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Show garden designers wanted for Bord Bia Bloom 2023

President Higgins visits the Green Cities Garden at Bord Bia Bloom 2022. Photo Fennell Photography

Bord Bia Bloom launches new ‘Cultivating Talent’ initiative to support first-time show garden designers



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17 November 2022

Bord Bia is inviting creative and ambitious gardeners to apply to design and deliver a prestigious show garden at Bord Bia Bloom 2023, which is set to take place 1 to 5 June.

To nurture and support emerging talent, Bord Bia has also launched a new initiative to help kick-start the career of one motivated show garden designer. The ‘Cultivating Talent’ programme will offer financial support and 1:1 mentoring to a fresh face at Bloom to encourage a pipeline of new talent into the industry.

The call for show garden designers comes as Bord Bia sets out a new vision for Bloom, which has grown from its roots as a gardening festival supporting the Irish horticulture industry into a major outdoor experience and host of over 100,000 consumers in the Phoenix Park, Dublin each June bank holiday weekend.

Bord Bia has recently announced the appointment of Laura Douglas as new Head of Bord Bia Bloom and Brand Partnerships. Laura is a seasoned marketeer who has created and delivered major national events and experiences such as the Guinness Open Gate Brewery; Carlsberg Cat Laughs and the Vodafone Comedy Festival.

“Bord Bia Bloom is one of Ireland’s most loved festivals, heralding a vibrant and colourful start to the summer each year,” said Laura Douglas, head of Bord Bia Bloom and Brand Partnerships. “For 2023 we look forward to working closely with creative show garden designers, in partnership with ambitious brands, to continue to build on this success. Our ambition is to reposition Bloom as a world-class, uplifting, and innovative horticulture, food and drink experience with nature and sustainable living at its heart.”

The Bord Bia Bloom team wishes to hear from both experienced show garden designers who are considering returning to the event, and new talent interested in the ‘Cultivating Talent’ initiative.

Mike Neary, director of horticulture, Bord Bia said: “The show gardens at the centre of the festival provide an opportunity to showcase the best of talent within the Irish horticultural industry. Our new ‘Cultivating Talent’ initiative will provide an additional incentive to emerging talent to display their skills and creativity alongside some of the more established, award-winning Bloom stalwarts.”

“Over the years, we have found that many prospective show garden designers do not put themselves forward to design a garden at Bloom as they are concerned about how it will be financed,” said Kerrie Gardiner, show garden and horticulture content manager, Bord Bia Bloom.

“With this hurdle removed, we are hopeful to attract more interest from fresh faces to Bloom who will have the opportunity to kick-start their career. The successful finalist will be provided with funding to create the garden along with mentoring from one of our award-winning show garden designers.”

The closing date for applications for show garden designers is 2 December 2022. For more information visit www.bordbiabloom/participate

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