Five must-see gardens at this year's Bloom in the Park
Published 01/06/2016 | 16:42
The evolution of plants, the Easter Rising and a Chilean wine paradise are some of the themes among Bloom's 23 show gardens this year.
Running from June 2-6, the Bord Bia festival at Dublin's Phoenix Park is expected to receive more than 100,000 visitors in its tenth year.
The show gardens include small, medium and large creations by Irish and international designers, with something to suit all ages and tastes.
1. Bullets and Boiled Sweets - 1916 Commemoration Garden, designed by Fiann Ó'Nualláin
The Irish Independent and Bord Bia offered readers the chance to help design the 1916 Commemoration Garden to mark the centenary of the Rising at Bloom.
Teacher Jacinta Sullivan's winning concept 'Bullets and Boiled Sweets' has been brought to life by previous Bloom gold medalist Fiann Ó'Nualláin, who runs The Holistic Gardener company.
The colourful garden incorporates the Proclamation along with the mixture of sweets and bullets strewn across the cobbles to demonstrate the poignancy of the stories of children who lived through Easter 1916.
This garden invites visitors to ask if the promise of the Proclamation to "cherish all the children of the nation equally" has been fulfilled.
2. Across Boundaries, designed by Barry Kavanagh
This vast garden represents how the concept of social farming can have a key role in the therapy of participants within the healthcare system.
The square garden section, with the phrase 'Every exit should be an entrance to something better', represents conventional forms of therapy with a figure facing an open barrier.
When the figure crosses the barrier, they enter the other part of the garden, going from conventional therapy to a naturalistic farm-based therapy.
Farm animals made using chicken wire are dotted around this side.
After its showing at Bloom, the garden will be integrated into an existing social farm.
3. UCD Evolution of Land Plants Garden, designed by Dr Caroline Elliot-Kingston and Nicola Haines
Sponsored by UCD, this garden traces half a billion years of evolutionary history in one garden.
It tells the story of the importance of plants in creating habitats for animals through its movement from water on to land.
The garden is divided into five sections, beginning with Empty Earth and progressing to the key innovations in plant evolution - The Development of Plant Cuticle, Vascular System, Seeds and Flowers.
After the festival, the garden will be reconstructed as a permanent outdoor classroom in the grounds of UCD. There it will be used to teach plant evolution and the diversity of plant life on Earth.
4. Out the Other Side: A Garden of Hope, designed by Tünde Szentesi
The symbolic garden brought by the Marie Keating Foundation and Roche aims to offer hope to people affected by breast cancer with a colour scheme to trace the journey of breast cancer survivors.
The purple and red planting represents the emotions felt by people when first diagnosed with the illness. The foliage gradually brightens and the flowers bloom to a pink shade to signify compassion, nurturing and love.
Finally the white reflects new beginnings, protection and encouragement.
The must-see aspect of this garden is a hammock made from bras do add by breast cancer survivors, designed by students of the Rediscover Centre in Ballymun and the National College of Art and Design.
5. Santa Rita Living La Vida 120 Garden, designed by Alan Rudden
A flavour of Chile has been brought to Bloom this year, inspired by the designer's visit to South America and the Casa Real Estate, the home of the Santa Rita wine.
The designer noticed how the Chileans love to enjoy wine and food al fresco, which motivated him to create a space where visitors could be entertained and relaxed.
The plants and material finishes were influenced by those seen in Chile, with a harmonious mix of the old and the new.
This contrast represents the journey from the history of the tradition of wine production in the country through to Santa Rita's reputation as the most popular South American wine brand in Ireland.