The diversity of Fingal will be showcased in the county’s entry to this year’s Bloom Festival which takes place in the Phoenix Park from June 1 to 5.
Taking the county’s motto, “Flúirse Talamh is Mara”, which means “Abundance of Land and Sea”, the ‘Flúirse Fingal’ show garden uses abundance as its central theme. The concept garden offers a taste of the diversity Fingal has to offer to both visitors and residents alike as the county is defined by the rich variety of its heritage, landscape and horticultural produce.
A cycle path has been used to evoke the unique flavour of Fingal as experienced on a journey through a mosaic of the county’s landscape. A stone windmill is an eye-catching feature and represents the iconic windmills of Skerries which are a popular holiday poster symbol for the area. A river flows through the site, making its way to an estuary and onwards to the sea representing Fingal’s rich riparian habitats and coastal biodiversity which are of international importance
The garden is a collaboration between Fingal County Council, the Institute of Technology Blanchardstown (ITB) and the Dublin and Dún Laoghaire Education and Training Board (DDLETB).
The ‘Flúirse Fingal’ show garden was designed by seven-times Bloom Gold Medal winner Jane Mc Corkell, a lecturer in horticulture at ITB, in conjunction with the Parks & Green Infrastructure Division of Fingal County Council. The hard landscape elements of the garden are being constructed by participants of the Local Training Initiative based in Bremore Castle, Balbriggan, which is run by DDLETB and sponsored by Fingal County Council. They have used the traditional stonework skills developed on the training programme to create some of the striking features of the garden like the windmill.
Participants from the Local Training Initiative based in Bremore Castle, Balbriggan, at work on constructing the Fingal entry for Bloom, 2017.
The Garden is bordered by a mural painted by artist Kate Kos and featuring iconic images of Fingal which have been blended together and designed to be a natural extension of the garden. The flowers and shrubs in the garden include lupins, foxgloves, salvias and a wide range of vegetables commonly grown in Fingal.
The garden build commenced on site in the Phoenix Park on May 11 and will take three weeks to complete while the show garden plants were cultivated in ITB’s urban horticulture facility.
This is the seventh time that Fingal County Council has been involved in an entry at Bloom. In 2015, an entry in the Small Gardens category based on The Shackleton Gardens in Clonsilla won a Silver Gilt Media and was named Best in Show in the Small Gardens category while, last year, an entry based on a reconstructed medieval garden from Bremore Castle in Balbriggan, won a Silver Gilt Medal in the Medium Gardens category.
Kevin Halpenny, Senior Executive Parks Superintendent with Fingal County Council said: “Bloom attracts a national and international audience and this year’s garden is an opportunity to show the rich diversity of the county. We will be using it as a mechanism to promote Fingal as a tourism destination to the 100,000 visitors who will see it over the June Bank Holiday weekend.”
The ‘Flúirse Fingal’ garden will also be eligible for the People’s Choice award which is the only award at the show that is decided by a public vote (via text.). A vote for the garden can be registered by texting GARDEN16 to 51500 (standard SMS rates apply). Voting will open at 9am on Thursday, June 1 and end at 1pm on Monday, June 5.
Bloom is organised each year by Bord Bia and is Ireland’s largest gardening, food and family festival and features a range of impressive show gardens, food features and family entertainment. Further details are available from www.bloominthepark.com/
Anybody interested in participating in the Bremore Local Training Initiative (LTI) can call the DDLETB on 01 8167400 or email them at: firstname.lastname@example.org , or visit their website: www.dubintrainingcentres.ie