The five-day festival, which is in its 10th year, celebrates food, horticulture and gardening. It was officially opened by President of Ireland Michael D. Higgins.
The Overall Large Garden category award has gone to Alan Rudden from Westmanstown, Co. Dublin for his Chilean-inspired ‘Santa Rita Living la Vida 120 Garden’. The contemporary Latin American garden includes an alfresco dining area and a pool surrounded by Mediterranean arid planting.
Bloom first-timer James Purdy from Belfast won both the Overall Medium Garden category and Best Plant Design Award (new this year) for his 'Podscape Garden', which demonstrates a sustainable approach to everyday life.
Meanwhile Oliver and Liat Schurmann, renowned garden designers and owners of Mount Venus Nursery in Dublin won the Overall Small Garden category for ‘The Designer’s Back Yard’, an oasis for garden designers.
New to Bloom, University College Dublin won the Best Concept Garden for its ‘Evolution of Land Plants’garden designed by Dr. Caroline Elliot-Kingston and Nicola Haines. Finally, within the Floral and Nursery Pavilion, Boyne Garden Centre, Slane, Co. Meath won Best in Show.
Bloom's judging team was headed by Andrew Wilson, together with award-winning garden designers and the curator of the National Botanic Gardens. The panel awarded a total of 57 medals to show garden designers and nurseries including; 24 Gold, 12 Silver Gilt, 13 Silver and 8 Bronze.
Each of the judges acknowledged the exceptionally high standard of this year’s show gardens, with a record number of gold medals awarded across show gardens and nurseries.
This year's show features 23 show gardens, more than 100 Irish food and drink producers, 200 retailers and 50 of Ireland's top nurseries. Since the first year of the festival in 2007, the show has doubled in size to a 70 acre site. Almost 100,000 visitors are expected to attend this year, compared to just 40,000 in year one.
Show garden themes range from the 1916 Rising and the war in Syria, to social farming and the evolution of plants. Eight large gardens are on display this year, along with gardens from Chile, China and Chicago.
According to research by Bord Bia, the average annual Bloom spend is just over €7 million, including the purchase of some 90,000 plants. Irish consumers will also spend up to €30 million on gardening, foliage and landscaping in the months following the show.
BLOOM 2016 RESULTS
Gold, Best in Category – Large: Santa Rita Living la Vida 120 Garden, sponsored by Santa Rita, designed by Alan Rudden
Gold, Best in Category – Medium: Podscape Garden, sponsored by Glenisk, designed by James Purdy
Gold, Best in Category – Small: The Designer's Back Yard, sponsored by Mount Venus Nursery and Valentia Slate, designed by Oliver and Liat Schurmann
Gold, Best in Category – Concept: UCD Evolution of Land Plants Garden, sponsored by UCD, designed by Dr Caroline Elliott-Kingston and Nicola Haines
Gold, Best in Show – Nursery Display: Boyne Garden Centre, Slane, Co.Meath
Large: Bridge the Gap, sponsored by the Chicago Park District and designed by Matthew Barrett
Large: Across Boundaries, sponsored by CEDRA Fund, The Irish Farmers' Association, The National Dairy Council, and Leitrim Development Company, designed by Barry Kavanagh
Large: Crumlin Children’s Hospital Garden, sponsored by Kildare Growers, Bord na Móna, Moyvalley Stone and Peter O’Brien Landscapes, designed by Kieran Dunne and Anthony Ryan
Large: The Savills Garden - Face to Face, sponsored by Savills and designed by Andrew Christopher Dunne
Large: UCD Evolution of Land Plants Garden, sponsored by UCD, designed by Dr Caroline Elliott-Kingston and Nicola Haines
Medium: Podscape Garden, sponsored by Glenisk, designed by James Purdy
Medium: Serene Sanctuary, sponsored by Irish Country Magazine, designed by Alan Coffey in association with Alan Battersby
Small: The Legend of Tarzan, sponsored by Warner Brothers, designed by Oliver and Liat Schurmann
Large: Sculpture in the Parkland, sponsored by garden-sculptures.ie, designed by Ingrid Swan and Ruth Liddle
Medium: Bremore Castle Medieval Garden, sponsored and designed by Fingal County Council and Institute of Technology Blanchardstown
Medium: Out the Other Side: A Garden of Hope, sponsored by Marie Keating Foundation and ROCHE, designed by Tünde Szentesi
Medium: GOAL’s Damascus Courtyard -War and Peace, sponsored by GOAL, designed by Brian Burke
Medium: Well Centred, sponsored by Nangle & Neason and Charleville Cheese, designed by Hugh Ryan
Medium: Blurred Lines, sponsored by Chef Sauce, designed by Sofi Dosa
Small: The Secret Life of Pets, sponsored by Universal and Sanctuary Synthetics, designed by Mark O’Loughlin
Small: Sharing the Load, sponsored by St. John of God Hospital and the Irish Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, designed by Padraic Woods
Small: The Tao of Now, sponsored by Eight Oaks Holistic, designed by Fiann Ó Nualláin
Small: Solus Light Bulb Garden "Inspired by Ireland", sponsored by Solus Light Bulbs, designed by Alan Rudden
FLORAL DISPLAYS AND NURSERIES
Hughes Roses, Garristown, Ardcath, Co.Dublin
Camolin Potting Shed, Camolin, Co.Wexford
Springmount Garden Centre, Ballycanew Road, Gorey, Co.Wexford
Boyne Garden Centre, Slane, Co.Meath
Plant Store, Tallaght, Dublin 24
Kilmurry Nursery, Gorey, Co.Wexford
Kells Bay House and Gardens, Kells, Cahersiveen, Co.Kerry
Fuchsiavale Nurseries, Worcestershire, UK
Plants Direct, Carbury, Co.Kildare
Irish Water Plants, Strokestown. Co.Roscommon
Mr Middleton Garden Shop, 58 Mary Street, Dublin 1
Harts Nursery, Alsager, UK
Peninsula Primulas, Ards, Co.Down
Teagasc, c/o National Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin, Dublin 9
Harrington Exotics, Saggart, Co. Dublin
W.S Warmenhoven, UK
Navan Garden Centre, Navan, Co.Meath
O’Reilly’s Nurseries, Mountnugent, Co.Cavan
Herb on Thyme, Rathangan, Co.Kildare
Heritage Bulbs, Glasnevin, Dublin 11
Premium Pelargoniums (Fuschiavale), UK
Glens Garden Gems, East Yorkshire, UK
Riverlane Nurseries, Trim, Co.Meath
Blackwater Floral Accessories, Mallow. Co.Cork
Three Gates Nursery and Florist, Naul, Co.Dublin
Dublin School of Horticulture, Dun Laoghaire, Co.Dublin
Garden Direct, Kilmeague, Co.Kildare
Shady Plants, Clashmore, Co.Waterford
Papervale Trees, Rathfriland, Co.Down
Greenart Production, Holland
AOIFA, Bray, Co.Wicklow
Landbarn Nursery, Gorey, Co.Wexford
Cois na Tra Plants, Westport, Co.MayoBRONZE
Devine Nurseries (Stand 1), East Yorkshire
Devine Nurseries (Stand 2), East Yorkshire
Western Plants Nursery, Skreen, Co.Sligo
Three Gates Nursery and Florist, Naul, Co.Dublin
Doran Nurseries (Irish Plants), Naas, Co.Kildare