Saturday 1 October 2016

'1916-themed gardens and more than 100 Irish producers'- Celebrations at Bloom as festival marks tenth year

Ciara Treacy

Published 01/06/2016 | 15:29

Breast cancer survivors, Deirdre Morrissey, Yvonne Joye and Deirdre Featherstone pictured at the launch of 'Out the Other Side: A Garden of Hope' at BordBia's Bloom
Breast cancer survivors, Deirdre Morrissey, Yvonne Joye and Deirdre Featherstone pictured at the launch of 'Out the Other Side: A Garden of Hope' at BordBia's Bloom

With 23 show gardens, more than 100 Irish food and drink producers and 200 retailers, the stage is almost set for Bloom's tenth anniversary.

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The garden festival at Phoenix Park is putting the finishing touches ahead of its opening tomorrow and expects 100,000 visitors over five days.

Mike Neary, Horticulture Manager at Bord Bia, said there is plenty for all to enjoy.

"Bloom 2016 is our tenth year, it's hard to believe," he told independent.ie.

"Since the show started in 2007 we've had 700,000 people come through our gates, so we're looking forward to another large crowd this year.

"A lot of people come for the jewel in the crown of the show, which is the show gardens, we've got 23 fantastic show gardens this year.

"As well as planet and gardens of course the food element at Bloom is very strong."

He explained that designers were set the "fairly large" task of going above and beyond to mark the festival's milestone.

"There are a number of different aspects. We've got international gardens, one representing America, Chile and China, ones to do with education like the UCD Evolution of Plants Garden and also messaging around breast cancer with the Marie Keating Foundation, the issue around Syria in the Damascus Courtyard garden.

"There's also fun elements - there's a garden representing Life of Pets which is coming out during the summer. When children come and see what happens in the garden, they'll enjoy that.

"Because it's 2016, we have a garden that tells a little bit about the 1916 Rising."

There will also be a Budding Bloomers to teach children about gardening and healthy eating, along with an entertainment stage.

"It's a large journey," said Mr Neary. "Some would liken it to building a small town or village in the middle of Phoenix Park.

"The whole site is 70 acres that we use so if you came here a month ago, it's completely green and now totally transformed with the different features and activities that the show will encompass.

"Every year before Bloom we all become weather experts, we watch very closely what's happening with the weather but this year it looks like we're going to have fabulous weather."

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