Posts tagged ‘project nasturtium’

June 8, 2010

A tolling bell signals that the end is nigh…

by Ciaran Burke

All around us people are making pots and sowing seeds. It’s Monday afternoon, our fifth day of Project Nasturtium at Bloom, and I starring to feel tired. Then a bell rings out. This signals the start of the sell off from the plant stalls, it’s four o’clock. Within a few minutes our stand is empty and chaos ensues all around us. People are going mad looking for bargains or for plants that were on display but sold out. The gentle world of gardening in the floral pavilion has turned into scenes of madness. People jostle goodnaturedly around the plant stalls. Stall holders lift plants out of their displays and out stretched hands reach out for their attention.

It’s the end of Bloom 2010. We took down our stand, and headed for home. It was a great five days. Project Nasturtium has been a phenomenal success. It would not have been possible without or sponsors, Suttons Seeds, and Enrich. We must also thank our volunteers for giving their time and patience to show people how to make paper pots and sow seeds.

So many people sowed their first seeds while at Bloom this year. A huge amount of Nasturtiums and sunflowers have been travelling to peoples homes. I hope all the seeds grow, Ireland is going to be a colourful place this Summer if they do. Thanks also to everyone who visited our stand and to those who participated. We hope we have given some inspiration to garden and grow. Now, what shall we do next year?

This morning we are at home in Mayo but later today we are going back to Dublin to meet 38 Finns and start an 8 day garden tour. I am going to keep a diary here ,so if you like you can follow us around some beautiful gardens on Ireland.

June 6, 2010

Inspiring Bloom

by Ciaran Burke

Despite the rain, thousands of people enjoyed Bloom today. Instead of keeping people away, if anything it seemed to be even busier.

Outside people wandered around the show gardens and in the floral pavilion the plant sellers were doing a brisk trade.

On our stand we had our busiest day so far. Pot after pot was rolled, folded and filled. People of all ages were sowing seeds of nasturtiums, sunflowers and coriander. I have been amazed by the reaction of adults to the concept of making paper pots. So many people have pledged to use them instead of plastic pots for sowing their seeds.

During the afternoon we had one middle aged lady make a paper pot and sow her first ever seed! She was so thrilled, her enthusiasm matched that of a child. She went away on a high, it was a brilliant moment. Later she called by the stand to show me plants she had bought. She had visited Bloom with a friend, but she herself had never gardened before. After sowing a seed in her paper pot she had felt inspired and was planning on doing some gardening, amazing!

I hope her seeds germinate soon, and her plants grow well. If she plants them in the next day or so, at least they will get well watered.

Photos below; a family learn to make paper pots and sow seeds; people of all ages are enjoying Project Nasturium; Alex from Mount Venus Nurseries trying to deal with a flooded stand during the rain before opening this morning!

June 4, 2010

Nursery Pavilion

by Ciaran Burke

The nursery pavilion has been transormed into a festival of flowers and plants. Specialist nurseries sell their home grown plants, florists exhibit their creations, and education stand ate the to inform.

The judges decisions are always controversial to some extent, there will always be people will always be disappointed. I was delighted to see that the judges had awarded a gold medal to the Camolin Potting Shed for their floriferous nursery display and best in nursery category.

Our Project Nasturtium stand also earned an award. We arrived into the pavilion early this morning to see a card placed on a chair in out display; Special Commendation in the education category. We were very happy.

Airfield also received the same award in this category as did our friend Jimi Blake for his Huntingbrook Gardens stand.

We had an incredibly busy day on the first day, we must have made thousands of pots and sown loads of nastrurtiums, sunflowers and coriander. It has been great fun, meeting so many keen gardeners, beginners and anthusiasts, young and old.

We have been so busy it was not possible to take pictures of the action on our stand, maybe Friday will give the opportunity.

June 2, 2010

Ready to Bloom!

by Ciaran Burke

We have our stand ready! Posters are up, benches built, compost in and plants potted. We arrived on Bloom this morning after an early start from Co. Mayo. The floral pavilion was full of busy gardeners and florists putting finishing touches to their displays. Everybody had to be finished by 3 pm for judging. All the nurseries will be eager to find out if they receive a gold medal award for their stand. A gold award is given to nursery displays that are thought to be of high enough standard. In theory every stand could win gold, but not everyone does. Silver gilt, silver and bronze are also nice to get, but for many the only thing that glitters is gold.

One of the really nice things for us when we do a stand at Bloom or similar events is that we meet our friends from the garden world. Last year there was no Huntingbrook Gardens stand but this year Jimi Blake has returned and gone all out with a planted border featuring Aralia echinocaulis, such a memorable plant in his garden. Maybe the judges will give Jimi a gold medal. I will let you know…

Pictures below: Project Nasturium is ready to roll; Nasturtium pots arranged by Hanna; Huntingbrook Gardens stand.

May 30, 2010

Nastrurtiums from the nursery

by Ciaran Burke

Saturday afternoon, typical west of Ireland weather, a soft rain is blown by a westerly wind and grey clouds slide over the sky. We were in Dunleavy’s nursey just off the Loughglin to Ballinlough road in Co. Roscommon. Excitedly we were greeted by their grandchild, a little doll named Kila who informed her grandmother and aunt that there were customers here. Her aunty Valerie laughed as she said to Kila, “customers! Sure that word is bigger than youself”.

Two benches of nasturtiums grown in pots were laid out before us, we picked a good number for our Bloom stand. Each one beautifully healthy, grown with love. We picked up a couple more sunflower plants and Hanna found a double flowered pale pink and white aquilegia for our garden.

We packed them into the car, chatted with the Dunleavy’s until Kila came along covered in ice cream, she had started eating her cornetto from the narrow bottom end. We said our goodbyes and left Kila to be fussed over by two generations of Dunleavys. Off home to continue our preparations for Bloom, only four more days to go.

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