Hard work is offset with a sense of achievement’

AN “Honest 2 Goodness” small garden is one of the most popular exhibits at Bloom, which continued in glorious sunshine at the Phoenix Park in Dublin yesterday.

It was designed by Orla and Paul Woods, of Kilmurry Nursery, Gorey, Co Wexford, and is focused primarily on the growing of vegetables. But it is also about the social and relaxation aspect.

Orla said many decisions are outside people’s control in the present climate, but their own health and well being is something they can manage themselves.

“The garden is based on a single allotment where your neighbours are just over the fence for advice and also for a chat.

“The hard work that comes with growing your own is offset with a wonderful sense of achievement that space or experience is not a barrier to anyone,” she said.

Orla said the garden was designed like a picture postcard to show people what can be achieved with a small space and a limited budget.

Orla and Paul, who won a silver gilt award at the show in the nursery section for a cottage garden, also designed Keelings Naturally Fresh large garden, one of the most colourful in the show and a big attraction for children.

The concept was developed as a journey through a magical and fruity garden. Fruit is displayed in an abstract way to encourage people to enjoy its sensory and fun aspects.

Meanwhile, much attention was focused on the Bord Bia replica of the vegetable garden being developed in the White House grounds in Washington by United States First Lady Michelle Obama.

Food and Horticulture Minister Trevor Sargent and United States Charge d’Affaires Robert J Faucher officially opened the Bloom garden which aims to encourage everyone to grow a portion of their own fruit and vegetable requirements.

Mr Faucher said the “Grow Your Own” garden is a terrific effort and pretty much captures what was done at the White House.

“It is the same size and is having the same kind of impact on themes and the sense of growing locally fresh food and vegetables and making them available to the community they are in,” he said.

Mr Faucher said the United States Embassy in Dublin will be informing the White House about the project.

He said the First Lady will be delighted to hear that the idea of her garden has been replicated in Ireland and that it is spreading around the world.

Bord Bia built the replica garden for Bloom, albeit replacing a small number of the vegetables more popular to American tastes, such as collards and pumpkins, with those more in keeping with Irish preferences, such as turnips and parsnips.

A new Best in Season campaign, which Bord Bia also launched at the show, aims to encourage consumers to purchase locally grown fruit and vegetables in season. It will run from now until the end of the year.

Mike Neary, Bord Bia horticulture manager, said that each month the campaign will spotlight a particular seasonal crop.

“It will be a great way to show consumers the wide range of locally grown fruit and vegetables available,” he said.

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