Bord Bia Bloom returns to Phoenix Park from June 2nd to 6th with a host of fun family events. Here’s a guide to what you can expect at this year’s festival
Bord Bia Bloom, Ireland’s largest gardening and food festival, returns to its home in Phoenix Park from June 2nd to 6th this year, following two successful virtual events.
The five-day event will celebrate the role outdoor spaces can play in promoting positive mental and physical health, alongside the importance of sustainable living and protecting biodiversity. From stylish show gardens to delectable food, here’s a guide to what you can expect at this year’s festival.
This year, 19 show gardens will form the centrepiece of Bord Bia Bloom. They will blend garden inspiration through storytelling and creative concepts which address important issues like environmentalism, sustainability, food production, health, and housing.
For example, Peter McVerry Trust will be the first homeless charity to take part in the festival with its Pathways to Home garden, designed to represent the journey from homelessness to living in a safe and secure home.
Meanwhile, the Croí Cardiovascular Garden aims to educate visitors about heart health by featuring ornate garden references to blood sugar, blood pressure, and blood lipids, while diet, exercise, and mental health coexist throughout the garden’s theme.
Two show gardens will be dedicated to promoting accessible garden spaces; Enable Ireland will showcase its Beyond Boundaries garden which supports its vision of making Ireland an inclusive place for everyone. In line with this, it has created three apps using immersive media and 3D techniques so the gardens can be enjoyed beyond the festival’s physical space.
RTE’s 2020 Super Garden Winner Mark Hoey will also recreate his winning wheelchair friendly garden.
Aldi will make its first appearance at the festival with its Sustainable For-est Garden. The sustainability-driven garden will showcase Irish native plants and edible colourful plants to create a garden that is both low maintenance and biodiverse. It will provide wildlife and insects with food, sustenance, and shelter.
For the Foodies
The Food Village is set to be a hive of flavoursome activity with more than 90 food producers showcasing the best of Irish food; everything from chocolate to cheese, fresh vegetables to artisan meats and ice cream and jam will be available for sampling, while The Bloom Inn will offer craft beer and spirits from around Ireland to top off the sampling.
If you are looking to refine your culinary skills, the Quality Kitchen Stage will provide cooking demonstrations by some of Ireland’s leading chefs including Neven Maguire, Fiona Uyema, Rory O’Connell, Catherine Fulvio, and Edward Hayden. A schedule for the cooking demonstrations is available here.
Two on-site restaurants, the Country Crest Food Fayre and Farm Shop and Bistro Bloom, will offer indoor and outdoor dining options and there will be a wide range of food options from artisan food trucks located around the site.
There are plenty of engaging activities across the festival to suit all ages.
Kids can enjoy a vibrant mix of interactive and educational activities such as the Minions show garden, the Food Dudes’ Kids Zone, Scientific Sue’s Magic Bubble Show, and the Kids’ Conservation Zone. You can view the schedule of kids’ activities here.
A range of musicians from both Ireland and overseas will take to the YouBloom stage across the five days. You can also do a spot of shopping for your garden space at the Grand Pavilion site, where over 160 retailers will exhibit their products such as Weber BBQs, Fineline Furniture, Orchard Garden Centre, and Shannonbridge Pottery.
Add some flowers and flora to your garden space too, by stopping by the Nursery Village where an array of plants and flowers will be available to purchase.
You can also watch the fruits of Irish creatives’ labour come to life at the Irish Craft Village, where you can observe craftspeople transform raw material into a finished design.
Tickets are €25 for adults, and two children under 16 go free with every adult ticket purchased. Additional children’s tickets are €5.00.
Bord Bia is advising people to book tickets in advance to avoid potential disappointment on the day, as numbers are being capped for this year’s festival to ensure a safe environment post Covid-19 restrictions. You can book tickets here.
Main image by Fennell Photography