Stepping into the magical world of the Bord Bia Bloom Festival 2023 was like entering a dreamscape where nature’s beauty flourished and creativity bloomed at every turn. Nestled in Phoenix Park, this annual extravaganza captivates gardening enthusiasts and casual visitors each year.
As a lover of all things nature, I eagerly set out to experience this renowned horticultural extravaganza. Little did I know that my visit to the festival would be an enchanting journey filled with awe-inspiring show gardens, delightful aromas, insightful talks, and a deep appreciation for the wonders of gardening.
When it comes to celebrating the vibrant beauty of nature and the artistry of gardening, few events can rival the beauty of the Bord Bia Bloom Festival, and this year’s event was no different.
I wanted to share my experience at the festival this year to hopefully give you a good idea of what to expect if you’re planning a visit next year.
I hope you enjoy looking through some of the pictures from the day and can pick up some inspiration for your garden too! If you would like to see more, check out my vlog from the day.
Show Garden Bliss at Bloom
From the moment I stepped foot into the festival grounds, I was greeted by a kaleidoscope of colours and the sweet scent of blooming flowers. The meticulously designed show gardens transported me to various landscapes, each with its unique charm and ambience.
As I strolled through these breathtaking creations, I marvelled at the artistry and creativity that went into crafting such stunning displays. The expertly curated gardens inspired me with new ideas for my own flower beds.
Hats off to all of the incredible designers who prepare all year to create these amazing displays.
How Many Gardens Were at Bord Bia Bloom 2023?
This year’s show featured 22 show and feature gardens, nine postcard gardens, and nursery displays. Five new garden designers exhibited for the first time at Bord Bia Bloom. 760 exhibitors featured across all areas across the show
Inspiring Workshops and Talks at Bord Bia Bloom
One of the highlights of the Bord Bia Bloom Festival was the opportunity to learn from gardening experts and industry professionals. Many captivating talks covered a wide range of topics, from sustainable gardening practices to colour tapestry and vertical gardening.
I attended a very interesting talk all about the joys and health benefits of gardening with Fiann O’Nuallain, The Holistic Gardener. It turns out gardeners actually live 15 years longer, so I was only thrilled to learn this!
Culinary Delights at Bloom
Beyond the breathtaking gardens, the Bloom Festival celebrated the culinary wonders that can be derived from nature. The Food Village was a gastronomic paradise, offering an array of locally sourced and artisanal treats.
From mouthwatering cheeses to freshly baked bread, organic produce to sumptuous desserts. Every bite was a celebration of Ireland’s vibrant food culture. I made sure to try as many samples as I could. I discovered lots of incredible food vendors – you won’t be disappointed with the food!
Preparing For Your Trip to Bloom
Before setting foot in the Bloom Festival, take some time to plan your visit. Check the festival’s official website for dates, opening hours, and specific guidelines or restrictions.
Take note of the schedule of workshops, talks, and demonstrations that pique your interest. You can prioritize the ones you don’t want to miss.
Planning ahead will allow you to create a well-rounded itinerary and ensure you get all the must-see exhibits and activities.
What To Wear To Bloom?
I was lucky enough that we saw a scorcher of a weekend for Bloom 2023! The sunshine made all of the gardens even more magical! However, we know how unpredictable the Irish weather can be.
My top tip is to dress comfortably and prepare for the weather. As you’ll be spending a significant amount of time outdoors, it’s essential to dress appropriately for the weather. Comfortable walking shoes are a must, as you’ll be exploring the festival grounds extensively.
Remember to bring sun protection, including a hat and sunscreen, as well as rain gear in case of showers. Being prepared will ensure you can enjoy the festival regardless of the weather.
How Easy Is the Parking at Bloom?
There is onsite parking for €5 for the full day, although you will want to anticipate heavy traffic. It’s best to try and avoid peak travel times as Phoenix Park and the surrounding areas will be very busy.
You can also book your parking ticket in advance on Ticketmaster when purchasing your tickets.
Are Tickets Available At The Gate?
Some tickets will be available at the gate, although it’s not a guarantee that tickets will be available on popular days, and therefore we recommend booking in advance.
It might be best to arrive early in the day to fully immerse yourself in the beauty of the festival and avoid the midday rush. I went first thing on Thursday morning and made the most of it. By doing so, you’ll beat the crowds and have a chance to explore the gardens and exhibits relatively easily.
Early mornings also provide excellent lighting for photography if you wish to capture the enchanting displays at their best.
Arriving early will grant you more time and space to appreciate the festival’s offerings and make the most of your visit.
Is Bloom Family Friendly?
The festival catered to visitors of all ages, making it the perfect outing for families. Children can experience the ‘Budding Bloomers’ area, where they can participate in interactive workshops, engage in hands-on gardening activities, and even plant their own seeds.
I hope these tips were helpful and get you excited if you are planning to attend next year!
Visiting the Bord Bia Bloom Festival was a truly enchanting experience that immersed me in the beauty and wonder of the natural world. From the captivating gardens to the educational workshops, the culinary delights to the celebration of Irish culture, every aspect of the festival left an indelible mark.
It was a reminder of the power of nature to inspire, heal, and connect us all. If you’re a nature lover, a gardening enthusiast, or simply someone seeking a day of pure delight, I wholeheartedly recommend experiencing the magic of the Bord Bia Bloom Festival.
Prepare to be captivated and leave with a renewed appreciation for the marvels of the natural world.
If you would like to watch more videos and pick up some more garden tips, check out the Cottage Garden Playlist on YouTube, where you will find a new video every Sunday! Or click here for more garden posts.
*AD disclosure, this post is NOT sponsored, however I have previously worked with Bord Bia Bloom