Bloom attracts more than 106,000 visitors in 8th year

Barretstown camp for sick children to be new home for Sowing the Seeds of Magic garden

Bloom, the annual gardening, food and family festival run by Bord Bia, was officially opened by the President Higgins in the Phoenix park earlier today and attendance was high despite the rainy conditions. Video: Bryan O'Brien


After more than 30,000 ice creams and a run on pies, Bloom festival organisers folded up their tents this evening for another year.

The popular combination of gardening and food meant the festival, now in its eighth year, has managed to double attendance since 2007.

More than 106,000 people had visited the five-day horticulture and food event in Dublin’s Phoenix Park, down by 4,000 on 2013.

In spite of poor forecasts for yesterday and today, the rain stayed away. Bestsellers at the event included chef Donal Skehan’s Skoff pies, which were sold out by lunchtime today, as were Cáis farmhouse cheeses and chopping boards from Caulfield Country Boards.

Gardens relocated

The Barretstown & Glanbia Sowing the Seeds of Magic garden will be transported in full to Barretstown camp for sick children in Kildare.

Its designer, Tim Austen, won the People’s Choice Award.

The Limerick City of Culture Garden will be rebuilt in the medieval quarter of Limerick.

116 medals

The overall winner in the large garden category went to Renault ZOE: City Life Garden, designed by Kevin Dennis; the medium garden prize went to You Talk I’ll Listen – The Samaritans Garden, designed by Andrew Christopher Dunne; and the small garden winner was Facing South: The Talbot Collection at Malahide, designed by Paul Foley.

The overall winner of the concept garden was Messenger designed by Paul Doyle for the Jack and Jill Foundation.

More than 80,000 plants were sold at an estimated value of €750,000 and more than 100 grow-it-yourself enthusiasts parted with €850 each to buy polytunnels.

Outstanding success

“Bloom is now firmly established in the parklands setting of the Phoenix Park and is regarded as the most important event in the Irish horticulture calendar,” he said.

“Bord Bia is privileged to provide this public showcase of Ireland’s world-class food and horticulture sectors, both of which significantly contribute to Ireland’s economy.”