Bloom Ireland

With Bord Bia’s Bloom 2017 festival fast approaching, Phoenix Park will soon be home to 22 show gardens; 13 postcard gardens; 50 floral and botanical art displays and 110 food and drink stands. The festival site, which has 70 acres for stages, marquees and pavilions, will host more than 100 live talks, demonstrations and family-friendly activities over five days, from 1-5 June 2017.

Weather at Bloom

RTÉ’s live weather reports will broadcast from Bloom this Thursday and Friday, and according to RTÉ Weather presenter, Audrey McGrath, “The weather is set to be quite changeable over the five days of the festival with a mixture of dry bright intervals and scattered showers. So, best to come prepared!”

However, due to the unpredictable nature of Irish weather, the Bloom site consists of 3.6kms of trackway, 1km of walkway and nearly 3 acres of marquee and covered space, ensuring visitors will have a rain-free experience.

Bloom, which is preparing to open for its 11th year, requires extensive planning, says Bord Bia:

  • It will have the largest marquee in Ireland, which houses the floral features
  • Bloom takes 31 days to build in the middle of Phoenix Park
  • Nearly 700 people are involved in the building, including show garden designers
  • A total of 4,000 people work onsite over the 5 days, including 200 volunteers

At the heart of Bloom will be 22 show gardens, demonstrating excellence and innovation in Irish garden design. The gardens range from functional gardens designed to fit an urban space, to concept gardens which have been designed to communicate a powerful social issue or charitable message. In advance of opening day, each garden will be critiqued by an international panel of judges, and awards will be announced on the opening morning of the event. The panel will be chaired by Andrew Wilson, an award winning UK garden designer, who won his latest gold medal at RHS Chelsea Flower Show last week.

Bloom will be officially opened by President Michael D Higgins on 1 June. Some of Ireland’s best known faces, such as Neven Maguire; Rory O’Connell; Paul Flynn, Roz Purcell; Alison Canavan; Catherine Fulvio; and Olympic Rowers, Gary and Paul Donovan will be attending the event on 2 June.

RTÉ will be broadcasting five days of live television, radio, weather bulletins, panels and music featuring Aine Lawlor, Marty Morrissey, Joe Duffy’s Funny Friday, Miriam O’Callaghan, Marty Whelan, Jacqui Hurley and Ronan Collins.

Bloom will also celebrate and caters for amateur gardeners, who make up the majority of the visitors to the event. The recent Bord Bia ‘Gardening in Ireland’ study, carried out by Red C on behalf of Bord Bia, revealed that over 1.3 million Irish people, from almost 1 million households, now garden on a regular basis and that gardeners of the future will want compact gardens. In honour of this, Bloom will host 13 ‘Postcard Gardens’, which have been designed and constructed by amateur gardeners from around the country.

The amateur gardens will also feature installations from PACE, a voluntary sector organisation that works in the community with prisoners, offenders, ex-prisoners and ex-offenders; ACCESS 2000, a Women’s Community Education and Development Project in Wexford; the Heartbeat Trust, a national heart failure and heart failure prevention charity; and a bee-friendly garden from Friends of the Earth. In addition, some of the more than 80 flower clubs throughout the country will be represented in the AOIFA (Association of Floral Artists) floral artistry competition.

Bloom is open from 9am-6pm for the five days of the event. Ticket prices vary from €16-€22.50, with children under 16 going free. Bloom takes place in the Visitor Centre of the Phoenix Park, which is situated on the main Chesterfield Avenue road running from the Main Gate at Parkgate Street to the Castleknock Gate.

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