Archive for ‘BLOOM 2011’

June 7, 2011

Bloom 2011 – Other things I thought were cool!

by Ciaran Burke

With so much happening, so many great garden, superb plants and enticing plant stalls, I don’t have time to write about them all straight away. During the week I will get around to uploading all my photos to my photoshelter site. For now though here are gardens, plants and things that I really liked at Bloom, but have not featured. (In no particular order).

  1. Tig from DYG.IE rolling his compost bin.

    Tig and his rolling compost bin- DYG

  2. Wall in Tim Austen’s Garden

3. Steam Museum garden

he Steam Museum Garden designed by Sophie Graefin Von Maltzan and Lodge Park Steam Museum Garden, Kildare

4. Foxgloves in Deirdre Pender’s garden

Foxgloves - AOS Sí designed by Deirdre Pender, Talamh Landscapes, Carlow

5. First ever international entry

6. Outdoor gallery

An Outdoor Gallery designed by Sophie Graefin Von Maltzan, Dublin

7. Delphiniums in the walled garden


9.  Japanese maple in Jane Mc Corkell’s garden

10. GIY Vegetable map

Vegetable map of Ireland - GIY

11. SEED – Edible School Garden

Edible Garden - SEED

12. Schefflera on Rare Plans ireland Nursery Display

Schefflera - Rare Plants Ireland

13. Pine Wood Deck in Deirdre Pender’s garden

Pine wood deck - AOS Sí designed by Deirdre Pender, Talamh Landscapes, Carlow

14. Tripod for outdoor cooking -DYG.IE

Tripod for cooking over open fire - DYG

15. Seats in Oliver and Liat Schurmann’s Garden

Seats - Large Garden: To The Waters Edge designed by Oliver & Liat Schurmann, Mount Venus Nurseries Dublin

16. Green Roof in Tim Austen’s garden

Green Roof - The Growise Garden in association with Kildare Growers designed by Tim Austen, Austen Associates, Wicklow Engaging Space

17. Water Features – Tim Austen’s garden

The Growise Garden in association with Kildare Growers designed by Tim Austen, Austen Associates, Wicklow Engaging Space

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June 6, 2011


by Ciaran Burke

Philip Bankhead of Penninsula Primulas picking the right plant

4 pm. A bell rings, sounding like a the teacher ringing the end of lunch time, but it is the start of the exhibitors displays sell off in the floral marquee. The thronging crowds are in a frenzy. Plants are being pointed at, pulled at, stand owners prodded. Rare delights are removed and sold, special deals offered, and gladly accepted. I had to keep a keen eye on our stand, “Is this pot for sale?”, “are you giving away anything” our plants and pots from our garden are endangered! But it is all good natured and fun.

Boyne Garden Centre Sell-off

Hanna helped Philip Bankhead of Pennisula Primulas. This is an annual arrangement ever since the first Bloom when Philip innocently said “help yourself’ t and his invitation to the public to pick their desired primulas and queue to pay for them was misunderstood. Now Hanna marshals the crowds with Finnish organisation and a teacher’s command. An orderly queue is formed around his stand as customers choose their plants, Philip packs them,  all are paid for; everybody’s happy. Around every nursery stand their is a type of bedlam, as foxgloves fly and lupins leap into grateful arms. Japanese maples move through the air, concealing people in a cloud of purple foliage that waves from side to side through the floral marquee. Smiles are on the faces of happy plant buyers.

Finlay Colley of Rare Plants Ireland in action

Bloom is as much about people as it is about plants, gardens and food. Each year we see the familiar faces, Koraley Northen photographing plants, people and gardens, Gerry Daly of The Irish Garden mingling and talking, giving lectures and talking on the radio. Orla Woods of Kilmurry Nursery, she performs her duties as Nursery Pavilion Organiser with good humour and efficiency and works the whole weekend selling plants on her nursery and making sure everyone is happy. This year we also had teams of Bloom Ambassadors referred to as “bloomers” milling around and helping the public with directions for toilets, restaurants, and anything else they need to know about Bloom. This year’s record attendance figures made sure they were kept busy all the time.

Koraley Northen - ever present, always photographing

We have had great neighbours around our stand; Jimi Blake from Huntingbrook our breakfast companion and plant spotter and tipster, Finlay Colley of Rare Plants Ireland who stocks a most temting range of trees and shrubs, we could not resist. Then we had Oliver Schurmann of Mount Venus flying around on his bicycle before the show opened, zooming between his show garden and nursery stand. Now that the show is over, the stand removed and packed in the car, our heads still whirring from the past five days, we are tired but happy. It has been a great show, thanks must go to Gary Graham and Carol Marks at Bord Nia for all their hard work through the year that makes the event happen.We have attended Bloom since its inception and each year it keeps getting bigger and better, looking forward now to next year.

Bloom Ambassadors to the rescue

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June 6, 2011


by Ciaran Burke

The Orb designed by Anne Hamilton, Fox Gardens, Enniskeane, Cork

There are so many gardens of high standard at Bloom this year, it is impossible to write about them all on my blog and also fit in time to sleep. So here area selection of photos from some of my favourites that I have not featured already. More will follow in the next few days. (Click on image to enlarge).

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June 5, 2011

Blooming temptations- Floral Pavilion at Bloom

by Ciaran Burke

The last day approaches, Bloom 2011 is nearing the end. We really enjoy doing our stand at the show, not only do we get to meet lots of  keen gardeners but we also get to catch up with our friends from the nurseries. There is always a great camaraderie between the participants at Bloom, sharing food, watching each others stands and swapping stories. Even though the days are long and the work  is tiring, there are always plenty of laughs. Lots of chat about plants takes place, opinions, recommendations and critical appraisal. There is also lots of temptation. Each year I promise myself that I will exercise amazing self control and not buy many plants. This year, like each year before, my resolve has crumbled when presented with the wonderful choice of beauties on display. I could not resist the double flowered ragged robin, Lychins flos-cuculli ‘Jenny’ from Kilmurry nursery, nor the biggest hosta in the world, so they say, that can reach 1.2m high with huge leaves, Hosta “Empress Wu’ from Boyne Garden Centre.

There are too many to mention, not all were purchased but there is still tomorrow to go. Below are some of the delights on offer at Bloom. (click on image to enlarge).

June 4, 2011

Hidden Cube and River Run – Show Garden Category Winners, Medium and Small gardens Bloom 2011

by Ciaran Burke

Two more gold medal winners from this year’s Bloom


Table under pergola – THE HIDDEN CUBE STYLE GARDEN
  • Above: Medium Garden:      The Hidden Cube Style Garden with Arnotts designed by Gary Hanaphy & Colm Quinn, from Kwik Fit Gardens by Rockstar & Jasper, Dublin

River Run Dublin UNESCO City of Literature Garden designed by Mary Ann Harris

River Run Dublin UNESCO City of Literature Garden designed by Mary Ann Harris

  • Small Garden:            River Run Dublin UNESCO City of Literature Garden designed by Mary Ann Harris from Dublin City Council

The Hidden Cube by Gary Hanaphy & Colm Quinn is a garden filled with modern urban style, an impressive pergola and geometric shapes, in particular, cubes. River Run Dublin UNESCO City of Literature Garden designed by Mary Ann Harris features quotations in stone, sculpture and planting with subdued use of colour.

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