Bloom festival is all abuzz in the blazing Dublin sun

Bloom has been abuzz over the last month preparing to mark its 10th year with the biggest festival yet in Dublin’s Phoenix Park.

But organisers are hoping the icing on the cake will be for the weather to stay fine for the five-day festival that will be officially opened today by President Michael D Higgins.

Since its first year, Bloom has doubled in size to a 70-acre site. Bord Bia is hoping to welcome 100,000 visitors, compared to just 40,000 when it started.

Most people make a beeline for the festival’s centrepiece, the show garden area where themes this year range from the 1916 Rising and the war in Syria to social farming and the evolution of plants.

Designer Alan Rudden, basking in the sun and his ‘Santa Rita Living la Vida 120 Garden’, featured at this weekend’s Bloom festival
Designer Alan Rudden, basking in the sun and his ‘Santa Rita Living la Vida 120 Garden’, featured at this weekend’s Bloom festival

Apart from a record eight large gardens on display this year, there are also showcase gardens from Chile, China and Chicago.

Bloom manager Gary Graham said hundreds of workers have been helping to build Bloom over the past 30 days, with more than 4,000 people, including 200 volunteers, working on the site over the festival’s five days.

Youngest ever garden designer Sofi Dosa, 21
Youngest ever garden designer Sofi Dosa, 21

The festival also provides a welcome boost to the horticulture industry. The average annual Bloom spend is just over €7m but consumers will also spend up to €30m on gardening, foliage and landscaping afterwards.

Bord Bia’s annual Bloom festival, which opens to the public in the Phoenix Park, Dublin, today will mark its 10th year of celebrating food, horticulture and gardening by offering plant lovers, gastronomes, farmers and families more to smell, see, touch and taste than ever before. Enjoying the Sanctuary Synthetics ‘Secret Life of Pets’ garden are Molly Hayes, Milltown and Rachel Woods, Sandymount, both aged 10
Bord Bia’s annual Bloom festival, which opens to the public in the Phoenix Park, Dublin, today will mark its 10th year of celebrating food, horticulture and gardening by offering plant lovers, gastronomes, farmers and families more to smell, see, touch and taste than ever before. Enjoying the Sanctuary Synthetics ‘Secret Life of Pets’ garden are Molly Hayes, Milltown and Rachel Woods, Sandymount, both aged 10

One of the bigger gardens is ‘Sculpture in the Parkland’, designed by Ingrid Swan of IS Design, Cork, and Ruth Liddle from the Kildare Gallery at Carton House, Maynooth, Co Kildare.

It is their third year creating a sculpture garden, which is set away from the others because it is the largest and the only garden that the public can walk through.

Padraic Woods, in his mental health garden ‘Sharing the Load’
Padraic Woods, in his mental health garden ‘Sharing the Load’

“People really have to get up close to the sculpture to enjoy it,” said Ruth, who has placed more than 30 Irish sculptures in the garden. “We got a gold medal two years ago. Last year we got silver gilt but this year we are very confident of getting another gold.”

Artists John Fitzgerald and Vincent Devine, will be painting in the garden throughout the festival.

“It is about creating an outdoor gallery. It did not take long to design it, but it took 21 days to build,” said Ingrid.

Bloom festival is all abuzz in the blazing Dublin sun


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