OPW to showcase its world class heritage offering at Bloom. Ireland's Historic Gardens in the care of the OPW will be brought to life. Visit the Victorian Walled Garden to get tips from our expert gardeners.

30 May 18

This year the Office of Public Works (OPW) marquee at Bloom (located in the Conservation Zone close to the picnic Zone) will feature some of our iconic heritage sites and showcase our world class heritage offering from castles to cottages, from abbeys to ancient Christian sites- with 5,000 years of history and over 6 million visitors every year we have something to appeal to everyone.  We will also bring Ireland's Historic Gardens in the care of the OPW to life with interactive touchscreens providing imagery and information about beautiful well known gardens in addition to our many hidden gems.  From the stunning Altamont Gardens in Carlow to the recently refurbished Annes Grove in Cork to the breath-taking surrounds of the National Botanic Gardens featuring Richard Turner’s magnificent curvilinear range of glasshouses, the OPW marquee will feature 25 spectacular gardens around the country which are open to the public.

Also our expert gardeners from The Phoenix Park featured in the RTE series "It’s a Park’s Life" will be on hand in the Phoenix Park Victorian Walled Garden.  Come and learn from them about the horticultural skills involved in the design and layout of a Victorian Kitchen Garden, as well as answering questions and providing tips to gardening enthusiasts.

A new OPW Guide Ireland's Historic Gardens (PDF) will also be available showcasing some of Ireland’s most iconic gardens and celebrated plant collections, from the internationally renowned National Botanic Gardens at Glasnevin, to Garinish/Ilnacullin with its collection of exotic and rare southern hemisphere plants, from the semi-tropical Fota Arboretum with its celebrated champion conifers, to Dublin’s best kept secret, The Iveagh Gardens.  This beautiful guide illustrates the breadth and diversity of these places, including the Lutyens-designed landscapes of Heywood Gardens, Laois and the Irish National War Memorial Gardens, Islandbridge.  Take a look also at personal creations of passionate plant collectors such as Corona North at Altamont Gardens, Carlow and Richard Grove Annesley at Annes Grove Gardens, Cork.

This year the OPW is working in association with the Phoenix Park Specialist School in creating Ireland’s first nurture garden as part of the Show Gardens Exhibition. 

The Sanctuary Nurture Garden, designed by Sanctuary Synthetics, is based around one simple idea - a heart shaped mound/sunken outdoor classroom designed specifically for children with specialist educational needs.  The Garden has been created using locally sourced materials reclaimed from the Phoenix Park and consist of a synthetic artificial grass area surrounded by multi-sensory planting including vegetables, allowing the pupils to safely connect with nature and enhance their senses of sight, smell, taste, sound and touch.  The Sanctuary Nurture Garden will be relocated to the adjacent school grounds only a few hundred metres away after Bloom 2018, is essentially a safe outdoor learning space.

Finally, there will be live classical music at the OPW marquee between 12-2pm on the Saturday, Sunday and Monday courtesy of Great Music in Irish Houses.


For further information/interviews with OPW staff please contact OPW Client Services and Communications at 087 147 0617 or opwcsc@opw.ie

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Notes to Editors

The Victorian Walled Gardens, located at the Visitor Centre, is one of the highlights of the Phoenix Park and has been beautifully restored to its original 19th century layout. The garden is a place of education and inspiration for those interested in horticulture and history.  The Garden is managed under organic principles. The biodiversity of the garden is ensured by the presence of honeybees and pollinators that are vital to our environment.