Tuesday 17 September 2019

Watch: An exclusive first look at spectacular Bloom 2018... ABBA, fashion and sustainable seafood

Pictured is
Pictured is "The Enchanted Wood" designed by Peter O'Brien, one of 20 show gardens at Bord Bia’s Bloom festival. Bord Bia’s Bloom Iain White - Fennell Photography.

Rachel Farrell and Kyran O'Brien

ABBA, nature and zen-living are just some of the inspirations behind the show gardens at Bloom Festival 2018.

Green thumbs, families, food and fashion lovers will all find something to enjoy at this year's festival, which will take place in Dublin's Phoenix Park from May 31 – June 4.

This week, Ireland's top garden designers have been putting their heart and soul into perfecting their displays. The 20 spectacular show gardens will be judged by a panel of judges, analysing every little detail from the use of plants to the overall design.

For multi-award winning gardener Tunde Szentesi of TündeLandscapes, revealed it was the upcoming 'Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again' movie that inspired her to design.

"This is a celebration for anyone that can't get away from Ireland. We wanted to create a beautiful, Mediterranean atmosphere here, and this is it. We'll have a DJ from Friday until Monday to play the 'Mamma Mia' movie music," she told Independent.ie.

"I like the story of the movie, the story of how an independent woman started a new life in a new country. I did that to come to Ireland from Hungary. The 'Mamma Mia' story is very similar to mine."

Meanwhile, Maxwell Andreeva Garden Design began planning their unique showcase garden more than six months ago. 

"I want this to be like nothing they've ever seen before, something to make them think," said Niall Maxwell, one half of the duo.

"If you can create something that takes a little second to make people think 'what am I looking at' and then they appreciate the beauty that's in it, you've really done something there. That's what I set out to do from the start."

The 'sustainable seafood garden' was the brainchild of Bloom gold medal designer Andrew Christopher Dunne. His inspiration was the coastal fishing village of Clogherhead in Louth, where he lives with his family. 

"At the time when I was contemplating the proposal, I was doing what I often do and that is a cycle down to the pier. I was sitting down and having a nice seafood chowder when I realised it was all there right in front of me.

"I was staring out at the fishing boats, looking out at our old pier and our new pier, and I had this amazing bowl of food. And that's where it all came from."

‘A Different Outlook’, one of 20 show gardens at Bord Bia’s Bloom festival
Photo: Iain White - Fennell Photography.
‘A Different Outlook’, one of 20 show gardens at Bord Bia’s Bloom festival Photo: Iain White - Fennell Photography.

Now in its 12th year, over 4,000 people were involved with setting up the five-day festival. The festival originally started out to promote garden plants and design, but soon became Ireland's most famous gardening event.

Bord Bia's Bloom show manager Gary Graham said that visitors can expect lots of creativity during the festival this year.

“We are now in our 12th year of Bloom and while the range of features on offer has steadily grown as our visitor numbers have increased, the heart of the show still lies in the magnificent works of art created by the show garden designers.

"I am in awe of the creativity and imagination which many of the designers who return year after year exhibit. They are constantly coming up with new concepts, innovative design features and best of all, spectacular outdoor spaces which continue to captivate our visitors. 

"It is always exciting to have among them some garden designers who are completely new to Bloom who bring with them new influences and energies.”

Alongside the show gardens, visitors can meet some of Ireland's top food producers in the Food Village. Food demonstrations will take place at the Bord Bia Quality Kitchen, as well as live fashion shows throughout the day. 

There will be also craft demonstrations and workshops for children.

Visitors can purchase the plants they've seen in the show gardens from the Plant Village.

  • To be in with a chance of winning 2 tickets to Bloom 2018 with Independent.ie - Click here
  • For more information about Bloom 2018, click here

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