Bloom in the Park 2017

Bloom in the Park is Ireland's largest gardening and horticultural event. It takes place in Phoenix Park in Dublin each year and over 100,000 people attend. Here we've picked out a few of this year's highlights. 


Bloom in the Park runs from 1-5 June and is Ireland's largest gardening and horticulture festival. Set in the picturesque Phoenix Park, the largest public park in Europe, the event attracts over 100,000 visitors each year from all over the world.

Twenty-two show gardens entered the festival this year exploring a range of social and cultural issues across Ireland. The gardens are split into four categories; large, medium, small and postcard and gardens in each category compete for the coveted Best in Category Award.

Sponsored by the Irish Food board Bord Bia, the show also features the best of Ireland’s food and drink industry with demonstrations from the country’s finest chefs. There’s also a Floral and Nursery Pavilion with displays from the best plant nurseries in Ireland. Here are a few highlights from this year’s show.

Sponsored by FBD Insurance, The Transition Garden designed by Liat and Oliver Schurmann features a wild Irish landscape inspired by their coastal home on the rugged Connemara Coast. Key to the design is the dramatic tidal effect with the water level changing every 90 minutes from high-tide to low-tide revealing new islands otherwise submerged by water. Suspended over the water is a beautiful pavilion with wall-to-ceiling glass panels so the architecture and the landscape work in harmony together. Verdant green trees, shrubs and native perennials make up the planting and rock formations add structure and form. The Shurmann’s garden was awarded a gold medal and best in category for large show gardens.


Irish wine producer Santa Rita sponsored Kevin Dennis’ Living Oasis by Santa Rita ‘Living La Vida 120’ garden, which celebrates the tranquillity of gardens and how outdoor spaces offer an oasis of calm in busy urban environments. At the heart of the garden is a contemporary pavilion with cascading vines that help to make the social space feel intimate and softens the clean crisp lines of the architecture. The garden has an exotic feel but the planting is primitive and uses ferns and grasses such as Deschampsia cespitosa with poppies, geum and persicaria. A sun-drenched hammock tempts you to relax in the moment and a boat floats patiently on the water, ready to whisk you away.


Gold medal winner and best in category for the medium-sized gardens, The Teagasc Garden of Hope is designed by Laura Cassin, Louise Jones and Linda Murphy and has a circular format with a bubbling rill running around a crescent shaped area of planting and sculpture. The planting in the garden is split between two contrasting colour palettes to evoke the struggle of those seeking help from suicide charity Pieta House and their journey from the dark, into the light. The dark outer section includes purple alliums, Iris chrysographes ‘Kilmurry Black’, Heuchera ‘Black Beauty’ and Geranium phaeum ‘Raven’. The light inner section includes Orlaya grandiflora, Salvia nermerosa ‘Snowhill’, Alstroemeria ‘Apollo’ and Lupinus x russellii ‘Noble Maiden’.


The plants in the floral marquee included some horticultural gems including this new Dierama dracomantanum ‘Hannahbelle’ with a gentle arching habit and pretty pink flower heads and Iris chrysograpkes ‘Kilmurry Black’ that had captivating dark-purple velvety petals. Both from Kilmurry Nursery in Co. Wexford, who won a Gold Medal for their display.


This Hawaiian palm, Brighamia insignis was once found growing on the remote windswept cliffs of Kaua’i and Ni’ihau, two islands of Hawaii but is now thought to be extinct. It lost its natural pollinators in the wild and can now only be reproduced by hand pollination. It has coarse semi-succulent leaves and yellow showy tubular flowers.







These mini arrangements are part of the floristry displays, also in the floral marquee, competing in the Floral Art competition. This arrangement by Sharon O’Sullivan of Sutton Floral Art was entered into the ‘Perfectly Formed’ category and won a Silver Medal.









To find out more about Bloom in the Park, visit You can also see pictures of the gardens on our Instagram page gardens_illustrated



Reader offer on foxglove collections
previous feature Article
Five lessons for a city space
next feature Article
We use cookies to improve your experience of our website. Cookies perform functions like recognising you each time you visit and delivering advertising messages that are relevant to you. Read more here