Visiting a Garden Show is, for me, rather like having too much chocolate. It takes me a day or two to get over it and distil my impressions. I usually whizz around all the gardens first to get my bearings, rather like being faced with an exquisite box of Belgian chocolates .. hmm, what shall I choose? Then slowly linger over and savour the goods on offer.
Certainly, at Ireland’s Bloom Festival, the zeitgeist was Grow Your Own and the Community Garden Network’s tiny Postcard Garden was an introduction to their work connecting community growers in both urban and rural areas throughout Ireland. The willow structures were made by community gardeners using materials grown by them, the table was made from native wood, and the plants encouraged productivity and biodiversity.
SEED (Schools Environmental Education Development) aims to establish “living classrooms” in every school, training teachers and educating children in where their food comes from and their Stand was full of ideas.
Mick Kelly, of Grow It Yourself (GIY), was there, as well as a number of nurseries and growers.
Back to the Show Gardens, and the stunning Tankardstown House Hotel based their “A work of heart” Garden on the formal French potager, such as that at Villandry. The formal geometric design, by their own gardener Dónaill Murtagh, was a perfect match for the brimming beds of produce.
The garden was a reflection of the herbs, edible flowers and organic vegetables grown in Tankardstown’s own walled garden and served in their restaurant.
Newcomer designers Deirdre Walsh and Gavin Foy took on the challenge of designing The Pantry an edible small city garden for an imagined health conscious couple with two children.
This garden was brimful of ideas for city dwellers to take home
– wide doors swung open revealing herb pots lined up for inside/out, living/growing.
Raised vegetable beds concealed compost bins below, all built by Gavin.
Other gardens featured veg and herbs; some have been mentioned before here and apologies for not including them all.
Many of you will be growing your own herbs and veg, but I hope I, and the Bloom exhibitors, have provided a little inspiration!