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how to bloom in the park 2009

**bloom in the park 2009 – to read my review – click here

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Show times and dates:

  • thursday 28th May  11am – 6pm
  • friday 29th May 10am – 6pm
  • saturday 30th May 10am – 6pm
  • sunday 31st May 10am – 6pm
  • monday 1st June 10am – 6pm

Recommended to do and see:

  • 27 show gardens
  • don’t forget the engaging spaces gardens
  • recreation of US First Lady Michelle Obama’s Whitehouse Kitchen Garden
  • free childrens craft workshops with The Craft Council of Ireland
  • Ladys Day – Saturday 30th May
  • sit on the lawn and enjoy the live entertainment
  • go see the floral pavillion
  • a must is the conservation area at the back of the coffee shop
  • loved the food market last year
  • the playground is genius

How to get there:

Do and Don’t:

  • have a chat with the show garden people
  • don’t bring the dog
  • bring an umberella and wellingtons and sun cream
  • bring Grandma & the kids
  • bring a camera – don’t be afraid to take snaps
  • buy a programme and use the map!!
  • get there [very] early traffic last year was mental
  • use public transport if possible
  • say thank you if you had a great time!!
  • if you’re going – let me know – we can have coffee
  • let me know what you thought!

Good People for you to meet:

  • In the garden tent – Pat Fitzgerald is there. The brains behind the MyPlant range if you ever wanted to meet somone who breeds their own plants…. how do you invent a new plant….? Go ask Pat. He also helped out on this little matter with a few hundred plants and then with The Niall Mellon Garden when he was passing by…. lovely guy 😉  [Pat is on twitter as @patfitzgerald ]
  • In the engaging spaces…. is the Niall Mellon garden… brilliant stuff. Genius people. Make you think… head on over and say hello.

related posts:

see you there...

see you there...

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behind the scenes of a bloom show garden

it is for you....

it is for you....

related posts:

The slogan that runs under the bloom logo is ‘celebrate garden life’. This year more than ever I hope we as a nation do just that. To quote my good friend Eugene Higgins article in the Irish Mail on Sunday…

It’s not that long ago that garden shows in Ireland were poor to say the least. They were mostly a selecion of neglected plants and muddy pathways with a few burger stands thrown in. But then in 2007 Bloom came to the rescue…

I remember in 2007 cold calling suppliers looking for help. They didn’t even know what Bloom was. Nobody did. Now into the third year it is the Irish Garden event of the year. If you have never been to Chelsea flower show – this is as good as it gets.

what you won't see...

what you won't see...

I’ve built gardens  in 2007 and 2008 and I know it is not as easy as it looks. The garden build time is usually about 2-3 weeks [this varies on garden size]. Some gardens will have had little or no sponsorship [like myself for both years] and whether it rains [and by God it did this year!] or not the garden must be complete 2 days before opening for the judging to take place.

This is the bit you may not know… For me I start planning a show garden garden at least 12 months in advance. My first year, I was answering emails on my honeymoon. 🙄  This was the January before, designs had been submitted the October before that. You might say one simply just can’t switch off. For me anyway, the sleepless nights continue……

Fast track to the garden build and with 27 other gardens being built around me, almost 35 different trades involved in my garden alone, over 250 thank you cards sent out after the show… I then awake at 6am to make it to the park to see what or if I have won a medal. The result was always immaterial, to me anyway. Pink boats don’t win awards. But as my Father would say…

Elvis didn’t wear that white suit cutting the grass son…. Only in Vegas!

It is a show garden. It is a show. I have 5 days to stand at my garden to greet you the paying visitors, the reason I have built the gardens I did.

almost there....

almost there....

It doesn’t end there. When everyone has left on the Bank holiday Monday I must then within one week disassemble my entire 3 weeks 1 years works and reinstate the grounds to how they were before I arrived. And breath…… All whilst trying to keep a business running or for some holding down a full time job.

Why amn’t I building a garden this year, to be honest I guess I just needed a little bit of a break. To reflect, to ponder, to rejuvinate the brain cells…. to spend time with the people in my life. I guess it was not easy, at times.

