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Alan Rudden, pictured at Bord Bia Bloom 2019 

Preparations for Bord Bia Bloom’s return to the Phoenix Park this June Bank Holiday weekend are now well advanced, with garden designers getting ready to start building their show gardens soon. Among them is multi-award-winning designer and horticulturalist, ALAN RUDDEN, who is returning to Bloom for a ninth time with a medium-sized show garden for Savills Ireland. He gives us a glimpse of his designs. 

Alan Rudden has been so successful at Bord Bia Bloom that he has lost count of the number of awards and medals he has won over the years. For him, the event is one of the highlights of his calendar. ‘I absolutely love it. We are busy all the time but we slow down our schedule for Bloom every year. It’s hard to quantify how much direct business we have received as a result of our involvement in the show but it has been a hugely beneficial platform for us and I’ve built my brand on it. I don’t know where I’d be if I didn’t do Bloom.’ 

Contemporary Living 

This June, Alan partners with Savills Ireland for a second time and he is hoping to replicate the success of his last pairing with the property agents when he won a gold medal for their Urban Retreat show garden in 2017. ‘Once again, our goal is to create a contemporary outdoor living space, featuring it in a naturalistic environment and using as much locally sourced plants and materials as possible.’ 

Alan has shared a sneak peek of his designs for his Savills Ireland show garden this year 

Fencing will be crafted with Irish larch sourced from a local sawmill, while the powder-coated and perforated steel feature comes from Irish steel manufacturers. The brass sculpture, which will appear nestled in an alcove on the feature wall, is from Meath-based sculpturer, Orla de Brí. 

All trees in the garden are Irish-grown Birch (Betula pendula) and will be planted in the style of a woodland. ‘We want to create something very naturalistic, quite similar to what you would see in Glendalough. The trees will be in four different sizes. Some are crooked and bent and have been selected for that reason so that they can contrast against the clean, contemporary lines of the living space,’ explains Alan. 

The planting will feature a restricted colour palette, he adds. ‘There will be small amounts of flowers in off-purple and white but it will be quite restrained. We are incorporating a lot of green foliage with ferns and grasses providing structure.’ 

Alan hopes that Bloom visitors will be inspired to try some elements of his design at home. ‘This could be the fence for instance which, with its staggered edges, is quite different and could easily be incorporated in a residential garden. Or look at the plants and consider which would work within your space. You don’t have to do everything, just pick an element that you like and see how it works for you.’ 

Win Tickets to Bloom!

Bord Bia is giving away TWO FREE TICKETS to Bloom to one reader of this week’s ezine. To be in with a chance of winning, simply send your name, email address and mobile number to BloomPR@BORDBIA.IE and tell us what you’re most looking forward to at this year’s event. Entries close at midnight on Monday, 11 April. Good luck!