What A Catch! Sustainable Seafood Garden Hooks Overall Prize at Bloom 2018

 Bord Bia announces a whopping 10 gold medals for Show Gardens at Bloom


31st May 2018: Garden designer Andrew Christopher Dunne from the coastal fishing village of Clogherhead in County Louth has been named as the overall Show Garden winner at Bord Bia’s Bloom 2018 for his ‘Sustainable Seafood Garden’ in association with Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM). Following a rigorous two-day judging process with an independent panel of expert judges, the award was announced as Bord Bia opened the gates on the 12th annual Bloom festival in the Phoenix Park, Dublin.

The Sustainable Seafood Garden tells the story of the journey from tide to table of the fish and seafood that surround and inhabit this island. It boasts a large water feature with shimmering fish sculptures and an ‘upcycled’ fishing boat which doubles as a kitchen which will host cookery demonstrations featuring sustainably sourced seafood throughout the five-day event.


Speaking about the winning garden, Gary Graham, Bloom Show Manager, Bord Bia said, “The sheer scale of endeavour involved in the delivery of this exceptional garden is something which the judges were all agreed on. This was a hugely ambitious design featuring complex construction and intricate planting schemes in order to create an authentic seaside pier. With clever design features such as a custom-built fishing boat made from upcycled materials and the wall and pier made from reclaimed sandstone and carst limestone, this garden brings elements to Bloom which we have never seen before.”


The judging panel for Bloom 2018 comprised of 14 Irish and international horticultural experts, who  announced 113 awards for show garden designers, nurseries, floral artists and amateur garden designers including 35 Gold, 22 Silver Gilt, 19 Silver, 24 Bronze and 13 certificates of commendation.  

Show Garden Winners

A total of 10 Gold Medals were awarded to the Show Gardens which are the central feature at Bloom 2018. Other major winners included the overall medium sized garden award which went to garden designer Linda McKeown for The Enable Ireland Beyond Boundaries Garden in association with Solus Bulbs and the overall small sized garden medal which was awarded to Peter O’Brien for his Enchanted Wood Garden sponsored by Plan Eden. The Best Concept Garden award went to Tünde Szentesi for her Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again garden sponsored by Universal Pictures International Ireland and Best Planting was awarded to Alan Rudden for his Life is Rosé by Santa Rita ‘Living la Vida 120’ garden.


Nursery and Floral Art Winners

Fresh from his Chelsea Flower Show medal win, Billy Alexander from Kells Bay Gardens in Kerry received a Gold Medal and ‘Best in Show’ in the Nursery and Floral Pavillion. In the AOIFA Floral Art competition Adrienne Flood from Sutton Floral Art Club received the overall prize for her ‘In Homage To…’ display and Shevaun Doherty from Sandyford in Dublin received a Gold medal and Best in Category for her Botanical Art piece.


Postcard Gardens

In the amateur postcard garden category pupils from Villierstown National School in Cappoquin, Co. Waterford received ‘Best in Show’ for their garden which tells the story of a hurling game temporarily stopped to allow players to look for a sliotar somewhere in the futuristic Dromana Gate Garden.


* A full list of all awards is available on the Bloom website


Opening Day at Bloom 2018

Bloom will be officially opened by President Michael D. Higgins with his wife Sabina today at 11am.

Visitors will also have the chance to see top chefs at the Bord Bia Quality Kitchen Stage in The Food Village including Rory O'Connell, Neven Maguire, Shane Smith and Paul Flynn.


Opening day sessions on the Garden Expert & Fashion Stage will include talks with gardening guru Gerry Daly, fashion shows by Debenhams and a Summer Beauty Masterclass. The GIY Food Matters Stage begins a series of discussions and debates from 12 noon including topics such as School Lunches and Hospital Food and Bord Bia's Get Your 7 a Day Under the Rainbow at Bloom polytunnel will host talks by children's food experts and nutritionists from 11am on the benefits of fruit and vegetables.

RTÉ have a stellar opening day line-up including two special live programmes presented by Áine Lawlor and Marty Morrissey at 5.10pm and 8.30pm and the live finale of Super Garden at 7pm. Marty in the Morning will also be coming live from Bloom on Lyric FM and RTÉ Weather will be delivering its main bulletins from the RTÉ set this evening.  


The Bord Bia Food Village will also open its doors today with more than 70 producers in the Food Market which showcases smaller scale Irish producers of farmhouse cheeses, preserves, baked goods, confectionary, juices and much more; the Love Irish Food pavilion featuring up to 15 stalls belonging to members of this campaign organisation; the Fresh Food Market, dedicated to Bord Bia Quality Assured meat, poultry and fish as well as fruit and vegetables, will be tended by nearly 20 producers selling and providing information to the public; The Bloom Inn will feature 24 craft drink producers and will also showcase a range of Irish farmhouse cheeses hosted by CÁIS (the Association of Irish Farmhouse Cheese Makers.

Tickets are on sale now on Ticketmaster and can also be purchased on the gate. Ticket prices vary from €16 - €25 and children under 16 go free. Returning sponsors for this year’s event include FBD Insurance, Irish Independent and the Office of Public Works.

For more information visit www.bloominthepark.ie or follow Bloom on Facebook and Twitter @bloominthepark.