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Here are our 6 favourite gardens at Bloom

From a dementia-friendly garden to an ABBA-inspired installation, there’s a vast array of themes and designs in the gardens this year.

Source: TheJournal.ie/YouTube

BLOOM, IRELAND’S LARGEST gardening, food, and family festival has 20 show gardens on display this year, worth almost €1 million.

From a dementia-friendly garden to an ABBA-inspired installation, there’s a vast array of themes and designs at Bloom this year.

Here are our favourite gardens.

Mamma Mia – Here we go again

Designed by Tünde Szentesi from Hungary, her show garden was inspired by the 2008 film Mamma Mia, based on the music from ABBA.

Szentesi told TheJournal.ie that like the main character of the film, played by Meryl Streep, she moved to a foreign country (Ireland) and started her life over, and wanted to pay homage to the power of an independent woman.

The garden captures the exotic location of Kalokairi in Greece with the use of white stone walls, blue painted doors and windows alongside potted red geraniums.

This garden won a gold medal and best in category in the Concept category at the festival.

Sponsored by Universal Pictures International Ireland. 

mama mia garden Source: Andrew Roberts

mama mia2 Source: Andrew Roberts

Moments in time

This garden is designed to help people suffering from dementia to continue doing the things they love.

The Dementia: Understand Together garden reflects the campaign’s message of creating an Ireland that embraces people with dementia as active members of the community.

Some of the main features recommended for a dementia-friendly garden are to have a layout that is easy to get around, as well as having items linked with the person’s past.

Designed by Newtown Saunders Ltd, TrinityHaus and Sonas APC.

IMG_0183 Source: Andrew Roberts

dementia gardn2 Source: Andrew Roberts

Resistance, a garden for Trócaire

This is Trócaire’s second year at Bloom and designer Barry Kavanagh has created a Human Rights themed garden,  aimed at highlighting issues in three particular regions.

”We wanted to shine a light on issues that people may not have been aware of such as people being evicted from lands in Central America, extractive industries polluting natural resources like water in Zimbabwe and the work of human rights defenders in Israel/Palestine,” Eoghan Rice Head of communications at Trócaire said.

Sponsored by Trócaire

trociare garden3 (have no idea who this woman was) Source: Andrew Roberts

trocaire garden2 Source: Andrew Roberts

Moving statues to marriage equality

The inspiration behind this garden installation comes from the passing of 30 years and depicts a shift in Irish culture, represented horticulturally by three zones: past, present and future.

The past refers to religious fervour, the present depicts a progressive Ireland, while the future is represented by the threat of climate change.

A photographic backdrop in the garden chronicles pivotal moments in Ireland’s history.

Designer Brian Burke says that the story is bookended by the stories of the moving statues in 1985 to the marriage equality referendum in 2015.

”What it’s doing is telling the story of a country that has changed really dramatically in the last 30 years,” Burke told TheJournal.ie. 

Sponsored by Woodie’s 

moving statues2 Source: Andrew Roberts

moving statues Source: Andrew Roberts

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No Limits – GOAL’s Garden for Women

The show garden designed by Cork landscape architect Cornelia Raftery aims to celebrate the role of women in the developing world and draw attention to issues around gender equality.

Raftery says she has given the GOAL garden a very African feel, given that is where the organisation works with women the most.

“The garden depicts a journey from bleak to blossoming, merging dry arid with lush tropical planting, all creatively assembled to represent some of the inequalities that women endure, and the efforts they are making to improve their lives and the lives of their families and communities,” Rafferty said.

Sponsored by GOAL

goalgarden Source: Andrew Roberts

goal garden 3 Source: Andrew Roberts

An Exercise in Sustainability

This garden highlights the challenges for parks to balance protection of the environment with a human need for outside space.

Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council recently acquired Fernhill parkland and this show garden is an interpretation of the sustainability aims for the park.

Designed by Ruairí Búlaing and Nicola Haines, all the flora and fauna used will go back to Fernhill.

“We have full height photos of Fernhill and mirrors on the back wall. We were trying to get the idea across to root the show garden in Fernhill but you get a reflection of the photographs and the real-life planting – so you’re not sure where the confines of the show gardens stop,” Haines said.

Sponsored by Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council.

owl garden 3 (1) Source: Andrew Roberts

owlgarden1 (2) Source: Andrew Roberts

 Bloom takes place in Dublin’s Phoenix Park from 31 May – 4 June. For more details click here.

About the author:

Adam Daly

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