Higgins inspires garden creation


NOT ONLY will President Michael D Higgins have the country’s largest garden festival on his doorstep next week, but he has also inadvertently inspired one of the show gardens.

One the showpieces at Bloom in Phoenix Park is the “Stream of Consciousness” garden designed by Fiann Ó Nualláin.

The designer met the President at last year’s Bloom when Mr Higgins was canvassing for the job in Áras an Uachtaráin. They talked of spiritual transformation and using a garden to tell a story. “I just knew speaking to him that he was going to be the next President,” Mr Ó Nualláin said.

The conversation inspired him to create the garden, which tells the story of Fionn MacCumhaill and the salmon of knowledge. It includes the ancient hazel tree as the tree of life and salmon leaping to the source of their beginning. A floating stage will host performances by poets and artists.

The President will get a chance to view the garden when he opens Bloom on Thursday week. The gardening, food and family festival runs over the bank holiday weekend until Monday, June 4th. It includes the first show-garden designed by a child. Mr Ó Nualláin’s niece Miah Ní Nualláin (10) has designed a pet-friendly garden with a giant dog bone.

It will also feature a Guinness Book of Records attempt by GIY (Grow It Yourself) Ireland, which will be trying to break the record for the largest number of people sowing seedlings at the same time. The record stands at 904.

This will be the sixth year of Bloom, organised by An Bord Bia. Attendance figures jumped by 50 per cent to 90,000 last year, and Bloom manager Gary Graham said he would be happy with a similar attendance this year.

The Chelsea Flower Show attracts 157,000 visitors.