Bord Bia toasts another Bloom-ing success
Bloom 2019 in Dublin attracts 115,000 visitors amid themes of sustainability and biodiversity.
4 June 2019
Bord Bia has hailed Bloom 2019 as another roaring success, with more than 115,000 visitors (including 20,000 children) descending upon Dublin’s Phoenix Park for the renowned gardening, food and lifestyle festival.
Tara McCarthy, CEO of Bord Bia, said that she is proud of how Bloom is continuing to evolve. “This year’s event accurately reflected our changing times and the mood of the nation,” McCarthy said. “Important stories and conversations around the key themes of sustainability and biodiversity have taken place across nearly every aspect of the show, while the show gardens, postcard gardens and panel discussions highlighted key issues from climate change, environmentally-friendly packaging and the importance of physical and mental wellbeing.
“Also on the agenda was protecting Ireland’s indigenous bee population and the need to safeguard our marine environments,” McCarthy said.
In keeping with the festival’s focus on recycling and sustainability, many of this year’s show gardens will be rehomed in the coming weeks and months. Linda McKeown’s gold medal winning diversity garden, for example, will relocate to Enable Ireland’s new Children’s Centre opening in Curraheen, County Cork
The plants from Cheshire Ireland’s garden won’t have far to travel as they will be replanted at the Cara Cheshire Home in the Phoenix Park, while the garden’s striking red figure sculpture and birch trees will be rehomed in the Ardeen Cheshire Home in Shillelagh, County Wicklow, the original Cheshire Ireland service home.
St. Ita’s Community Hospital in Newcastlewest, Limerick, has been chosen as the new home for Dementia Ireland’s garden. This will allow the garden to be enjoyed by those living with dementia and the wider community for many years to come.
The Marie Keating Foundation’s Breath of Life garden has been donated to the Cuisle Centre in Portlaoise to provide a relaxing outdoor space for people diagnosed with cancer and their families. Meanwhile, the plants from the Bee Positive Garden will be replanted in Fingal County Council parks, while the stone wall will make its way back to Bremore Castle, Balbriggan, Co. Dublin.
“Now in its 13th year, Bloom provides Bord Bia with an invaluable opportunity to engage with the public,” McCarthy contined, “helping us to build insight and share new ideas while also celebrating and showcasing the best of Ireland’s horticulture, food and drink industry.
Bloom has a strong track record of delivering sales and new business for those exhibiting, both onsite during the event, and in the key months following the festival. Over 250 UK and Irish food buyers attended a Bord Bia trade breakfast for face-to-face meetings with over 100 food and drink companies. An estimated in excess of €10 million was spent onsite over the last five days.”
Bloom 2019 by numbers
Bord Bia has released some of the event facts and figures from the festival’s five days:
- Over 115,000 visitors, including 20,000 children.
- The judging panel for Bloom 2019 comprised of 14 Irish and international horticultural experts, who awarded more than 100 awards to show garden designers, amateur postcard garden designers; nurseries and floral artists.
- This year’s show featured 22 show gardens, 14 postcard gardens and 28 nursery displays and a record number of 11 gold medals were awarded to show garden designers.
- More than 20,000 visitors left plants in the Plant Crèche to be cared for while they enjoyed the festival.
- Over 10,000 Irish plants were sold in the newly established Quality Mark Plant Village.
- Almost 20,000 people availed of Bord Bia’s free Shuttle Bus to and from Bloom.
- Three quarters of a tonne of strawberries were eaten in Bord Bia’s ‘7 a day’ Rainbow polytunnel and the Food Dudes Kids Zone.
- A total of 4,000 people worked onsite over the 5 days, including 200 Bord Bia volunteers.
- It will take 14 days to clear the Bloom site.