Bloom preview: HC sneak peek

Ahead of Bord Bia Bloom throwing open its gates to the public tomorrow morning, Horticulture Connected was fortunate enough to get an early look at this year’s fantastic show gardens.

For Bloom’s press day, designers and sponsors were all present as the judges circled this year’s show garden contenders, inspecting the designs, taking notes and forming the final opinions that will inform the awarding of medals tomorrow.

Here we’ll take a look at just some of the highlights that caught our eye as we wandered through the grounds.

First up is the highly impressive collaboration between Caragh Nurseries and designer Andrew Christopher Dunne. Hit Pause, The Caragh Nurseries Garden is inspired by an appreciation for our gardens and outdoor spaces, which many of us discovered during the past two difficult years. This garden hopes to encourage this new-found enthusiasm by demonstrating some of the key principles of good design which can be employed to enhance any space. It showcases principles such as simplicity of palette, repetition, and the use of colour, form, and texture.

Next, we visited Aldi’s Sustainable For-est Garden. Emulating a natural woodland, Tünde Perry incorporates forest gardening – one of the oldest and most eco-friendly horticultural practices – into her design of Aldi’s Sustainable For-est Garden. The garden invites us to step outdoors and get involved in our surroundings by growing a diversity of plants such as woodland trees interplanted with smaller fruit trees, shrubs, berries, herbaceous plants, ground covers and vines.

Designed by Brian Burke and sponsored by Woodie’s, Seomra Eile depicts the garden as a natural accompaniment to a contemporary dwelling and an essential component in creating a sense of ‘home’. The resident gardening expert with Woodie’s and a judge on RTÉ’s Super Garden, Brian won Super Garden in 2015 and was awarded a silver-gilt medal for his garden, Non Forsit, at Bord Bia Bloom 2015. He has since gone on to design and build several award-winning show gardens in 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019, winning silver and gold medals.

Designed by James Purdy and sponsored by the Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine, the Organic Edible Garden illustrates how to grow a range of organic vegetable and fruit crops within a linear, urban space. It highlights the need to restore hedgerows, meadows and trees within our landscape and environment. James Purdy is Founder of JP Architects & Landscape Design, an award-winning practice in Belfast. He returns to Bloom for a third time in 2022, previously winning gold medals for his Podscape Garden for Glenisk in 2016 and The Healthy Way for Bord Bia and Healthy Ireland in 2019.

In the Savills Urban Oasis show garden designer Alan Rudden demonstrates how a city plot can be transformed into an urban oasis. The garden is a modern take on a traditional birch woodland; a harmonious blend of nature and architecture. Alan Rudden is a garden designer and horticulturist with more than 15 years’ experience. He has designed numerous award-winning gardens, achieving a gold medal at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival in London and a total of six gold medals at Bord Bia Bloom.

Finally, the Green Cities Europe Garden is a large show garden designed by James Purdy and sponsored by Bord Bia and the Irish Hardy Nursery Stock Association as part of the Green Cities Europe campaign, an initiative that encourages the greening of public spaces, and the use of local plants. It interprets the main elements which are present in green spaces, bringing them together to create a sustainable garden which can be reinterpreted within public parks and outdoor areas across our cities, towns and villages.

Bord Bia Bloom runs from June 2-6. Tickets and information are available at