Refugee crisis and Rising centenary to feature at Bloom 2016

Largest Irish garden festival expected to attract 100,000 over bank holiday weekend

Captured at the launch of Bloom 2016 were Eva Casey (5) and Doireann McNally (5). It takes place from June 2nd-6th in the Phoenix Park and organisers say it will be the biggest to date. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Captured at the launch of Bloom 2016 were Eva Casey (5) and Doireann McNally (5). It takes place from June 2nd-6th in the Phoenix Park and organisers say it will be the biggest to date. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

 

The event, which began in 2007, will take place as usual over the June bank holiday weekend in Dublin’s Phoenix Park and will be the biggest to date, according to the organisers.

Bord Bia has said demand from exhibitors and retailers has surpassed previous years and there is now a waiting list for the stands. They also anticipate a crowd of more than 100,000 over the five days.

This year’s show will include 23 show gardens with organisations such as Marie Keating Foundation, GOAL, and St John of God Hospital having teamed up with designers to create gardens with powerful messages around social and cultural issues.

The GOAL Syria garden will focus on the devastation caused to families during the five-year civil war. GOAL has won medals at Bloom for its show gardens in the past.

The Syrian garden will be designed by Brian Burke who won both the RTÉ Super Garden competition and a silver medal at Bloom in 2015.

This Damascene design is a symbol of the devastation which has been wreaked upon a people, their history and their culture.

Other show gardens include Bullets and Boiled Sweets, which reflects the innocent loss of life in the Easter Rising. It is designed by Fiann Ó Nualláin and is based on one eyewitness account during the Rising of the raiding of sweet shops by looters. Many were accidentally caught in the crossfire and shot dead.

Evolutionary history

The garden is jointly designed by botanist Dr Caroline Elliott-Kingston, who studied Horticulture at the National Botanic Gardens, and by architect Nicola Haynes.

The “Face to Face” garden will reflect how social media and modern technology are alienating rather than bringing people together.

The Marie Keating Foundation will reflect on the realities of living with breast cancer. There will also be gardens from Chicago and the Chinese city of Yangzhou.

Bord Bia will feature its Origin Green Experience, located within the Food Village, and this year the Banter at Bloom marquee will host six talks daily over the five-day festival. The talks, chaired by Jim Carroll, will focus on topical issues around food, sustainability and agriculture.