Posted by: mdmusingsie | June 4, 2018

Bloom in Dublin

It’s the June bank holiday weekend and the two big events going on in the Dublin area are Riverfest and Bloom.  Since I went to Riverfest last year I thought I’d do Bloom this year.  A little corner of Phoenix park is transformed into a garden oasis.

If it’s warm, humid weather you want, come to Ireland for the June bank holiday weekend.  For at least the last 4 years it has been pretty consistent.  This year I was lucky.  Although it was warm and humid, I arrived at Bloom in the late morning under cloudy skies and was just leaving around 3 pm when the sun finally burned them off, so I wasn’t totally miserable.

The clouds also helped improve the quality of the photos I took of the show gardens and other interesting bits.  A bonus for you, faithful readers.

Each year, months before Bloom, a number of landscape designers compete in a contest called Super Garden to see who can transform the gardens of lucky homeowners.  The designer who wins the contest gets to build a replica of the winning garden at Bloom.  This years’ winner was Darren Joyce with his concept – The Lock Keeper’s View.  There is a mini canal leading to the replica of a lock gate in a canal.  If you would like a closer view, check out this link to RTÉ.


The Lock Keeper’s View

Most of the show gardens contain way more flowers than I would ever want to tend (I don’t even like mowing the lawn), but they all have feature elements as a focal point.  Those are the pieces that catch my interest and this year they contained everything from whimsy to functional to fabulous.

We’ll start on the whimsy end.  No, I didn’t forget to rotate my photos, this was the upside down garden. I hope the gnome is glued on tightBloom23_sm!


Upside Down Garden

Next up is Enchanted Wood – something straight out of Whoville with its own babbling brook.  Ancient stone carvers placed many a carved face in the churches or castles they built.  Sometimes the faces were of nobility, sometimes ethereal beings, sometimes mythical creatures, and occasionally themselves.  This creative gardener added his interpretation of a Green Man carving in wood.


Enchanted Wood


The Green Man

Leaving whimsy behind, only somewhat, was the Mama Mia! inspired Garden.  A little piece of Greece in Ireland.


Mama Mia!

Sustainability was a recurring theme in many of the gardens.  This one was sponsored by Fingal County and designed and built by the Institute of Technology in Blanchardstown with the Dublin and Dun Laoghaire Education and Training Board.  It not only used recycled materials but was designed to be multi-purpose.


Sustainable Seafood Garden takes us on a journey of food from the water to the kitchen table.


Sustainable Seafood


Some gardens came with stories and messages (both implicit and explicit).  The Beyond Boundaries Garden allows space for people confined to wheelchairs or with disabilities to not only move about, but comfortably reach the planting beds.


Beyond Boundaries

Resistance, a garden for Trócaire highlighted areas of the globe fighting for human rights.


Resistance – a garden for Trocaire

Focusing on empowering women, particularly in Africa, was No Limits – GOAL’s Garden for Women.


No Limits – GOAL’s Garden for Women


For people with very small back gardens, the Growing Shed Garden showed creative use of space, including a series of tiered roof plantings.


For people with very small back gardens, the Growing Shed Garden showed creative use of space, including a series of tiered roof plantings.Bloom30_sm

Have a small garden?  Go up!

I think the quality and diversity of the show gardens this year was exceptional.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Gardens aren’t the only highlights at Bloom.  There’s a food village featuring many of Irelands best small to large food producers (and plenty of tasting opportunities).  Bord Bía sponsored cooking demonstrations and gave out free cookbooks (Flo Gas was also giving away little cookbooks). I attended a demonstration by Neven Maguire where he featured products being showcased in the food village.

There’s even time for a bit of horsing around.


For more info about the show gardens check out the Bloom website



  1. wow!!…gorgeous photos and a little glimpse of some great creativity…what a treat!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


%d bloggers like this: