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22 show gardens and 25 plant nurseries: What to expect from Bloom 2019

University College Dublin's (UCD) "History of the Irish Diet in Plants" garden will be just one of 22 show gardens at Bloom 2019. Photo courtesy of Bloom and UCD.

Bord Bia’s Bloom festival will return for its thirteenth year from May 30 to June 3, 2019, in Dublin's Phoenix Park.

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8 May 2019 | 0

Bord Bia’s Bloom festival will return once again to Dublin’s Phoenix Park from May 30 to June 3, for what will be the show’s thirteenth year.

The celebrated floral, food, and family festival, which attracted 120,000 visitors last year, will feature 22 show gardens, 14 postcard gardens, over 100 Irish food and drink producers, 25 plant nurseries, 25 live cookery demonstrations with some of Ireland’s best known chefs, and some 100 retailers, all within a 70 acre site.

From bee-friendly gardens to Ireland’s first gin garden; water conservation to human rights issues; and health and wellness to the damage of plastics pollution in our oceans, Bloom by Bord Bia, will once again highlight cultural and social issues, as well as signifying the importance of horticulture in Ireland.

“Bord Bia is delighted to announce the details for Bloom 2019, which once again offers a wonderful showcase for horticulture and gardening in Ireland. This year, it is really encouraging to see issues such as sustainability, biodiversity, water conservation, and mental and physical health being addressed in an accessible way through floral displays, talks, and family-friendly exhibits. With something for everyone, from gardening, arts and crafts, to music, food, and drink, as well as talks, workshops, and live cookery demonstrations, we can look forward to five fun-filled days in the Phoenix Park this June Bank Holiday weekend.”, said Tara McCarthy, CEO of Bord Bia.

Show Gardens

At the heart of Bord Bia’s Bloom festival will be 22 stunning show gardens which will celebrate the skill and creativity of Ireland’s garden designers, landscapers, and horticulturalists. These magnificent spaces have also become an important platform to communicate many of the cultural, economic and social issues of the day.

Gardens with an important call to environmental action include “Bee Positive”, a pollinator-friendly concept garden designed by Fingal County Council and Institute of Technology, Blanchardstown (ITB); “Aqua Marine”, an under-water garden featuring marine flora and fauna, sponsored by Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM); and the E3 (Environment, Engineering, and Emerging technologies) garden by TrinityHaus Department of Civil, Structural, and Environmental Engineering, which will incorporate the treatment of waste water to be re-used for gardening, food production, and farming.

The role that plants can play in improving both physical and mental health is explored in several gardens. The Lidl Healthy Mind Healthy Planet garden will demonstrate how mental well-being can be improved by stepping into nature, no matter how big or small the green space; while the Grounded in association with Janssen, Aware, and See Change gardens incorporate ideas that came about through a series of hands-on workshops, contributed to by those living with, or affected by, mental illness.

The Healthy Way Garden, jointly sponsored by the Health Servics Executive (HSE)’s Healthy Ireland initiative and The Food Dudes programme, explores the steps you can take to achieve a healthier, more balanced lifestyle; while issues of accessibility and inclusion will be highlighted by The Great Outdoors garden from the Irish Wheelchair Association, and by Enable Ireland’s Diversity Garden.

Bloom 2019 will also once again highlight important charitable work carried out by Irish organisations including Stolen Land: A Garden for Trócaire, which highlights the ongoing issue of land rights in Guatemala; A Chothú agus a Chosaint (to nurture and protect) by GOAL, will tell the story of the 68.5 million people who were forcibly displayed from their homes in 2018; and the Marie Keating Foundation Breath of Life Garden, which tells the story of Lung Cancer, Ireland’s biggest cancer killer.

Horticulture Features

Alongside the spectacular show gardens, Bloom is also a hub for practical gardening tips and advice. A new feature this year is The Irish Garden Magazine Bloom Plant Clinic which will offer the collective horticultural brains of more than 20 trained, experienced horticulturists and gardeners to deal with gardening queries. Visitors can also purchase plants and seek advice from more than 25 of the very best plant nurseries in Ireland in the Floral & Nursery Pavilion, and be wowed by the artistry on display at the AOIFA Floral Art Stage and Botanical & Floral Art Exhibition. Amateur gardening displays will also be celebrated in the 14 postcard gardens which are small, but perfectly formed, gardening showcases from community groups around the country.

Food Glorious Food

Bloom 2019 offers many synergies in the horticulture and food space with two show gardens dedicated to food and drink, namely the University College Dublin’s (UCD) History of the Irish Diet in Plants garden, which will visually illustrate the changes in the Irish diet over the past 8,000 years; and the Blackwater Gin garden, which will be Ireland’s first show garden dedicated to gin. In addition, the hugely popular Bord Bia Quality Kitchen stage will feature leading chefs including Neven Maguire, Rory O’Connell, and Catherine Fulvio. Bord Bia’s Márie Dufficy will host a new cookery feature with gardening expert and The Irish Garden Magazine’s editor, Gerry Daly, who will demonstrate how to add home-grown herbs into everyday meals. Bord Bia’s Food Village will also be bursting with more than 100 Irish food and drink exhibitors in the Food Market and Bloom Inn, with many new companies and new products set to launch at the event.

Tickets

Tickets are on sale now from Ticketmaster, priced €16 for seniors/students, and €20 for adults, plus booking fee. Children under 16 go free. Tickets can also be purchased at the gate for €25 adults, €21 students/seniors.

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