The Phoenix Park in Dublin is buzzing with the start today of Bord Bia’s Bloom festival which will celebrate its thirteenth year from Thursday 30th May until Bank Holiday Monday, 3rd June 2019.
After a number of weeks of really heavy work the gardens are completed and ready and the medals have been awarded. Now it is time for the exhausted garden designers and builders to show off their gardens.
At Caragh Nurseries we were delighted to be once again a supporter of The Enable Ireland Garden and once Linda Mckeown did an amazing job of designing a garden which highlights the work of Enable Ireland, providing services to people with disabilities and their families. The theme of the garden is ‘Diversity Values Everyone Equally’ and it seeks to celebrate the uniqueness of each individual while recognising and respecting their differences. Well I’m delighted to say that Linda won not only a Gold medal with the garden but also a best in category.
The highlight garden for me was the Vina dona Paula garden A matter of Altitude by the master that is Alan Rudden, the garden won Gold and best in category in the large garden section and was just a stunning example of how to design and create a Show garden. It had every element, water, natural materials, exceptional planting and most importantly of all in my mind you could see yourself in that garden. I could imagine entertaining and cooking and would delight int he idea of spending time in that garden. I went up to Bloom with our landscape architect and we both were blown away by the elegance and appeal of this garden, after seeing the gardens in RHS Chelsea last week she commented to me that this garden was more appealing than any of the gardens she had seen in the UK show, high praise indeed!
Another stand out garden was Kevin Dennis’ FBD Insurance, Urban Sanctuary Garden. Designed for a contemporary urban lifestyle, inspiring those living in towns or cities to become more engaged with their outdoor spaces. The planting is diverse, illustrating the nature of plants in urban areas and how plants and trees from around the world can thrive in the mild Irish climate. With structured multi-stem trees, warm palms, dry climate plants, and drifts of grasses and perennials, the planting has a warm colour palette and creates an inviting tone so visitors are drawn into the space. The garden was very attractive and I liked the planting, some of the trees and plants would be ones we would stock on the nursery so its always nice to see how others designers use them in planting. Kevin is a good customer of ours on the nursery and I was delighted for him to receive a Gold medal for this beautiful garden, again as with the previous garden, you could imagine yourself in this garden. I do believe it is a luxury to be able to design a concept garden with a message but the gardens that will bring you business are the gardens that people can imagine themselves in, have areas for cooking and for relaxing and are finished beautifully, the gardens that you can live in and with.
Talking of Concept gardens and Oliver & Liat Schurmann’s garden was one of the best examples of concept gardens and so very current with their Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) Aqua Marine garden which aims to raise awareness of Ireland’s marine environment and the need to protect it against the growing threat of marine waste. The underwater marine garden resembles a giant rock pool where seaweeds, sea creatures and other marine habitat live in harmony. It has a huge blue net raised above the tank/garden and is surrounded by plastic waste. With next weeks Word Environment Day this message should be ringing loud and clear and these two have done a great service in highlighting this issue.
Locally we have some great success at the show with Kieran Dunne and Anthony Ryan returning to Bloom with Kildare Growers to create their 23rd collaborative show garden entry , their garden is contemporary in style, the garden is structured with simple curved and sloped walls that gradually reveal the alcove, which is a refuge at the heart of the inner garden. The planting in this garden was beautiful and it was a well executed, well put together garden and they were awarded a Gold medal for their work.
The celebrated horticulture, food and family festival, which attracted over 120,000 visitors last year has 22 show gardens, 14 postcard gardens, over 100 Irish food and drink producers, 25 plant nurseries, 25 live cookery demonstrations with some of Ireland’s best-known chefs and some 100 retailers, all within a 70 acre site. If you are going up to see the gardens, some good advice from my good friend Caitriona at wholesome.ie is ‘Waterproof shoes, own backpack & carrier bags, refillable water bottle & keep cup, rainjacket, tissues and a fully charged camera! #LeaveNoTrace’