Bloom 2013 attracted in excess of 110,000 visitors - an all-time record, exceeding the previous peak of 90,000. Organised by Bord Bia, the show has now more than doubled in size compared with attendance at the inaugural event in 2007. Bloom continues to grow in popularity and with the exceptionally high attendance this year, artisans, exhibitors and garden designers alike reported a surge in onsite sales.
Show garden designers Michael Carroll and Kevin Dennis, whose ‘Riverside Calm’ garden won a silver gilt medal, have had huge interest in their garden and in particular their table top trees. “Bloom has been a great experience for us. We have already secured in the region of 30 strong leads and commissions.” Alan Rudden and David Ryan from Gardens Now estimate they’ve lined up a minimum of €80,000 worth of business through their presence at Bloom 2013. Kildare Growers also reported its plants sales had surpassed the €100,000 mark during the final day of the show. Gary Graham, Bloom Show Manager, Bord Bia added “Bloom is the most important event in the horticulture calendar – a total of almost 2,000 people worked onsite during the build up and throughout the weekend, including designers, exhibitors, Bord Bia representatives, OPW and essential support services including the Gardai, security and caterers. Bord Bia, and our event sponsors including Woodies, Keelings, Kerry Foods and Mazda, are delighted with the success of this year’s show.”
Bloom Show Gardens
On the first day of the show, the international judging panel awarded a total of 95 medals, compared to 81 in 2012, to garden designers, nurseries and floral artists. The Overall Large Garden Category Award went to Waterford-based designer Gerard Mullen for his ‘Waterford Harvest – Venture into the Wild’ garden, inspired by the wetland wild habitat near the Comeragh Mountains. Yesterday evening (Sunday, June 2nd) Gerard also received the Designers Choice Award, a much sought-after accolade where the Bloom show garden designers vote for their favourite garden. The final award of Bloom 2013, the People’s Choice Award, was today presented to The Hospice Garden – ‘Journey on Earth’ designed by Eileen Nolan, Dr Mary Toomey and Adrian Eggers. The winner of this coveted award is voted for by visitors to the show over the 5 days. Clicke HERE for a full list of medal winners. While a number of designers will sell elements of their gardens in the final hours of today’s show, some show gardens will be rebuilt in new locations over the coming days. The Hospice Garden will be transferred to the grounds of Our Lady’s Hospice, Harold’s Cross, Dublin and the ‘Love Letter to the West’ garden, designed by Leonie Cornelius, will be rebuilt in full to a private dwelling in Leitrim. While, there has been much interest in the ‘spaceship’ featured in Fiann O’Nuallain’s alien garden, its final destination is yet to be confirmed.
Bloom attracted a number of VIP visitors over the weekend including the President of Ireland Michael D Higgins who was accompanied by his wife Mrs. Sabina Higgins; An Taoiseach Enda Kenny; the Minister for Agriculture, Food and Marine Simon Coveney, TD and Fianna Fáil Party Leader Micheál Martin, TD. The Quality Kitchen Stage in the heart of Bord Bia’s Food Village hosted live cookery demonstrations from celebrity chefs including Neven Maguire, Catherine Fulvio and Dónal Skehan who were joined by Quality Kitchen Ambassadors Hector Ó hEochagain; Yvonne Keating; David Wallace and Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin.
Bloom 2014 will take place from Thursday 29th May – Monday June 2nd 2014.
For more details see bloominthepark.com