I went to Bloom 2009 with my sister Kathleen on Friday compliments of Irish Gardeners Forum, you can follow the link to view other prize winners photos and comments about the show. The sun was shining and it was a fantastic day out, everything looked great with the sun beaming down even though it was a mite hot for some plants which looked as if they would not last the day never mind the whole weekend!The sunny chaps above were on sale and we saw lots of them being carried around.
It was my first outing to Bloom and I must say it was very well organized, there was lots of seating around to relax on, there were excellent catering facilities but why anyone would buy food when you could eat your way for free around around the terrific food market is beyond me!The food market consisted of stalls of chutneys,jams,preserves of all kinds, homemade sweets, cakes and bread etc.from all of the small artisan producers around the country.There was even a free water point so you did not have to pay for bottled water.There was a big airy food marquee, which served full meals, you waited to be seated and served as in a restaurant. I expected everything to be overpriced but was pleasantly surprised.The entrance fee for thurs and fri was 20e but went up to 25e on Sat and Sun.
Planting veg and herbs in reusable canvas or plastic containers was a recurring theme throughout the show. They are versatile and cheap and take up very little space if you only have a patio or balcony.I was a little disappointed with the range of flowers and veg on show as there was just one big show Marquee, I have been to Southport Show in Liverpool which is huge and there are tents for just one variety such as Sweet pea or Dahlias!In the UK they are much more into specialised growing and shows than we are.
Mr Middleton's shop stand with veg which was so perfect it looked artificial!Most of the show stands were flowers, as far as I can remember this was the only one devoted specifically to veg.I did not think there was anything eyecatching or unusual on display and most of the stands seemed to have the much the same plants for sale, as if they had all come from the same supplier.
Another recycling theme,if you are throwing out an old kitchen appliance it might be worthwhile and eyecatching planting it instead of adding it to the landfill.This is a dishwasher and cooker, the display also featured a hanging garden of small appliances like kettles and toasters planted up.I think the recession was playing a big part in the show as prices were not outrageous for any of the plants that we saw but coming home in the train had to be taken into consideration so we bought one token plant each, a Sweet William (Dianthus)for 2e!
This is part of one of the prizewinning show gardens, it featured recycled items or items like a table and chairs made from old pallets stacked and painted white.I have other pics of it which I will show later but these canvas shopping bags took my eye planted up with herbs and flowers and hung on the wall.
Bloom was a huge undertaking which I hope will go from strength to strength and from the crowd that was there on the day we went it looks like it will, anyone with any interest in gardening would enjoy it, more to come later.