110,000 visitors see Bord Bia Bloom spring back to life

110,000 visitors, including 15,000 children, returned to Bord Bia Bloom in the Phoenix Park over the June Bank Holiday weekend. Following a three year break, visitors and exhibitors alike celebrated the return of Ireland’s largest gardening, food and family festival.

Commenting on the success of this year’s show, Tara McCarthy, Bord Bia’s Chief Executive said, “The phrase I’ve heard repeated most over the past five days at Bord Bia Bloom has been “It’s great to be back”. This has been reflected in the enthusiasm and positivity from visitors, exhibitors, show garden designers, volunteers and staff throughout the weekend. Not even the reliably unreliable Irish weather could dampen spirits in the Phoenix Park. Equally, we’ve welcomed new fans of the festival, many of whom gained a new appreciation for gardening and locally produced food over the past three years. This was another theme of the weekend – the multitude of benefits that gardening, horticulture, and outdoor spaces can bring to our lives, plus the importance of supporting local food and drink producers. We’re already looking forward to Bord Bia Bloom 2023 and the opportunity to once again showcase the best of Irish horticulture, food and drink to the Irish public.”

In keeping with the spirit of sustainability and waste reduction at Bord Bia Bloom, many elements of the show gardens will be relocated in the coming weeks and months.

  • The Enable Ireland Respite Garden will be recreated at the charity’s Rathmore House Respite Centre in Arklow, County Wicklow and will be used as a template for other centres.
  • All elements of Woodie’s Seomra Eile garden will be reused with the plants distributed to primary schools in the County Laois area.
  • The plants and shrubs from Aldi’s Sustainable For-est Garden will go to Barnardos locations around Dublin.
  • All planting and hard elements from The Shared Spaces Family Garden and The Nature Enthusiast’s Garden will be donated to the mental health charity Flourish in County Sligo.
  • St Michael’s House Special School in Baldoyle, Dublin, will have their pick of plants from the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre’s Beauty & The Beast The Musical Garden.
  • Elements of the Green Cities Europe Garden will be donated to Tidy Towns Meath.
  • The heart sculpture from the Croí – The Cardiovascular Garden will go the charity’s headquarters in Galway.
  • The Hit Pause, The Caragh Nurseries Garden will be reinterpreted at Barretstown children’s charity, in County Kildare, to include the planting, the water feature and the sculpture.
  • Elements of Peter McVerry Trust’s Pathways to Home garden will be recreated at one of the charity’s homeless services in Kildare.
  • The Sightsavers Gairdín na Gcéadfaí (Sensory Garden) will go to the Central Remedial Clinic’s office in Clontarf, Dublin, an organisation dedicated to the achievements, wellbeing and health of people with physical disabilities.

People’s Choice

The final day of festival also marked the announcement of the People’s Choice Award which was voted for by visitors to the show over the five days. This year’s winner was Pathways to Home designed by Seán O’Malley and Oisín Griffin for Peter McVerry Trust. The garden, which was also awarded gold by the show garden judges, aims to prompt reflection on the work of the Peter McVerry Trust, which provides homes and wraparound services as part of the Government’s ‘Housing First’ model.

Bord Bia Bloom 2022 by Numbers

As the festival draws to a close, Bord Bia has released some of the event facts and figures from the last five days:

  • Over 110,000 visitors, including 15,000 children attended the festival.
  • The prestigious judging panel comprised of 15 Irish and international horticultural experts, who awarded more than 78 awards to show garden designers, amateur postcard garden designers; nurseries and floral artists.
  • Three new garden designers struck gold for the first time at Bord Bia Bloom.
  • There were over 1,200 potato plants in the Eat Well Garden.
  • Seven new products launched in the Bord Bia Food Village.
  • Over 10,000 Irish plants were sold in the Quality Mark Plant Village.
  • This year’s show featured 19 show gardens, nine postcard gardens and 17 nursery displays, over 80 food and drink producers and 130 retailers.
  • Almost 17,000 people availed of Bord Bia’s free Shuttle Bus to and from Bord Bia Bloom.
  • More than 5,000 plants were left for safe keeping in the Plant Créche while their owners explored the festival.
  • Over 250 retail and foodservice buyers with a combined buying power of €20 billion met with 80 plus Irish food and drink companies at the Bord Bia trade breakfast.
  • 23 children took part in the first ‘Learn to Cook with Neven’ demonstration at the Quality Kitchen Stage.
  • A total of 3,800 people worked onsite over the five days, including 100 Bord Bia staff volunteers.
  • It will take 14 days to clear the Bord Bia Bloom site.

Dates for 2023

Plans and preparations are already underway for Bord Bia Bloom 2023. Bord Bia has confirmed that the festival will take place from Thursday, June 1st to Monday June 5th 2023.