Blooming lovely as temperatures set to rise for garden festival
IT'S not just about thousands of gardening aficionados checking out the best designs in the land – there is serious competition at the heart of Bloom in the Phoenix Park.
The festival showcases 30 exquisite show-gardens from the very best of Ireland's landscape gardeners and designers as well as over 120 food producers.
Judges spent over two days meticulously observing and deliberating before announcing the results, which saw multi-award-winning garden designer Kevin Dennis from Raheny in Dublin crowned overall winner for his garden, 'Green City Life'.
Roofs and walls planted with grasses, trees and perennials all contrasted against graffiti, steel and concrete for a garden fit for the realities of 21st-century city living.
Gary Graham, Bloom Show manager with Bord Bia, said the judges had been "blown away" by the standard of gardens at Bloom this year.
"The designers have shown great imagination, skill and dedication in producing their breath-taking creations," he said.
A gold medal in the medium garden category went to the special garden produced for the Samaritans, entitled 'You Talk, I'll Listen', designed by Andrew Christopher Dunne.
Gold in the small garden category went to 'Facing South: The Talbot Collection at Malahide', designed by Paul Foley. The small garden is a reflection of the eclectic collection of plants put together by Lord Milo Talbot at Malahide Castle Gardens.
In the 'concept garden' category, the gold medal went to the stunning 'Messenger' garden designed by Paul Doyle of Longstone Beacon Garden in Grange Con, west Wicklow for the Jack and Jill Foundation. The garden was opened to the public by talkshow host Brendan O'Connor. There were 11 gold medals awarded in the floral and nursery marquee, which showcases the very best of floral nurseries.
In the postcard garden category, the top prize went to the Irish Wildlife Trust – 'Our Natural Heritage'.
The festival in the Phoenix Park will run throughout the bank holiday weekend. Tickets can be bought at the gate or at www.bloominthepark.com. Children go free.