Saturday 20 July 2019

Mallow’s garden festival could be a ‘mini Chelsea’

Louise McCarthy

ORGANISERS of the annual Mallow Home and Garden Festival described it as the most successful since the opening event eight years ago.

It is estimated that 28,000 people from throughout Ireland visited the home, garden and outdoor living event at the Cork Racecourse last Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The event was organised by Alan Cleggan, the managing director of the Home and Garden Festival, alongside garden designer, Dominick Cullinane.

There were in excess of 150 stands on display with Mallow businesses showing a good presence. New initiatives this year included an exhibition on geothermal energy that was given by Listowel company, Energy Master.

One of the highlights of the event was a beehive entrance to a garden called ‘Kettle’s On’ that was designed by Dominick Cullinane. The intricate stone work that took up to two months to build will stay as a permanent feature at the Racecourse grounds.

New additions to the festival this year included copper smith and basket weaving, prawns and potato stands to a pipe band.

The variety of choice from the plant display was something that grabbed everybody’s attention.

According to Mr Cleggan, the festival generated a revenue for Mallow town that was quite significant. Just some of the celebrity gardeners included Charlie Wilkins and Neil Williams.

Meanwhile, Mr Cullinane described the event as the best garden festival in Mallow since its inception.

In addition, Kieran O’Connor of Mallow’s Munster Decking, said: “Besides the first year this was the best. There is talk of building up the festival to a miniature Chelsea show in the future,” said Mr O’Connor.

Doneraile man, Steven Eldridge, who owns Gardener’s Friend, could see a greater crowd capacity coming through the gates.

“When I have got too many people at my stand that I can’t see, then I know it is busy. There was more entertainment for the people. If they keep up on adding like they have done this, then it will be a success. When you get a big crowd even though it is not a bank holiday weekend, then you know you are stepping in the right direction,” said Mr Eldridge.