This year’s Bloom reflects the groundswell of national support towards living more sustainably in order to address the issue of climate change.
From show gardens highlighting water conservation, the damage of plastics pollution in our oceans and the importance of pollinator and bee-friendly plants; to the community postcard gardens that encourage attendees to reduce plastic waste, recycle and grow their own food; and the Bord Bia Food Village featuring impressive horticultural displays, talks on the impact of climate change on the food industry and a range of new food and drink product launches with a green twist.
On the opening day, Bord Bia announced that the highest-ever number of gold medals had been awarded to the show gardens at the heart of the event. A total of 11 gold medals were presented to show garden designers and the overall show garden award went to Dublin-based garden and landscape designer, Alan Rudden, for his Argentinian themed Vina Doña Paula – A Matter of Altitude garden.
Speaking about the awards, Gary Graham, Bloom Manager, Bord Bia, said, “We are thrilled to announce a record 11 gold medals for this year’s show gardens. Bloom is a showcase for the best of what the Irish horticultural industry has to offer and this result proves that our show garden designers are on par with some of the best in the world when it comes to their skill, attention to detail and creative flair. The delivery of these spectacular spaces takes an immense amount of hard work and dedication over months, if not years, and we are incredibly proud of what our garden designers have achieved here today.”
In addition to the overall large garden category winner, the overall medium sized garden award went to Belfast garden designer Linda McKeown for Enable Ireland’s Diversity Garden in association with Solus and the overall small sized garden medal was awarded to VTOS Horticulture Cabra Community College for Tóg go Bog é (Take it Easy). The Best Concept Garden award went to Bord Iascaigh Mhara's (BIM) Aqua Marine Garden designed by Oliver and Liat Schurmann and Best Planting was awarded to Maeve O’Neill for the ‘Grounded’ Growing Conversations Around Mental Illness garden.
Nursery & Floral Pavilion Awards
A total of 10 gold medals were awarded to displays in the Nursery and Floral Pavilion with the Best in Show Nursery Award going to Boyne Garden Centre, Slane Co. Meath. The judges singled out Boyne Garden Centre’s Aileen Muldoon Byrne “for her ability to create an impactful but elegantly restrained horticultural composition worthy of a gold medal at any of the best shows in the world.”
Sponsored by FBD Insurance, Bloom also hosts fourteen small but perfectly formed postcard gardens which were also judged. In this amateur postcard garden category, Longford Town Guild Irish Countrywomen’s Association garden called ‘Fork to Fork’ won best in category.
Association of Irish Floral Artists (AOIFA) Floral Art
In the AOIFA Floral Art competition Ann Clifford from Doddervale Flower Club, Dublin received the overall prize for her ‘Streamlined’ class entry.
Botanical & Floral Art
Meanwhile, Nicola Lynch Morrin from Kildare received the overall floral art award while Siobhan Larkin from Dublin received the overall botanical art award.