THE FINAL DAY AT BLOOM 2011 -TOLLING BELL AND MADNESS BEGINS

by Ciaran Burke

Philip Bankhead of Penninsula Primulas picking the right plant

4 pm. A bell rings, sounding like a the teacher ringing the end of lunch time, but it is the start of the exhibitors displays sell off in the floral marquee. The thronging crowds are in a frenzy. Plants are being pointed at, pulled at, stand owners prodded. Rare delights are removed and sold, special deals offered, and gladly accepted. I had to keep a keen eye on our stand, “Is this pot for sale?”, “are you giving away anything” our plants and pots from our garden are endangered! But it is all good natured and fun.

Boyne Garden Centre Sell-off

Hanna helped Philip Bankhead of Pennisula Primulas. This is an annual arrangement ever since the first Bloom when Philip innocently said “help yourself’ t and his invitation to the public to pick their desired primulas and queue to pay for them was misunderstood. Now Hanna marshals the crowds with Finnish organisation and a teacher’s command. An orderly queue is formed around his stand as customers choose their plants, Philip packs them,  all are paid for; everybody’s happy. Around every nursery stand their is a type of bedlam, as foxgloves fly and lupins leap into grateful arms. Japanese maples move through the air, concealing people in a cloud of purple foliage that waves from side to side through the floral marquee. Smiles are on the faces of happy plant buyers.

Finlay Colley of Rare Plants Ireland in action

Bloom is as much about people as it is about plants, gardens and food. Each year we see the familiar faces, Koraley Northen photographing plants, people and gardens, Gerry Daly of The Irish Garden mingling and talking, giving lectures and talking on the radio. Orla Woods of Kilmurry Nursery, she performs her duties as Nursery Pavilion Organiser with good humour and efficiency and works the whole weekend selling plants on her nursery and making sure everyone is happy. This year we also had teams of Bloom Ambassadors referred to as “bloomers” milling around and helping the public with directions for toilets, restaurants, and anything else they need to know about Bloom. This year’s record attendance figures made sure they were kept busy all the time.

Koraley Northen - ever present, always photographing

We have had great neighbours around our stand; Jimi Blake from Huntingbrook our breakfast companion and plant spotter and tipster, Finlay Colley of Rare Plants Ireland who stocks a most temting range of trees and shrubs, we could not resist. Then we had Oliver Schurmann of Mount Venus flying around on his bicycle before the show opened, zooming between his show garden and nursery stand. Now that the show is over, the stand removed and packed in the car, our heads still whirring from the past five days, we are tired but happy. It has been a great show, thanks must go to Gary Graham and Carol Marks at Bord Nia for all their hard work through the year that makes the event happen.We have attended Bloom since its inception and each year it keeps getting bigger and better, looking forward now to next year.

Bloom Ambassadors to the rescue

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

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

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: