Bord Bia’s Bloom festival was buzzing with positivity and people today as over 31,000 visitors flocked to the Phoenix Park, Dublin (Sunday). One special guest RTE’s Miriam O’Callaghan received a particularly warm welcome from fans and listeners alike as she enjoyed her first ever visit to the Bord Bia showcase.
Miriam joined a host of gardening gurus, celebrity chefs, designers and musicians to broadcast a lively ‘floral and food’ themed show from the RTE stand today (Sunday). Following a number of selfie requests, Miriam took some time out to see the stunning show gardens and meet the designers, including Crumlin Children’s Hospital garden designed by Kieran Dunne and Anthony Ryan, Bloom’s Dementia-Friendly garden designed by Tom Grey, Clive Jones and Sinead Grennan, the Pieta House ‘Garden of Hope’ designed Teagasc and finally the GOAL / Oxfam Ireland garden designed by Niall Maxwell, which is looking for a new permanent home post Bloom.
Titled ‘A World Beyond Walls’, the Oxfam Ireland and GOAL’s show garden was awarded a Gold Medal and ‘Best in Category’ and demonstrated the power of tearing down the barriers that separate people across the globe. Earlier today, GOAL and Oxfam Ireland called on local authorities, public spaces and buildings, politicians and public servants from across Ireland to get in touch with them if they wish to re-create the award-winning garden in their own city, town or village.
Meanwhile, Bord Bia officially launched start of the Irish strawberry season with a colourful event on its ‘Strawberry Beds’ garden at Bloom. The garden, designed by first time Bloom designer Maeve O’Neill, seeks to celebrate the heritage of strawberry growing in Ireland, an industry which is entirely composed of family growers. Strawberries were first grown in Ireland as early as the 1750, on the Strawberry Beds Road on the banks of the River Liffey. These days, Dublin, Wexford, Meath and Kildare are the main growing areas. Strawberries sales in Ireland were valued at over €90 million last year, the second biggest fruit category by value, after apples. ‘Celebrate Strawberry Week’ is an annual event which, as its name implies, celebrates the start of the main strawberry season in Ireland, and is co-funded by Bord Bia and the strawberry producers of Ireland.
Yesterday also marked the announcement of the Designers’ Choice Award, a coveted accolade, where the garden designers vote for their favourite show garden. Husband and wife team Oliver and Liat Schurmann from Mount Venus Nursery, Dublin 8 scooped the award for their ‘FBD Insurance’s Transition’ garden inspired by the Connemara coastline. On Thursday, the talented pair were also awarded a gold medal and the best in large garden category.
Tomorrow is the final day of Bloom 2017. The show opens from 9am – 6pm and according to Bord Bia, the traditional end of show sale will begin at 3pm. Tickets are available on the gate, for more information see www.bloominthepark.com