'Blooming marvellous' festival to make a welcome return to Mallow
Exciting programme of events lined up for annual Mallow Home and Garden festival
The grounds of the Cork Racecourse will once again be looking 'blooming marvellous' over the last weekend in May with the welcome return of the annual Mallow Home and Garden Festival.
Since it was first launched in 1999 the festival has become a Mecca for green-fingered enthusiasts, attracting thousands of visitors over three glorious days eager to savour the sights, smells and excitement of one of the biggest events of its kind in the country.
As ever, the beating heart of the festival, the only one in the country to be run entirely without sponsorship, will be the unique collection of permanently maintained, mature gardens each of what has been created and developed by an Irish gardener and is tended throughout the year by an expert team.
That does not mean the gardens are presented in the same style and format each year. In fact, a huge amount of work goes in to revamping and reworking the gardens between each show to ensure they look fresh and vibrant.
Once again some of the country's top gardening experts will be on hand to share their passion and expertise including free hourly lectures and presentations in the company of Peter Dowdall and Paraic Horkan (resident garden presenter on Newstalk's Pat Kenny Show and Ireland AM).
The emphasis this year is once again on colour with lots of new and unusual flowering and foliage plants from the ISNA suppliers (Irish Specialist Nursery Association) to whet plant-lover's appetites.
Renowned landscaper and festival curator Darren Drummond will be showing visitors how to make and manage gardens in shady places and there will be flower arranging demonstrations with Margaret Mulchinock, while Energywise will return information on the latest technology available for your home.
A new addition this years show will be award-winning interior designer Nina Kati, one of Ireland leading feng shui design consultants, who will on hand with top tips on how to make the most of the interior of your home.
Other attractions across the weekend will include a pet show, vintage car collection, an artisan food market and a Lifestyle & Leisure expo.
With thousands of new and unusual flowering and foliage plants, garden equipment and furniture for sale at the home and garden zone there will be plenty to whet appetites and inspire visitors to transform their gardens, making them the envy of their neighbours and friends.
Admission to the festival, which will run from May 24-26, will be €15, with concessions for seniors and children getting in for free.
There will be ample parking on site and if you fancy avoiding the traffic and leaving the car at home a free bus shuttle service will operate from Mallow train station during each of the three days.
For more information about the festival and to see the full weekend programme visit www.exhibitionsireland.com.