Friday 24 November 2017

Sun, flowers: Glorious weather at Bloom... and the rest of the country

RTÉ's Aine Lawlor and Pavol Ponik in the Legend of Tarzan garden at Bloom Photo: Brian McEvoy
RTÉ's Aine Lawlor and Pavol Ponik in the Legend of Tarzan garden at Bloom Photo: Brian McEvoy
Nicola Anderson

Nicola Anderson

It would be quite easy to overlook the small garden with its subdued backdrop of dark green planting - if it were not for the giant see-saw framing it.

The outsized garden toy has been used by gardener Padraic Woods (26) from Blanchardstown in Dublin as a motif for the ups and downs of mental illness, inspired by the ongoing struggle endured by one of his siblings, who is bipolar.

Even the crowds at the Bloom festival will unwittingly serve as part of Woods's garden - standing for the 'outside world' trying to help the isolated person to come back into the light, which is symbolised by lighter planting and blue flowers.

"I didn't come to Bloom to win a medal," insists Woods.

"I came to make this garden to focus on mental illness in the hope that it might explain it."

He revealed that his sibling had come to help put it together, but became emotional as the starkly beautiful show garden came together and had to leave.

Re-enactors from the Ashbourne re-enactment group in the Bullets and Boiled sweets 1916 garden at the Bloom garden festival in Phoenix park in Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday June 1, 2016. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Re-enactors from the Ashbourne re-enactment group in the Bullets and Boiled sweets 1916 garden at the Bloom garden festival in Phoenix park in Dublin. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday June 1, 2016. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire

For Woods, this is his first showing at Bloom.

He trained as a designer in Dún Laoghaire but is currently driving trucks because "garden design doesn't pay".

The centrepiece of the festival once again will be the show gardens, with themes ranging from the war in Syria to the evolution of plants.

Amid a continuing forecast of warm weather, a record attendance of well over 100,000 people is anticipated over the coming five days at the Bord Bia annual festival - which is celebrating a decade in existence - with advance ticket sales well up.

Yesterday gardeners and sunseekers around the country basked in glorious sunshine as temperatures reached the low 20s.

And the heat will continue today with the mercury set to climb to 23C, although temperatures will be pegged back to the mid-to-high teens along northern and eastern coasts due to onshore breezes.

For those heading out and about over the bank holiday weekend, it will stay warm, although there may be some showers from time to time.

However, as humidity increases on Sunday there is the possibility of a few thundery outbreaks, especially in the south and west of the country.

Met Éireann is predicting that it will start to feel a bit fresher next week, but temperatures will still be above normal, ranging from 18 to 22 degrees. It will turn more changeable later in the week.

Irish Independent

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