Bloom in the park

Well hello there. It’s been a bit quiet around here recently due to my four weeks of exams which are almost almost over. But I must alert you all to the fact that it’s that time of the year again- time for Bloom in the Park! It runs in the Phoenix Park from next Thursday the 2nd to Monday the 6th of June, and as well as providing eye candy in the form of beautiful gardens and brain candy with lots of tips on how to make the most beautiful gardens, it’s a definite foodie heaven. Details are as follows:

Bloom, Bord Bia’s garden, food & family festival returns to the Phoenix Park

Bloom 2011, Ireland’s largest gardening, food and family festival returns to the Phoenix Park, Dublin from Thursday June 2nd to Monday June 6th.

The event will showcase the best of Ireland’s horticulture and food industry and key attractions this year include a record 27 spectacular show-gardens; a Crafts Council of Ireland garden to celebrate the Year of Craft; Bloom’s first international garden from China and the all new Bord Bia Food Village.

Aidan Cotter, Chief Executive, Bord Bia said Bloom 2011 will celebrate the best of Ireland’s creative flair and passion while showcasing our skills and success in food, horticulture and design. This year’s show will offer a vibrant, engaging and creative experience to share with both family and friends with a broad range of features offering something for everyone.”

Gardens

At the heart of Bloom are 27 stunning large, medium and small show-gardens which will be judged by International independent judging panels and Gold, Silver Gilt, Silver and Bronze medals will be awarded.  In addition, RTE’s Super Garden winning garden will be featured at the show. Gary Graham Bloom Show Manager said “Our show-gardens have been designed by a mixture of new talent and Bloom veterans and the quality and detail contained in all of the designs is just superb. This year’s offering sees the use of a broad range of materials and inspiring features that we are sure will excite and engage visitors”.

Chinese Garden entitled “Ire-Su”, built by the Suzhou Garden Bureau and presented as a gift from the Chinese people to the people of Ireland will be a key feature at Bloom. The authentic Chinese Garden is Bloom’s first international show-garden and will provide the perfect platform for a dazzling display of Chinese cultural activities and entertainment.

A number of broad themes will be explored in the Engaging Space gardens which include a garden which will evolve and develop over the course of the show for the Crafts Council of Ireland; an Allergy Free Garden in association with the Asthma Society of Ireland; a garden created by people who are homeless for Focus Ireland; a garden design focussing on Mental Health Recovery in association with the HSE’s EVE Plantmarket Training Centre and a garden designed to celebrate Dublin City of Literature.

The show-garden area will be complemented with features covering all aspects of the broad floral and horticultural spectrum including the Nursery and Floral Marquee; the new AOIFA Floral Art Stage; the Garden Expert Stage with speakers including Garry Daly and Dermot O’Neill; ICA Bootcamp; GIY Ireland’s grow it yourself feature; the OPW’s Kitchen Walled Garden; a wide range of DIY Gardens and a complimentary Plant Crèche to store visitors plants while they are exploring everything Bloom has on offer.

Food

New to Bloom for 2011 is the Bord Bia Food Village which will feature many of the elements of Ireland’s thriving food and drink industry in one central area. Ireland is recognised for producing some of the best food and beverages in the world.  The Farming for Life; Best in Season and Field to Fork features will demonstrate to visitors the origins of our food and how the raw materials are used to produce world-class ingredients.

Visitors to the Bord Bia Food Village at Bloom can consume and purchase the best of Irish food and a wide range of delicious wholesale local produce in the Artisan Food Market from almost 50 Irish Artisan Producers and a selection of Artisan CaterersThe food offering will be complemented by a range of local artisan beers, whiskeys and spirits available at the BloomInn. Love Irish Food returns to Bloom as an event partner and will host a large number of its member brands in the Love Irish Food pavilion.

At the centre of the new Food Village is the Chef’s Summer Kitchen which will present a daily programme of cookery demonstrations by a number of Ireland’s well known Celebrity Chefs including Catherine Fulvio, Neven Maguire, Donal Skehan and Jenny Bristow. RTE Presenter and Foodie, Ella McSweeney will host the Chef’s Summer Kitchen and will interview Chefs and food producers throughout the event.

Family

Bloom is a wonderful family day out and best of all children under 16 go free! There are a range of family activities including entertainment on the Outdoor Stage which will feature the Café Orchestra, Nigel Mooney Quartet, Mooge 69 and the Mellochords; Craft Demonstrations and Children’s WorkshopsOutdoor Catering and Bistro Bloomfeaturing a Café, Restaurant and Seafood Bar.

In the Children’s Zone, Dale Treadwell will host Gondwanaland – a haven for Dinosaur enthusiasts and an Australian Bush feature. The Children’s Stage will feature a host of activities including storytelling from Dublin City of LiteratureReaders and a Creative Kids Café will also run throughout the event encouraging children to use their imaginations, discover and investigate.

A host of wildlife features will include demonstrations and activities from Birdwatch Ireland, the Irish Wildlife Trust and the Beekeepers Association who are Celebrating the Year of the Honeybee.

Sponsors
Key sponsors and event partners for Bloom 2011 include:  the OPW, Failte Ireland, Love Irish Food, Irish Times, Growise, Woodies DIY, Nissan Leaf, Craft Council of Ireland, An Post, Irish Rail, LUAS, Laurent Perrier, VW, Viking, Lyric FM and Glenisk.

Bloom is open daily from 10am-6pm. Advance tickets are on sale now from €15 – kids go free!www.bloominthepark.com.

I know for a fact it was a highlight of last year, and seems to coincide with end of exams every year so it’s perfect. And I shall be testing out my brand spanking new camera which I shall be receiving next week. Am only overjoyed with the whole setup! I’ll be tweeting and reporting from it on Friday and most certainly will be happily greeting all the amazing Irish Food Producers there – A supply of yummy goodies for the summer is on my list!

Are you going to Bloom?

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