal area.
- Finally, planting from The Raising Amazing Garden by Tusla Fostering, will be used to create four sensory gardens at Tusla Fostering residential homes.
Bord Bia has confirmed that Bloom 2024 will take place from 30 May to 3 June next year.
Speaking on the final day of the 2023 festival, Jim O’Toole, Bord Bia’s chief executive said the public appetite for Bloom remains strong. “We have had a very successful show this year, with positive feedback from attendees across the five days and in its 17th year, Bloom remains a firm favourite with the Irish public.
“In addition to creating an enjoyable visitor experience, Bloom provides an important commercial opportunity for Bord Bia’s client companies. We work with Ireland’s leading garden designers, nurseries and horticulture businesses, and more than 100 food and drink producers, who are at Bloom to showcase their work, products and services. Their focus is not just to impress the public onsite, but also fill their order books for the year ahead. This event has become an integral part of the summer calendar for consumers and businesses alike, and that is something Bord Bia is very proud of.”
Business was Bloomin’
Consumers were keen to spend at Bloom and many exhibitors reported strong sales and a need to restock over the weekend. Jack Cunnane of Western Plant Nurseries in Skreen, Co. Sligo exhibited in the outdoor Nursery Village and won a gold medal for their display.
“We’ve been participating at Bord Bia Bloom for eight or nine years now, and this has been our best yet in terms of sales,” said Cunnane. “We sold more in the first three days than we have in the average five days compared to previous years. We’re low on stock now, but that’s a good sign – we don’t want to bring it home.”
Meanwhile, Phytaphix, an award-winning functional food company based in Dundalk, was new to Bloom this year. Speaking today (Monday), Phytaphix founder Dr Conor Kerley said: ” This was our first time at Bord Bia Bloom and the response has been nothing short of phenomenal. Bloom is the biggest event we have ever exhibited at, and it has been such a great opportunity to meet thousands of people face to face.
“We launched our new product ‘Energy Phix’ here on Thursday and were sold out by Thursday evening! I wasn’t planning to be at the event every day, but the adrenaline of meeting people is fantastic, and I haven’t missed a minute. It’s been an amazing experience for a relatively new brand, and we’re already looking forward to next year.”