On the opening morning of Bord Bia Bloom in the Phoenix Park in Dublin, three first-time show garden designers were awarded gold medals for outstanding garden displays at the much-loved flower, family and food festival. The gold-medal winning show garden designers who are new to Bord Bia Bloom included Niall Deacon for his Eureka Garden sponsored by Solus Light Bulbs; Sean Russell’s National Dairy Council Sustainable Dairy Farm Garden and Seán O’Malley and Oisín Griffin for the Peter McVerry Trust Pathways to Home Garden.
Seasoned show garden designers Andrew Christopher Dunne and Alan Rudden took the coveted best in category awards for large and medium gardens, bringing their total gold medals at Bord Bia Bloom to four and seven respectively. The overall large show garden award was presented to Andrew Christopher Dunne for Hit Pause, The Caragh Nurseries Garden and the best in category medium show garden was awarded to Alan Rudden for the Savills Urban Oasis Garden.
Mike Neary, Director of Horticulture, Bord Bia said “As Bord Bia Bloom returns as an in-person event for the first time in three years, we are hugely encouraged by the calibre of new horticultural talent emerging alongside some of our incredibly creative and experienced show garden designers. The judges were hugely impressed by the attention to detail, quality of planting and sense of atmosphere created in this year’s displays.
For many, more time spent at home over the last two years has resulted in a new-found appreciation for our outdoor spaces as we realised the benefits of gardening for our mental and physical wellbeing. This year’s gardens embrace this trend and celebrate the role of the garden as a place for relaxing and connecting with nature, while also providing an engaging outdoor room to entertain friends and connect with family.”
Award Winning Horticultural Displays
The judging panels for Bord Bia Bloom 2022 included 15 Irish and international horticultural experts, who today announced 78 awards for show garden designers, nurseries, floral artists, botanical art and amateur garden designers including 22 Gold, 17 Silver Gilt, 17 Silver, 13 Bronze and 9 certificates of commendation.
Speaking about his overall large garden award, Andrew Christopher Dunne said, “Hit Pause is inspired by an appreciation for our gardens and outdoor spaces, which many of us discovered during the past two years. As we were forced to hit pause on our lives, it awakened a creativity within us and a passion for all things outdoors. This garden hopes to encourage this new-found enthusiasm by demonstrating some of the key principles of good design which can be employed in any space.”
Many of the show gardens created at this year’s Bord Bia Bloom were designed to be accessible for amateur gardeners in order to provide those with a new-found interest in gardening with tips and tools to enhance their outdoor space. Andrew’s garden showcases a number of design principles to inspire gardeners, including simplicity of palette, repetition, and the use of colour, form and texture.
Nursery and Floral Pavilion Awards
There were a total of 10 gold medals awarded to nurseries exhibiting at this years event. The judges presented the Best in Show Nursery Award to Oliver and Liat Schurmann of Mount Venus Nursery for an impressive display of hardy garden perennials, trees and shrubs in the new Nursery Village at Bord Bia Bloom.
In the AOIFA Floral Art competition Maureen Fagan from Maynooth Flower and Garden Club, Kildare received Best in Show for her class entry, ‘Phenomenal Forms’; Anne McLeod from Coolree in Wexford received the Best in Show floral art award for her work entitled ‘Japanese anemones in the mist’; and Shevaun Doherty from Broadford, Kildare received the overall botanical art award for her work entitled ‘Take a Breath’.
St. Mary’s Community Gardening Group in Clondalkin were awarded Best in Show for their amateur gardening display in the Postcard Garden area of the show. These small, but perfectly formed gardening showcases feature exhibits telling the stories of charities and community groups.
Opening Day at Bord Bia Bloom
Today, Bord Bia Bloom Patron, President Michael D Higgins will officially open the five-day festival along with his wife, Sabina.
On the Quality Kitchen Stage some of Ireland’s top chefs including Rory O’Connell, Fiona Uyema, Neven Maguire and Edward Hayden will inspire attendees with delicious recipes, covering everything from seasonal summer recipes to tasty ideas for dining with friends and family.
At The Eat Well Kitchen and Garden dietitian Niamh Arthurs will discuss the benefits of fruit and vegetables for digestive health, and Chefs Mark Murphy and Erica Drum will prepare recipes using in-season Irish fruits and vegetables.
The National Dairy Council Sustainable Dairy Farm Garden will host a panel discussion on the topic, ‘Sustainable Diets– where are we going?’ featuring RTÉ’s Kathryn Thomas, dietician Orla Walsh and nutritionist Sinead McCarthy from Teagasc.
To celebrate National Food Waste Recycling Week, MyWaste.ie will have three brand ambassadors attending opening day including Culinary Director @FoodSpace Conor Spacey, Ecologist Anja Murray and gardener Marie Staunton.
On the Garden and Sustainable Living Stage, experts Fíann O’Nuallain, The Holistic Gardener, Niall Hatch from Birdwatch Ireland, and Gerry Daly and Mary Keenan from The Irish Garden Magazine will host talks featuring accessible tips on gardening and sustainability for visitors.
Bord Bia Bloom continues in the Phoenix Park until Monday 6th June. The festival is set to attract over 100,000 visitors this year and features 19 show gardens, 9 postcard gardens, over 80 Irish food and drink producers, 18 plant nurseries, 25 live cookery demonstrations with some of Ireland’s best-known chefs and some 130 retailers, all within a 70-acre site.
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* A full list of all awards can be accessed here.