Garden encouraging biodiversity in housing developments wins at Bord Bia Bloom

At home with nature – Bord Bia Bloom cultivates sustainable living and excellence in garden design  

29/05/2024 Bord Bia Bloom 2024 12 Citroën Floating Lounge Garden, sponsored by Citroën Ireland. Garden designer, Joe Eustace. Photo: Fennell Photo

Ireland’s favourite festival of flowers, food and fun returns May 30th –June 3rd 2024

A show garden encouraging developers to incorporate biodiversity, planting of new woodlands and sustainable urban drainage systems into housing developments has been awarded the best large garden at Bord Bia Bloom. The ‘Coming Home to Nature’ garden designed by Nicola Haines for Fingal County Council* also received a new special award for sustainability as judges said it showcased best practice in sustainable garden design while communicating an important message on water conservation, which is key to the future of housing development.

A total of 19 medals** were awarded to show gardens, including eight medals to garden designers exhibiting for the first time at Bord Bia Bloom. Other gardens receiving best in category accolades included the medium Citroën Floating Lounge Garden designed by Joe Eustace, while the best overall small garden was awarded to Óir – The Zarbee’s Garden designed by Leonie Cornelius. The best concept garden went to ‘In Perspective’, designed by Oliver and Liat Schurmann, sponsored by the European Commission.

Congratulating the award winners Jim O’Toole, Bord Bia Chief Executive, said “It is wonderful to see such a strong focus on sustainability and biodiversity among our stunning show gardens this year and I would like to congratulate all of the designers who have been working incredibly hard for months to bring our show to life. We are confident that attendees will leave not only with fantastic inspiration for their garden, but also with the motivation to incorporate more sustainable practices into their homes and lifestyles.”

Last year, Bord Bia launched ‘Cultivating Talent’, an initiative designed to support emerging garden designers by giving them a platform to design a show garden at Bord Bia Bloom. This year’s initiative, sponsored by Westland, brought two new garden designers, Sarah Buckley and Nóra Tombor to the festival who received a Gold and Silver-Gilt medal, respectively. In addition, 2023 Cultivating Talent recipient, Joe Eustace returned to Bord Bia Bloom this year and received a Gold Medal and Best Medium Show Garden for the Citroën Floating Lounge Garden.

It is so encouraging to see so many first time show garden designers take part in this years event and deliver exceptional show gardens which impressed the judging panel. We are immensely proud of the success of our three Cultivating Talent award recipients and we can be confident that the future of the horticultural sector is in great hands,” Jim O’Toole added.

The judging panels for Bord Bia Bloom includes 13 Irish and international horticultural experts who judge show gardens, postcard gardens, nursery displays, and botanical and floral art.

Other horticultural awards
In the Nursery Village, a total of 18 medals were awarded to new and returning plant nurseries. Daphne Shackleton, a judge at Bord Bia Bloom commented that in a “difficult year for every grower, with lots of rain and not much light” that “a wonderful display” was achieved. This year’s Postcard Gardens, which are small but perfectly formed gardens created by community groups received 13 medals. The standard of this popular feature wowed judges, with John Wheatley, RHS Vice President and Bord Bia Bloom commenting, “For the last 25-30 years, I’ve seen some community features but I have never seen the quality that I have seen here at Bloom today. Everything about the display impresses me, from the choreography, the planning, to the level and involvement of children and young people. Some of the dedication is actually inspirational and if we can make a difference to this earth it’s going to be through engaging children, young people, and communities.”

People’s Choice Award
Visitors to the show are invited to vote for their favourite show garden using the unique text number located at each garden, with the winner announced on Sunday.

Opening day 
Later this morning, the festival will be officially opened by Bord Bia Bloom patron, President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, who will be accompanied by his wife Mrs. Sabina Higgins. Tánaiste Micheál Martin is due to visit the show today and An Taoiseach Simon Harris will visit tomorrow morning (Friday).

Bord Bia Bloom continues in the Phoenix Park until Monday June, 3rd. To stay up to date with #BordBiaBloom news, sign up to the Bloom Ezine at and follow us on social media – @BordBiaBloom on X, Instagram and Facebook.