Garden Designers Encouraged To Go For Gold At Ireland’s Largest Garden Festival

Bord Bia is calling for garden designers to apply for a prestigious show garden space at Bord Bia’s 13th annual Bloom festival taking place in the Phoenix Park, Dublin from the Thursday, 30th May to Monday, 3rd June 2019.

Created by some of the country’s leading garden designers, the show gardens are the central feature of Bloom and each year they demonstrate excellence in garden design, innovative landscaping and the best of Ireland’s horticulture industry.

Garden Designers Encouraged To Go For Gold At Ireland's Largest Garden Festival

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Best in Show

Applications for Bord Bia’s Bloom 2019 show gardens are open to all designers who can promote the joys and benefits of exceptional garden design across four categories: small, medium, large and concept gardens. Adjudicated by an independent panel of national and international judges, a combination of gold, silver-gilt, silver and bronze medals will be awarded on the first day of the festival.

In 2018 over 120,000 visitors attended Bloom over five days, including more than 300 journalists who participated in a media preview day. In excess of €9.7million was spent on site and the horticulture and gardening sector benefited from a €47 million spend by amateur and professional gardeners in the weeks following the festival.

Gary Graham, Bord Bia’s Bloom Show Manager said: “The show gardens lie at the very heart of Bloom and whether you have exhibited before or are applying for the first time, it’s a unique opportunity to create a garden that over 100,000 people will enjoy. The benefits of designing a garden at Bloom are many, including the chance to showcase original work, build up relationships within the industry and take advantage of a multitude of PR opportunities. At Bord Bia we are constantly in awe of designers’ ability to deliver complex and ambitious gardens that also communicate topical and colourful themes visitors love.’


Veteran show garden designers Oliver and Liat Schurmann, of Mount Venus Nursery in Rathfarnham, won gold last year for their innovative, boardroom-inspired roof garden, ‘A Different Outlook’ sponsored by Savills.

Speaking about showcasing at Bloom, Liat Schurmann commented: “The appeal of Bloom for us is the thrill of designing and executing a creative garden you would never otherwise get the chance to do. The opportunity to expose your ideas to a massive audience and be judged by professional and objective judges is a vital element also.”


Oliver Schurmann added: “We even enjoy the adrenaline rush, the energy involved, and the physical and mental experience of being driven to our limits.”


Jane McCorkell, Landscape Architect and previous winner of seven Bloom gold medals said: “There’s no doubt that preparing a show garden for Bloom can be demanding, but the reward far outweighs the effort. Receiving a medal from the judging panel is a stamp of approval from industry peers and getting the chance to experiment with new ideas is something you don’t get to experience on every job. Planning well in advance and having a clear vision of what you want to achieve is key, as it’s a very quick turnaround on site. It’s a busy period, but a very thrilling and rewarding challenge.”

How to Apply

The Bloom 2019 Show Garden Application can be downloaded from, along with the Bloom 2019 Show Garden Design Brief and the Bloom 2019 Show Garden Rules and Regulations. The closing date to apply for a show garden space is the 20th of November 2018.


About Bord Bia’s Bloom

Bord Bia’s Bloom, Ireland’s largest gardening, food and family festival, will take place in the Phoenix Park, Dublin from Thursday 30th May to Monday 3rd June 2019. Bord Bia’s annual showcase of the best of Ireland’s horticulture and food industry will once again feature a range of impressive show gardens, food, music, fashion, lively debate and family entertainment.

Follow Bloom on and join the conversation on Twitter @bloominthepark and @bordbia and Instagram via @bloomfestival.


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