Saturday 16 November 2019

Gardening festival ready to Bloom - regardless of hail, rain, shine... or bus strikes

Deegan (6) and Eabha Scully (6) helped to launch the festival yesterday
Deegan (6) and Eabha Scully (6) helped to launch the festival yesterday

Shane O'Riordan

The weather may be dreadful but planning is well under way for this year's Bloom festival which will feature more than 25 show gardens.

And after a washout May bank holiday weekend, organisers say that they will be ready for every type of forecast over the long weekend in June.

Bloom 2015 is a five-day festival starting on May 28 featuring "gardening inspiration, gastronomic delights and good old- fashioned family fun".

Speaking at the launch in the National Botanic Gardens yesterday, manager of the event Gary Graham said: "(Bloom) is not just for those with green fingers, but for all who enjoy a fantastic day out in the beautiful surroundings of the Phoenix Park in Dublin.

"Our flagship horticulture and food event provides the ultimate platform to showcase our incredibly talented garden designers, food producers, chefs and crafts and design people."

He promised that visitors would be in "for a real treat, and can expect to see 25 breathtaking show gardens".

There will be five large, 13 medium and seven small gardens on show. Ticket prices range from €14 to €20 depending on the day, but children can go for free.

The Bord Bia event is in its ninth year and expects to see tens of thousands in attendance.

However, poor weather and a three-day bus strike by Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann drivers scheduled for the June bank holiday weekend may hinder some families.

The three-day strike will begin on Friday, May 29, but Mr Graham is hopeful this "should not make much difference to the size of the crowds".

"Most of our visitors drive to Bloom as they like to purchase a lot of things at different stalls throughout the festival and want to bring things home," he said.

"However, we will have five free shuttle buses running from Heuston Station for those who planned to get there by public transport."

Meanwhile, our current spell of bad weather is set to linger for a few more days.

Met Éireann's Joan Blackburn said there would be "frequent showers and temperatures will remain below normal for this time of year, going between 5C and 13C."

Mr Graham said he hoped that things would brighten up for Bloom, but even if it did not, acres of the festival were under gazebo cover.

The Irish Independent is media partner to Bloom. The full preview guide to the event will be published in 'Weekend' magazine on Saturday, May 23

Irish Independent

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