There is a buzz in the air as Ireland’s favourite gardening and food festival, Bord Bia Bloom is set to return to its home in the Phoenix Park, Dublin from June 2nd – 6th 2022.
The celebrated outdoor festival, now in its sixteenth year, will be held in-person following two successful virtual #BloomAtHome events. With a surge in consumer interest in gardening and the outdoors accelerated by world events over the last two years, this year’s festival will celebrate the role outdoor spaces can play in promoting positive mental and physical health. In addition, the importance of living more sustainably and protecting biodiversity will feature throughout the festival.
From flowers to food and family fun, there is something for everyone at this year’s festival. Bord Bia Bloom spans 70-acres encompassing the Visitor Centre in the Phoenix Park and while predominantly an outdoor event in 2019, organisers are bringing even more of the features into the open air this year.
Tara McCarthy, Bord Bia CEO said, “Bord Bia is delighted to return to the Phoenix Park for our annual showcase of the best of Irish gardening, horticulture, food and drink. It’s great to once again bring together the many talented people who are a part of Bord Bia Bloom, from garden designers and growers; to food producers, conservationists, chefs, musicians and artists. Bord Bia has made additional efforts this year to maintain a safe and environmentally sound space for all to enjoy, while ensuring that visitors come away enthused about how they can enhance their outdoor environments in a sustainable way. Whether you’re a regular attendee, a new gardening enthusiast, or simply looking to enjoy a great day out, there’s plenty to inspire people over the five days.”
Stunning Garden Displays
This year 19 stunning show gardens will form the centrepiece of Bord Bia Bloom. The show gardens are one of the events most popular attractions, not only as a source of inspiration, but also entertainment through imaginative story-telling, creative concepts and addressing important local and global issues such as the environment, human health, sustainable food production and housing.
The Peter McVerry Trust will take part for the first time with the Pathways to Home garden, designed to represent the journey from homelessness and sleeping rough to living in a safe and secure home; while the Croí Cardiovascular Garden aims to educate visitors about heart health. The new Green Cities Europe initiative, will feature a show garden highlighting the opportunity to make our public spaces greener through well considered planting and design; Aldi’s Sustainable For-rest Garden will showcase forest gardening, one of the oldest eco-friendly horticultural practices; and two of this year’s show gardens will focus on creating accessible garden spaces including gardens by Enable Ireland and 2020 Super Garden winner, Mark Hoey, who will recreate his wheelchair friendly garden.
Ireland’s sustainable food production systems will also feature in a number of the gardens at this year’s event including the National Dairy Council Sustainable Dairy Garden which will highlight the role of lush green pastures in producing quality milk; The Organic Edible Garden will showcase how best to grow a range of organic edible crops (vegetables and fruits) in tandem with nature, and the Eat Well, Live Well feature garden will showcase Ireland’s fresh produce industry with a planting display of in-season fruit, vegetables and potatoes.
Re-create a Show Garden at Home
Building on the success of its Easy Steps to Dream Gardens initiative, Bord Bia is bringing two of the garden designs – The Nature Enthusiasts Garden and The Shared Spaces Family Garden – to the show garden area this year. Created to help people plant their own show garden at home, each garden has been designed by an award-winning designer and comes with an easy-to-follow planting plan and planting list that can be implemented at home, according to the time, space and budget available. Visitors keen to recreate the designs can purchase the Irish grown plants featured in each garden from participating garden centres around Ireland.
With the environment and sustainability top of everyone’s agenda, there will be plenty of opportunities to engage with experts in environmental protection and sustainability; the Gardening and Sustainable Living Stage will feature curated talks from a range of speakers, while the Conservation Zone returns with some of Ireland’s most prominent conservation organisations including the Irish Woodland Trust and the National Biodiversity Data Centre.
In bringing more of the show under open air this year, Bord Bia has created a new outdoor Nursery Village where visitors can meet, seek advice and buy plants from some of the very best plant nurseries in Ireland. Amateur gardening displays will be celebrated in the Postcard Gardens, which are small, but perfectly formed gardening showcases from community groups nationwide.
Bord Bia is also running a number of sustainable initiatives at the festival, from providing a free shuttle bus service and an increased number of bicycle parking spaces, to ensuring that all food and drink packaging sold on-site is fully compostable or recyclable. Many of the show gardens will highlight environmentally friendly practices and systems, such as rainwater collection, pollinator-friendly planting, habitats for wildlife, and greener building materials in order to inspire visitors to make changes at home.
Delicious Food & Family Fun
As always, the Food Village is set to be a hive of activity with more than 90 food producers showcasing the best of Irish food; from chocolate to smoked salmon, cheese to beetroot juice, artisan sausages, fresh vegetables and meats, coffee and jams – it will be a feast for the senses! The Bloom Inn will offer the finest craft brews and spirits from all over the country.
The Quality Kitchen stage will feature some of Ireland’s leading chefs including Neven Maguire, Rory O’Connell, Fiona Uyema, Catherine Fulvio, Edward Hayden, Gary O’Hanlon, Shane Smith, Mark Moriarty, JP McMahon and Brian McDermot. There is also an opportunity for kids (aged 8-14) to join Quality Kitchen favourite, Neven Maguire, in a cook-along on stage by entering a competition – full details on how to enter will be released on Bord Bia’s social media channels on Friday, 6th May.
There is plenty of fun for all of the family at Bord Bia Bloom with the Minions show garden sure to attract attention from younger visitors! Live music can be enjoyed at the YouBloom stage; attendees can also enjoy one of the interactive performances and live demonstrations taking place in the Food Dude’s Kids Zone; or browse the many retail exhibitors at the festival in the Grand Grand Pavilion. Two on-site restaurants, the Country Crest Food Fayre and Farm Shop and Bistro Bloom will offer indoor and outdoor dining options and there will be a wide range of tasty food options from artisan food trucks located around the site.
Bord Bia is advising people planning to attend to book tickets in advance to avoid potential disappointment on the day, as ticket numbers are being capped for this year’s festival. This new measure is one of several in place this year to ensure a relaxed, safe environment for entrants following on from Covid-19 restrictions. This year, two children under 16 go free with every adult ticket purchased. Visit bordbiabloom.com to book tickets today.