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Saturday 24 February 2018

Bloom 2017: Here's what to expect at this year's festival

Alan O’Keeffe

A ‘Despicable Me 3’ garden, dog friendly gardens and the skills of top chefs will be among the many attractions at Bloom 2017.

Children, older people, music lovers, foodies and fashionistas will all find fascinating features at the food and gardening event at the Phoenix Park in Dublin from June 1-5.

Universal Studios have joined a wide array of companies and groups installing show gardens at the event this year.

The film studio is devising a garden based on the hit animation Despicable Me 3 movie which is expected to attract large numbers of the 15,000 children that attend the Bloom event each year.

Pictured at the launch in the Botanic Gardens Glasnevin were Gary Graham, Bord Bia's Bloom Show Manager with Lauren Keane (5) and Sophie Bracken (4)
Pictured at the launch in the Botanic Gardens Glasnevin were Gary Graham, Bord Bia's Bloom Show Manager with Lauren Keane (5) and Sophie Bracken (4)
Sophie Bracken (4) from Lusk and Lauren Keane (5) from Leopardstown
Pictured at the Bloom 2017 launch in the Botanic Gardens Glasnevin, was Sophie Bracken (4)
Gary Graham, Bord Bia's Bloom Show Manager, with Sophie Bracken (4) and Lauren Keane (5)
According to Bord Bia, key themes for this year’s showgardens include “fake news”, dog friendly gardens and Ireland’s farming and food production heritage
Sophie Bracken (4) and Lauren Keane (5)
Bloom 2017 takes place in the Phoenix Park, Dublin from Thursday June 1 – Monday June 5
Tickets are on sale now on and children go free

“There will be several characters from the movie represented which the children will enjoy,” said Gary Graham, manager and founder of the annual Bord Bia Bloom event.

“The children will also be able to get involved in the Grow Your Own area which will show them how to enjoy planting and participate in gardening activities,” he said.

Some 115,000 people attended the 10th anniversary Bloom event last year.

One of the display gardens will be designed specifically to show how to create a safe outdoor environment for people with dementia.

“A garden space which is safe and secure for people with dementia can be enormously beneficial.  Colours can be stimulating for those with dementia and smells can be very powerful in helping to bring back memories,” said Mr Graham (54).

“Also, the colour green can be very restful and healing. The many shades of green in nature can have a calming effect,” he said.

A dog friendly garden will be on display, in association with Dogs Trust, designed by Brian Burke, named On Cloud CaNine.

“Dog friendly designs provide shelter and cover for dogs in the garden. Dogs want to feel part of the family and allow them into the garden is much better than putting them into separate ‘dog runs,’” he said.

Music stages, fashion shows, panel discussions, and a huge variety of food areas are expected to attract a big attendance from families once more.

More than 25 live cookery demonstrations will be given by renowned experts Nevin Maguire, Catherine Fulvio, Rory O’Connell, Roz Purcell and others.

Mary Morrissey and Aine Lawlor will broadcast live for RTE.

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