Over 94,000 people attended Bord Bia’s Bloom festival in the Phoenix Park, Dublin over the June bank holiday weekend, Bord Bia says.

Artisans, exhibitors and garden designers alike have enjoyed a busy and productive time at Bloom with many reporting huge interest and buoyant sales onsite, it says.

Independent studies in recent years have shown that the onsite sales at Bloom have been valued at over €5m each year, it says.

According to a Bord Bia’s ‘Garden Market Value’ study released earlier this year, the value of Ireland’s gardening industry is in growth for the first time since 2011 and reached €631m in 2014.

The Nursery and Floral Marquee reported sales of over 92,000 plants, an increase from 80,000 in 2014, it says.

The final day of Bloom also marked the announcement of the People’s Choice Award which was won by Darkness into Light – The Pieta House show garden, it says.

The winner of this coveted award is voted for by visitors to the show over the five days. Niall Maxwell, the show garden designer, also received the Designers’ Choice and a gold medal for his efforts, Bord Bia says.

At the Bloom 2015 awards the judging panel awarded a total of 25 medals to show garden designers including; seven gold, six silver gilt, seven silver and two bronze.

The overall category winners were:

  • Large Garden: Our Origin is Green, designed by Jane McCorkell.
  • Medium Garden: Darkness into Light, designed by Niall Maxwell.
  • Small Garden: Beech Park, designed by Fingal County Council and IT Blanchardstown.
  • Concept Garden: Pan, designed by Liat & Oliver Schurmann.

Speaking at the event Aidan Cotter, Chief Executive, Bord Bia said that Bord Bia is privileged to provide this public showcase of Ireland’s world-class food and horticulture sectors, both of which play a significant role in Ireland’s story and economy.

“Despite the wind and rain, all participants remained in high spirits and reported very strong sales. Planning has already started for 2016 which will mark Bord Bia’s 10th annual Bloom event,” he said.

Bloom 2015 in numbers: Bord Bia

Bloom 2015 in numbers: Bord Bia

Bord Bia has released some of the event facts and figures from the last five days:

  • 123 Bloom medals and awards were presented to garden designers, nurseries, floral artists, exhibitors and botanical artists.
  • 125 food and drink producers participated.
  • 1,746 kids learned about healthy eating through the Food Dudes fruit and vegetable demonstrations.
  • Over 5,000 visitors tasted the newly launched Raw Juices by McCormack Farms.
  • During the 5 days at Bloom, 25 eggs were laid by hens in the Bloom Farmyard.
  • 10kg of Irish Farmhouse Cheese was sampled every hour at the CAIS Farmhouse Cheese stand.
  • 5kg of butter was churned while Molly the dairy cow produced 200 litres of milk.
  • Over 150 food buyers attended Bord Bia’s business breakfast at Bloom on Friday morning for meetings with the exhibiting artisan food and drink companies.