Bloom 2018 kicked off in Phoenix Park Dublin today and will run up until June 4th, five days in total.
The event is a showcase for the best of Ireland’s horticulture and food industry and features 20 spectacular show gardens and endless garden and floral features. Bloom offers a great out for all the family featuring arts, crafts, music, food and drink as well as talks, debates, workshops and live cookery demonstrations with some of Ireland’s best-loved chefs.
The Show garden winner for 2018 has been named, with the award going to Garden designer Andrew Christopher Dunne from the coastal fishing village of Clogherhead in County Louth. He was named as the overall Show Garden winner for his ‘Sustainable Seafood Garden’ in association with Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM). Following a rigorous two-day judging process with an independent panel of expert judges, the award was announced as Bord Bia opened the gates on the 12th annual Bloom festival in the Phoenix Park, Dublin.
The Sustainable Seafood Garden tells the story of the journey from tide to table, of the fish and seafood that surround and inhabit this island. It boasts a large water feature with shimmering fish sculptures and an ‘upcycled’ fishing boat which doubles as a kitchen. Throughout the weekend, the boat will host cookery demonstrations featuring sustainably sourced seafood.
“The sheer scale of endeavour involved in the delivery of this exceptional garden is something which the judges were all agreed upon. This was a hugely ambitious design featuring complex construction and intricate planting schemes in order to create an authentic seaside coastal inlet pier. With clever design features such as a custom-built fishing boat, made from upcycled materials and the wall and pier made from reclaimed sandstone and karst limestone, this garden brings elements to Bloom which we have never seen before.” Said Gary Graham, Bord Bia's Bloom Show Manager when congratulating Christopher.
The judging panels for Bloom 2018 comprised of 14 Irish and international horticultural experts, who today announced a raft of 113 awards for show garden designers, nurseries, floral artists and amateur garden designers including 35 Gold, 22 Silver Gilt, 19 Silver, 24 Bronze and 13 certificates of commendation.
Show Garden Winners
A total of 10 Gold Medals were awarded to the Show Gardens which are the central feature at Bloom 2018.
In addition to the overall large garden category winner, the overall medium sized garden award went to garden designer Linda McKeown for The Enable Ireland Beyond Boundaries Garden in association with Solus Bulbs, while the overall small sized garden medal was awarded to Peter O’Brien for his Enchanted Wood Garden sponsored by Plan Eden. The Best Concept Garden award went to Tünde Szentesi for her Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again garden sponsored by Universal Pictures International Ireland and Best Planting was awarded to Alan Rudden for his Life is Rosé by Santa Rita ‘Living la Vida 120’ garden.
Nursery and Floral Art Winners
Fresh from his Chelsea Flower Show medal win, Billy Alexander from Kells Bay Gardens in Kerry received a Gold Medal and ‘Best in Show’ in the Nursery and Floral Pavillion.
In the AOIFA Floral Art competition Adrienne Flood from Sutton Floral Art Club received the overall prize for her ‘In Homage To…’ display while Shevan Doherty from Sandyford in Dublin received a Gold medal and Best in Category for her Botanical Art piece.
Sponsored by FBD Insurance, Bloom also hosts thirteen small but perfectly formed postcard gardens which were also judged.
In this amateur postcard garden category, pupils from Villierstown National School in Cappoquin, Co. Waterford received ‘Best in Show’ for their garden which tells the story of a hurling game temporarily stopped to allow players to look for a sliotar somewhere in the futuristic Dromana Gate Garden.