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HortiTrends Weekly Comment and News Digest - Horticulture Goes from Gloom to Bloom - Phoenix Park Location Under Evaluation - June 4th

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Where do you start? Of course with the positive but as the headline above reveals, the horticulture trade will have to act fast, along with the general public to make sure Bloom in the Park stays in the PARK! While the official response below tells us that evaluation is an ongoing thing, the fact that exhibitors were being polled may tell us that this evaluation if a little more serious. The official response from Bord Bia is "There is no plan to move Bloom from the Phoenix Park. Bord Bia will continue to evaluate the show and each of the elements, including location, to ensure we deliver value for money to our stakeholders and Bloom visitors."  The horticulture sector is an important stakeholder and will need to make its voice heard in this or any future evaluation which should always start at 'Don't Fix It if it's Not Broken'.

You can contact Board Bia Board Members 2013 to let them know exactly how you feel. You can also show your support to Keep Bloom in the Park at https://www.facebook.com/KeepBloomInThePark or follow https://twitter.com/keepbloominpark Its a campaign aimed at both the horticulture trade and gardening lover alike. Better to cement the fact that Bloom should stay in the PARK. Another person to contact is Brain Hayes T.D brian.hayes@oir.ie to make sure that the horticulture sector and the 1/2 million + visitors over the last 7 years to the Phoenix park, continue to be facilitated and welcomed to enjoy the Jewell in the public crown that the Phoenix Park is.

Now you know where we stand, back to the celebration of horticulture that was Bloom in the Park 2013. The good weather continues which means that the nurseries large and small will have no time to recover, as they have got to basically make up for a whole missed season in sales. The built garden element of the show is important but be in no doubt that the Floral Marquee is also a big if not bigger draw for many visitors. Its the idea of interacting directly with the grower, finding something different, or bagging a bargain that appeals to many. The displays as usual were top notch and the standard should continue to be maintained and improved.

The gardens at Bloom are an inspiration to the public and other designers alike. In many ways the show garden build is a team effort with resources being shared and although the competitiveness is high, there is lots of support and goodwill among them. You can see all of the winners in Winners 2013 Show GardensWe predict at least one of this years designers being at Chelsea 2014 sponsorship permitting, as the talent already speaks for itself. It would be great also to see more international designers coming to participate and this is work that Ireland's embassies abroad could be involved in promoting. Also spare a thought for the designers who must break down gardens they built with blood, sweat and tears. There are a lucky few who will get to move them to a new home including the Hospice and the Jack and Jill Foundation gardens. We applaud all of the designers for their perseverance and passion to bring a thought to paper, to life.

What also struck me this year was the power of the Super Garden competition as a draw for a large section of visitors who otherwise may not have come. I was stopped several times by people looking for the winning garden and on trying to direct them to Gerard Mullins superb design was told, "No not him, your one from the telly" aka Lisa McKnight.

We hear comments every year that the show has become too commercial or that the horticulture element is getting diluted. We should not take for granted that the show will always go on regardless. We have the odd go at Bord Bia now and again but they are to be applauded for developing this show and making it a sustainable event as we moved from 'Celtic Tiger' funding to the current economic situation. Its a credit to the commercial savvy of the Bloom Manager Garry Graham and the Bord Bia team. 

For a round-up of all the latest Bloom news and videos see Latest Bloom 2013 News & Updates.

We will have a further Bloom roundup for the weekend including '10 Things we Loved About Bloom and 10 We Didn't'. Also get in touch or add your comments to this article at the bottom of the page.

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          Joseph ( Editor at HortiTrends)