Mayo horticulture and food producers represent the West at Bord Bia’s Bloom

The Phoenix Park is buzzing in anticipation of Bord Bia’s Bloom festival which will celebrate its thirteenth year from May 30 to June 3. Cois Na Trá Plants from Ballycroy in North West Mayo and five Mayo food and drink producers will be among those featured at this year’s event.

The celebrated horticulture, food and family festival, which attracted over 120,000 visitors last year, will feature 22 show gardens, 14 postcard gardens, over 100 Irish food and drink producers, 25 plant nurseries, 25 live cookery demonstrations with some of Ireland’s best-known chefs and some 100 retailers, all within a 70 acre site.

Bord Bia’s Food Village will be bursting with more than 100 Irish food and drink exhibitors in the Food Market and Bloom Inn with many new companies and new products set to launch at the event. Representing Mayo will be Achill Island Sea Salt; Rockfield Dairy, from Claremorris; Wildwood Balsamics, from Ballina; and Westport’s Harvest Moon Foods, and Mescan Brewery.

The hugely popular Bord Bia Quality Kitchen stage will feature leading chefs including Nevin Maguire, Rory O’Connell and Catherine Fulvio. Márie Dufficy will host a new cookery feature with gardening expert Gerry Daly, who will demonstrate how to add home-grown herbs into everyday meals.

Visitors can purchase plants and seek advice from more than 25 of the very best plant nurseries in Ireland in the Floral & Nursery Pavilion, which features Cois Na Trá Plants from Ballycroy near Westport. Elsewhere in the Pavilion, visitors will be wowed by the artistry on display at the AOIFA Floral Art Stage and Botanical & Floral Art Exhibition.

At the heart of Bord Bia’s Bloom festival will be 22 stunning show gardens which will celebrate the skill and creativity of Ireland’s garden designers, landscapers and horticulturalists. These magnificent spaces have also become an important platform to communicate many of the cultural, economic and social issues of the day.

Amateur gardening displays will also be celebrated in the 14 postcard gardens which are small, but perfectly formed, gardening showcases from community groups around the country.

Bloom is also a hub for practical gardening tips and advice. A new feature this year is The Irish Garden magazine Bloom Plant Clinic, which will feature contributions from over 20 experienced horticulturists and gardeners.

At the Keelings Display Tunnel, children will be invited to create seed bombs that include nectar rich wildflower seeds to attract bees and other important pollinators into their garden; the Irish Craft Village presented by the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland, will host craft workshops, live demonstrations and interactive installations and the Food Dudes Play Zone will host Playstival, alongside a host of other child-centred features and activities.

Tickets are on sale now from Ticketmaster, priced €16 for seniors/students, and €20 for adults, plus booking fee. Children under 16 go free. Tickets can also be purchased at the gate for €25 adults, €21 students/seniors. For a full line up of features visit www.bloominthepark.com or follow Bloom on Facebook and @bloominthepark and on Instagram @bloomfestival

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