Dublin’s Phoenix Park plays host to Bloom 2019 this weekend where 22 show gardens celebrate the creativity of garden designers, landscapers and horticulturalists. We’ve had a preview of the gardens, which include “Bee Positive” a pollinator-friendly concept garden designed by Fingal County Council & Institute of Technology, Blanchardstown. In tandem with this idea, at the Keelings Display Tunnel, children are invited to create seed bombs which include nectar-rich wildflower seeds to attract bees and other pollinators into their garden.
“Aqua Marine” is an under-water garden featuring marine flora and fauna sponsored by Bord Iascaigh Mhara and the “E3 (Environment, Engineering and Emerging technologies) garden” incorporates the treatment of waste water to be re-used for gardening, food production and farming.
The role that plants can play in improving both physical and mental health is explored in several gardens. For example, the “Lidl Healthy Mind Healthy Planet” garden demonstrates how mental wellbeing can be improved by stepping into nature no matter how big or small the green space; while “The Healthy Way Garden” explores the steps you can take to achieve a healthier, more balanced lifestyle.
Accessibility and inclusion are highlighted by “The Great Outdoors” garden from the Irish Wheelchair Association and by Enable Ireland’s Diversity Garden. The Great Outdoors garden is a collaboration with garden designer and author Leonie Cornelius and artist and stylist Sara O’Neill.
The two designers have unveiled their custom cushion seating, the design of which is inspired by the Victorian language of flowers. On the pretty cushions are bees symbolising community, dragonflies which symbolise strength and moths for determination. As for the flowers, geraniums were chosen because they symbolise friendship, poppies for vision and allium for strength. Sara will be recreating these cushions as scarves after Bloom.
Capturing the imagination of children and families has also been a priority in this year’s designs. The aim of the “Connectivity” garden for Woodies is to promote play outside by providing a stimulating, immersive experience; the “Yesterday, ‘What If…” garden for Universal Pictures celebrates the release of the new comedy from director Danny Boyle; and the “FBD Garden 2019” will celebrate what it means to be Irish.
Need to know: Tickets are on sale from Ticketmaster, €16 for seniors/students, and €20 for adults, plus booking fee. Children under 16 go free. Tickets can also be purchased at the gate for €25 adults, €21 students/seniors. www.bloominthepark.com.
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