**That said, I love every single second of it 😉

No matter what medal a garden and it’s designer recieve, no matter who is you’re favourite or who gets the most press coverage – if you do meet the designer at their garden…. congratulate them, shake their hands, damn it – give them a big hug and wish them only the very best. They really do deserve it.

Most of all, Enjoy the show !!

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[show] garden s.o.s.

a little bit of a hole...

in a little bit of a hole....

This is Rebecca Thorne. She is building a garden in Bloom in the Phoenix Park this June Bank Holiday weekend.

Rebecca emailed me some weeks ago. Words of wisdom [hmmm?] were requested. A pot of tea, some apple tart and a drive to Ballyboughal later…

Today I went to The war Memorial Gardens in Islandbridge. On my way back I stopped by the coffee shop in The Phoenix Park… and I spot what I believed to be Rebecca’s garden… it was.

From here it is difficult. Not to speak ‘not’ politically correct of [so to speak]. Show gardening as I know only to well is not real garden building. It is more than just one person. And it soaked 3 years from my life… easily. From the planning and preparation, to the building and the financial… but! I have been doing this all my life. I have resources, friends, suppliers – a team, the back up and who are all so used to the pressures that come with.

The Trouble… Rebecca in her own words thought… ‘well, I’d like to do that’. Trouble is it’s not that easy. Her plants were ordered from Holland… the wrong sizes arrived. She has a full time job – [not horticulture related] she can only work the evenings and weekends on this project. She has enlisted the help of family and friends [Hi Eamonn!!]. I saw new wellingtons for the first time since I went to college. She has a budget of €1,800… And of course there’s that rain thing…

The Reality…That said…. she is doing it. She will do it. It has to be done. It is Bloom 2009 and the opening date cannot be changed. It is that simple.

What Can You Do… in short, she needs hands. Even if just for an hour or a day. You might say you’d be no help… but you will even if its only using a brush… If you ever fanced a look behind the scenes of the realities of show gardening this is your chance. Don’t leave it until tomorrow…. do it today!! Now!! The lady has about 10 days………… go!!!!!!!

Contact Rebecca

...or just drop by and say hello at the show

...or just drop by and say hello at the show

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Bloom in US eh?

I received this email on Wednesday. What do you Think…?

To: info [at] doneganlandscaping [dot] com

Sent: Wednesday, February 25, 2009 10:03 AM
Subject: High Quality Pictures of Bloom Show Gardens and Other Images of Irish Garden Design

Dear Designers,

Gary Graham will be making a number of presentations on Bloom at the Philadelphia Flower Show next week.  His primary objective is to encourage Americans with an interest in garden design and/or horticulture to come to Bloom in 2009 or in future years.

In addition to showing the Bloom DVD and some examples of other gardens (open to the public) he will show a number of examples of Bloom gardens.  He also wants to use the opportunity to profile some of the work of top Irish garden designers and create an awareness of the high standard of Irish garden design.  Photos that capture some of the local setting or context would also be of interest to the Americans e.g. country scenes, coastal gardens, cityscapes, gardens that contain plants worthy of merit, gardens that reflect our temperate climate, gardens with a view of this ‘broke but beautiful’ country , etc

If you have a number of photos (max of 6) that might tick the boxes for Gary please send them to me at this e-mail address by12:00 on Friday 27th February and I will pass them on.  Each photo should be accompanied by an extended caption or short description that Gary can use in his presentation.

With thanks in advance,

Donegan Landscaping Wins 2009 Award

peter donegan dublin landscaping awards

February 6th 2009 saw Peter Donegan Landscaping Ltd win the 2009 Bord Bia Quality Award.

It is in recognition of standards achieved under the Bord Landscape Quality Programme for 2008/2009. This is the second successive year for Peter Donegan Landscaping Ltd to win the landscape quality award.

Donegan Landscaping is one of only eight Irish landscaping companies to win the award this year. The event was held at the Sheraton Athlone Hotel and hosted by Minister of state Trevor Sargeant.

I would like to thank the entire Donegan Landscaping team for all of their hard work of the last 12 months.