I visited “Bloom” in Dublin’s Phoenix Park in early June this year – a little while after it’s English cousin “Chelsea” inspired millions of horticultural enthusiasts around the globe.

A local bus company took myself and a party of keen Donegal gardeners to our Irish floral heaven, and back home again – all in one day.

The floral marquee was my first stop, where I purchased a pot filled with 10 Candelabra Primula for just 8 euros, an Echium pininana which could reach a height of 4 metres , Salvia “Hot Lips” and Orlaya grandiflora.

IMG_6632 (2)

Candelabra Primula (front right) say “Hello” to red and yellow Mimulus


Echium pininana awaiting planting


Salvia “Hot Lips” getting to know her new floral friends!


White Orlaya grandiflora is still settling in beside a yellow Geum, a cerise Geranium and red Sedum “Autumn Joy”

I placed my new treasures in the plant creche, before locating the 22 show gardens – 6 large, 10 medium and 6 small.

My personal favourite (pictured below) was a gold medal winner called “Transition”. It featured beautiful naturalistic planting, with lots of grey rock (40 tons of it), and a sweeping water feature adorned with a modern steel and glass outdoor room.



Water featured in many of the other garden designs:


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I loved checking out the planting schemes. Here are some of my personal favourites:


Purple Allium were incredibly popular:


Paths meandered through a variety of planting styles from cottage style to modern…


I was serenaded while standing in the queue for lunch:


Before enjoying the delights of the Walled Garden – a haven of tranquility  away from the crowds.


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The food marquee, was a bit too busy for me, but I did enjoy a very delicious, organic ice cream sundae made from coconut and avocado. Yum!

Finally, tired but very happy, I collected my new plants, headed for the coach and home…

Bloom was well worth a visit.

Brigid P. Gallagher is a retired natural medicines therapist, passionate organic gardener and author of “Watching the Daisies- Life lessons on the Importance of Slow,” a holistic memoir dedicated to the art of mindfulness and healing from debilitating illness.


  1. Allium are certainly having a moment… Here they were looking pom-pom fabulous in all the squares and boulevards in May. What a lovely garden ‘transition’ was – just absolutely everything I love in one little corner …. so clever you gardeners are 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

      • I’m with you – I greatly prefer gardens that look like God planted them to the carefully manicured ones so often featured. I imagine the naturalistic style is just as much work – and maybe even more if you add rock and water features.

        What a lovely place to visit, however, and ALL of the gardens are spectacular. Thank you so much for sharing your trip.

        Bringing home a living souvenir is especially delightful, I would imagine, never having been a gardener since I’ve never been a home owner. Do they keep blooming each year or do you have to replant them?
        (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
        ADD/EFD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
        “It takes a village to educate a world!”

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks Madelyn. Most of my plants are permanent. I have shrubs and trees, spring bulbs and then lots of old fashioned cottage flowers which are mostly petennials ( come every year). This means that I don’t need to do too much weeding as everything is planted close together. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      • Poor weeds – lol – so maligned in gardens, while some are quite pretty in untended forests. 🙂 (I wouldn’t care for that particular weeding chore myself – so I’m sure any garden in my tending would be ragged indeed!)

        I’m sure I would love your garden. I adore cottage gardens — especially those with heirloom plants that still smell wonderful. When I was a child I recall that most flowers had an amazing & distinctive scent which man seems to have cultivated right out of them.

        I remember so fondly the heavenly smell as I walked past yards filled with flowers as a kid. Roses especially – even when I could get nowhere near them. And the smell of roses in vases and corsages was lovely, even in my teens. Other flowers could perfume an entire room for days.

        The roses on the bushes that Tink and I walk past now have a sort-of weedy scent that I have to practically put to my nose to detect. And some blooms seem to have no more scent than a houseplant that doesn’t flower at all.

        Are any gardens planted primarily for scent? Is it even possible anymore? Are the scentless ones easier to grow – or more disease resistant or something? Maybe heirlooms can only be planted from seed? What happened?

        Or is it different in Ireland?

        Liked by 1 person

      • One of the things I encouraged when I was teaching in schools was creating gardens that encouraged wild life including bees and butterflies. We usually included strongly scented plants like lavender and also added plants that the children liked to touch – soft leaves like stachys known as lambs ears and the blue plumes of cat mint…
        I love roses and get nice scented ones. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  2. thank you for sharing your photos and lovely experience. reminded me of a tour i once went on on Prince Edward island in Canada.the gardeners have such a small window to showcase their hard work and passion. Such a beautiful time to spend walking though such beautiful flowers.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    One for #gardeners Brigid Gallagher takes us on a tour of ‘Bloom’ in Dublin which follows on from the Chelsea Flower Show.. some stunning garden exhibits and I love the fact that there is a more wild feel to the gardens rather than too set. That way I don’t feel to bad about the way ours is looking at the moment! #recommended

    Liked by 2 people

  4. What a wondrous day you had, Bridgid. My sis has been to Dublin but it is still a trip I take vicariously thru her photos, and now yours. If only it didn’t require boarding an airplane and giving up control of the wheel!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. As I sipped my coffee and ate my yogurt this am, I walked with you through the garden exhibit and marveled at all the glorious displays. I love the naturalness of them. Thank you for this bright spot on this gloomy, hot day in New York.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. What a splendid post! Sooo stunning. I love Transition too. I also love that hot bed with all those yellows, oranges and red. I think. My favourite is the water garden with water going around the garden? That is fabulous. Thank you for the post! Xx

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hello Brigid,
    It looks like such a beautiful, colourful and splendid day at the garden show. The idea of a plant crèche made me smile. How very sweet.
    The purple flowers look a real treat, as did the sound of your icecream flavour… very creative and delicious sounding.
    Hope your new little garden additions are thriving now.
    Until next time,
    Di 💕🌹

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Di. It was such a great day especially when I was able to take the coach. The last time I visited I could not buy anything big as I went on the plane and then by bus across Dublin. The plant creche was a blessing and my four new plant babies are settling in nicely. 😊xx

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hello Brigid,
        The coach sounds like a lovely and more relaxing way to go…I’m assuming it was?
        And I’m happy to learn that your dear little plant babies are doing well… a little bit of the rain and warmth would have ensured a happy transition I’m sure.
        Hope you have a great Sunday,
        Hugs from me 💕🙋🏻

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Wow what a magnificently beautiful place! I love the name!! I love the first pic of where you posted “these are my favorites”. And I must admit that hammock caught my eye…I know I was supposed to be looking at the flowers but I thought oh how heavenly to lie in that hammock amongst all those plants and flowers. Nirvana. You bought some beautiful additions to your garden…enjoy!! xo

    Liked by 1 person

  9. What an amazing place, Brigid! Love that you went there, and also even got serenaded.
    That ice cream sounds fantastic – just up my alley. Hope it was delicious.

    Sending you ever so much love and blessings. Let’s connect soon.
    Debbie xo

    Liked by 1 person

  10. How exciting Brigid! It sounds like the most beautiful day!! Be fun to see the things you collected, all planted in our garden! I would have been tempted to slide into that hammock in one of the gardens!! It all looked so lovley– and such a birght sunny day! Fun post– thanks for letting us come along… hugs blog-buddy! xo

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Hello Brigid
    Popping back to read this post. Thank you for linking such a stunning post for #MyGloriousGardens. Interestingly, I spotted new favourites this time! I love the garden with the hammock! The planting is definitely my cottage garden taste.
    I hope you link up next month.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply to neilsonanita Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s