Posts tagged ‘nursery’

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 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 3, 2011


by Ciaran Burke
Copyright Ciaran Burke 2011

Oliver & Liat Schurmann - At The Waters Edge

Our second day at Bloom. We started by doing what should have been doing at the end of the day. Imagine sitting in a sunken garden under blue skies surrounded by greenery and tranquility, beauty and liquidity. Hanna paddled in cool water, well at least the soles of her feet caused ripples in the shallow flow that ran over the stone walk way to the sunken island in a tranquil water-scape.

Copyright Ciaran Burke 2011

Oliver & Liat Schurmann - At The Waters Edge

Few garden designers manage to capture atmosphere and mood in show gardens, at least not in the same way as Oliver and Liat Shurmann of Mount Venus Nurseries do it. Their entry into this year’s Bloom’s show gardens is to my mind the obvious choice of best in show, gladly, the show judges agreed. Plane trees create seclusion from the outside, their open canopies playing with reflections on the water. Borders of green and exotic foliage are dressed with euphorbia flowers, adding a sulphurous luminosity to the mellow planting. The sylvanian atmosphere embraces the water filled garden, where in the centre a sunken island invites you to cross a slightly submerged stone path. Circled around a central round channel, four stylish and modern seats demand that you rest and soak in the atmosphere. A trickle of water flows beneath your feet, creating a whirlpool pattern on the concrete surface. The mirror-like water  surrounding the low seating area is an an ever changing canvass of reflection and light. Tree silhouttes, greens and reds of foliage play with the surface of the pool.

Copyright Ciaran Burke 2011

Oliver & Liat Schurmann - At The Waters Edge

As a backdrop, a pillared wall frames tall windows that display sculpture, art work created by Liat. Somehow this garden manages to both soothe the mind, stimulate the senses and feed the soul. It was with reluctance that we dragged ourselves away from the sunken retreat, there was a long busy day ahead.

Copyright Ciaran Burke 2011

Oliver & Liat Schurmann - At The Waters Edge

There are many other great gardens at Bloom 2011, small, medium and large as well as engaging spaces. Tomorrow I will return to the show gardens with views of other Gold medal winners and personal favourites.

Copyright Ciaran Burke 2011

Oliver & Liat Schurmann- At The Waters Edge

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June 3, 2011


by Ciaran Burke

Silver Medal for The Garden School stand at Bloom 2011

Our day started early. With a raucous choir of bird song under a low grey sky, I watered the plants in the tunnels at home. We fed the cats, drank some coffee and loaded the last few items into the car. We closed the garden gate in Mayo at 6 am and hit the road for Dublin. Just after 8.30 am we entered the Phoenix Park. Last minute preparations continued for about 90 minutes until the doors opened on the garden festival, Bloom 2011 commenced. The judges gave us a silver medal for our interactive educational stand in the floral pavilion, which is a nice recognition of the preparation and work which we had carried out. It was a good start for what proved to be a very busy day, As the morning progressed the low grey cloud which had stretched all the way from Mayo to Dublin blew away in the breeze. The temperature soared and happy faces were everywhere, a blue sky stayed until the sun went down.

We did not get  a chance to see any of the show apart from our own stand and a quick glance at some of our heighbours in the floral pavilion. Kilmurry Nursery, run by the energetic Orla and Paul Woods, based in Co. Wexford won a gold medal and best in show award for nursery display. Packed with colour and floriferously desireable herbaceous perennials, a central mirror multiplies the colour display. A rich blue Delphinium hansenii ‘Independence’ caught my eye, The more demure Lychnis flos-cuculi ‘White robin’ is a supernb plant gracing their stand. We bought it from them a good few years ago and it flowers for months on end in our garden where it self sows in a polite manner. Our own stand is enhanced with Kilmurry Nursery plants. Needing height in a corner, we went searching for some interesting plant. Orla gave us three plants of Iris ‘Tol Long’. A blue flowered iris with dark desirable flower stems. One which she recommends for any reasonable garden soil, they grow it in their garden and we will soon grow it in ours.





From our stand we could admire the beautifully blousey blooms of herbaceous peony roses on Leamore Nursery’s display. Paeonia ‘White Wings’ is a cool single white while Paeonia ‘Coral Sunset’ is a sumptuous frilly peachy pink. The floral pavilion always ahs so many plants to tempt and beautiful displays to admire. We will be up early tomorrow morning, aiming to get to Bloom early and view more of the displays and show gardens before the show opens at 10 am.





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