But now the concept is to be developed further at Bloom, the country’s leading garden festival, which will be held in the Phoenix Park, Dublin, over the June Bank Holiday weekend (May 29-June 2).
Pfizer Healthcare Ireland, one of the primary sponsors of the Bord Bia-hosted event, will be on hand to provide health screening for gardening enthusiasts.
Over 500 people availed of the health screening at last year’s inaugural event, which attracted 50,000 people.
This year, Pfizer nurses will be offering visitors the opportunity to avail of health information and testing for cardiovascular risk factors, respiratory illness, smoking cessation, pain management, retinopathy/ glaucoma and oral cancers.
The company will also have an ageing booth available for visitors wishing to see the harmful effects that smoking can have on their appearance.
Pfizer will also be working closely with patient groups such as the Irish Cancer Society, the Alzheimer Society of Ireland and Age Action Ireland, some of whom will be giving presentations to promote the need for health screening,
Tara Delaney, external affairs director of Pfizer Healthcare Ireland, said Bloom is a perfect opportunity for visitors to get their health checked and talk to nurses about a broad range of health issues.
“As a recent survey found, 93% of people agree that gardening is good for your health, and we believe it has many health benefits, as well as being a great way of exercising and helping to relieve stress”, she said.
Professional garden designer Paul Martin, winner of last year’s Bloom show garden, has designed another impressive entry, the Pfizer Health and Wellness Garden, for this year’s competition.
Complete with hidden alcoves and changing colours, the garden offers visitors a unique experience of contemporary beauty and design.
Another special feature will be Cooking in the Pfizer Garden, with daily cooking demonstrations and tastings with five well-known cooks, Jenny Bristow, Rory O’Connell, Rachel Doyle, Eunice Power and Raymond McArdle.
This year, Bloom, which is being staged in association with the Office of Public Works and Fáilte Ireland, will feature more than 30 superb show gardens from Ireland’s top horticultural talent, with a larger and more spectacular pavilion featuring the best of Irish plants and flowers.
The Bloom website is: www.bloominthepark.com