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Two garden designers shine in ‘Cultivating Talent’ initiative

Pictured: (l-r) Nòra Tombor and Sarah Buckley who were both selected as garden designers

Sarah Buckley and Nòra Tombor are to showcase innovative show gardens at Bord Bia Bloom 2024



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22 April 2024

Bord Bia Bloom has announced two winners of its Cultivating Talent initiative sponsored by Westland, which aims to support emerging talent within Irish Horticulture.

Sarah Buckley from Dublin and Nòra Tombor, originally from Hungary and now living in Dublin were both selected as garden designers that will have the opportunity to design and deliver a prestigious Show Garden at Bord Bia Bloom 2024.

The winners will join a host of new and returning Bloom Show Garden designers that are developing gardens based on themes of health, children, sustainability and heritage. 

Bord Bia Bloom will return to its home in the Phoenix Park, Dublin for five days of fun across the June Bank Holiday weekend. 

The flowers, food and family festival expects to welcome more than 100,000 visitors to this year’s event.

Cultivating Talent

Building on the success of last year’s inaugural Cultivating Talent programme, Bord Bia Bloom has expanded the scope of the initiative and offered two places to promising garden designers. 

The programme is supported by Westland Horticulture, a supplier of horticultural products for thirty years across Ireland and the UK. Cultivating Talent offers financial support and 1:1 mentoring to first-time Bloom designers in order to encourage a pipeline of new talent into the industry. 

Kerrie Gardiner, Show Garden and Horticulture content manager, Bord Bia Bloom, said: “After the response to last year’s launch we were thrilled to be able to open it up to more applicants and we have two really strong designers coming to this year’s show. Through programmes like Cultivating Talent, barriers that might traditionally prevent emerging designers from applying to showcase at events such as Bloom are removed; and with that, creativity, talent and new perspectives are allowed to shine.”

Sarah Buckley is based in Dublin and has a background working in biological sciences and related fields. Having always had a love for gardening, she recently obtained a Diploma with distinction in Garden Design. Sarah’s garden “Mind Yourself” centres on the theme of mental health, exploring the positive effect that plants and nature can have on personal wellbeing. 

The garden aims to provide a nurturing space for the visitor to take a moment to ‘mind themselves’; to take time out to reconnect with nature, with themselves, or with others. Sustainable design will feature throughout the garden, with an emphasis on plants and less hard landscaping or structural elements. 

Sarah Buckely said: “As someone that doesn’t work in the horticultural sector, it feels surreal that my garden design will be featured at Bloom! As a keen gardener, I really value the peace and tranquillity that the outdoors brings to my life. 

“Anyone that enjoys plants, and spending time in nature understands the benefits it has for our wellbeing and I hope that this will resonate with visitors at this year’s event.”

Nòra Tombor is a landscape architect based in Dublin. In her career journey, Nora has been passionate about creating spaces on various scales that address the challenges resulting from modern lifestyles, disconnection from nature and a rapidly changing climate.

Nora’s winning garden design ‘Rewild’ celebrates the ability of human diversity to foster resilient and sustainable environments.

The garden will be an immersive space that encourages visitors to rethink the traditional perceptions of gardening and landscaping, emphasising the connected relationship between cultural and human diversity, and ecological well-being.

Nòra Tombor said, “The transformation of what will be a sparse space in the beginning, into a rich, biodiverse area will hopefully serve as a metaphor for the growth and enrichment that diversity and inclusion can bring to our societies and ecosystems.”  


Bord Bia Bloom takes place Thursday 30 May – Monday 3 June 2024 at the Phoenix Park, Dublin, with the show open from 9am – 6pm daily. 

Tickets are on sale and priced from €25. 

Up to two children aged 12 and under go free with every adult ticket.

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