Every blooming thing ready for festival

Forget about the wild life in Dublin’s Phoenix Park. This June bank holiday weekend, it’s all about the wild flowers — among other blossoms — at the annual Bloom Festival.

Every blooming thing ready for festival

This is Bord Bia’s hugely successful gardening, food and family festival, which takes place within a 70-acre site in the Park. Now in its seventh year, the event attracted more than 80,000 visitors last year and could top 100,000 this time.

It will be a short stroll from the gardens of Áras an Uachtaráin for President Michael D Higgins when he opens Bloom 2013 tomorrow. Until Monday, visitors will be able to view 28 spectacular show-gardens, sample a wide range of artisan food, as well as craft beers and spirits from more than 100 Irish food and drink producers and attend more than 25 cookery demonstrations by some of Ireland’s best loved chefs. The popular Floral Marquee also returns, featuring 50 nurseries along with almost 200 retailers.

“Our show-garden designers are working hard to ensure visitors to Bloom 2013 will be both entertained and inspired,” says Bloom Show manager Gary Graham.

“We have a great show lined up with gardens that focus on sustainability, times gone by, and fashion. We also have some wonderful show-gardens from charities such as Aspire, the Asperger Syndrome Association of Ireland; Cystic Fibrosis Ireland; the Jack & Jill Foundation; and Our Lady’s Hospice, Harold’s Cross, which we’re hoping will raise awareness of these great causes.”

This year, Bloom is also inviting 1,000 people to the Gathering of Gardeners — offering people who are passionate about gardening a chance to bring together their friends and family to share in the wonderful experience that is Bloom in the Park.

New features include an expanded “concept garden space” allowing garden designers to explore creative ideas, “postcard garden exhibitions” created by community garden groups from all around Ireland and a Botanical Art Exhibition.

At the Bord Bia Quality Kitchen stage, Neven Maguire, Catherine Fulvio, Martin Shanahan, andDonal Skehan will give live cooking demonstrations.

The events will be hosted by TV presenter Ella McSweeney, who will also interview food producers throughout the weekend.

The Bloom show-gardens will be complemented by a floral marquee, featuring displays of the best of Irish flowers and plants, while leading voices in the horticulture, gardening, and floristry industries will appear on the Garden Expert Stage.

The winner of RTÉ’s Super Garden show will also be revealed at Bloom. (See www.bloominthepark.com for the list of this year’s designers).

See facebook.com/ bloominthepark or you can join the conversation on Twitter at twitter.com/bloominthepark.

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