A garden that tells the story of how Irish seafood is being sustainably produced to help protect fish stocks, protect the marine environment and develop and sustain fisheries-dependent coastal communities in Ireland has been announced as the overall winner of Bloom 2018.
The Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) Sustainable Seafood Garden was designed by contemporary garden designer Andrew Christopher Dunne, who drew inspiration from his home village of Clogherhead, Co Louth.
The decision was made following a two-day judging process with an independent panel of expert judges. The award was announced as Bord Bia opened its gates in Dublin's Phoenix Park this morning (Thursday 31 May).
BIM chief executive Jim O’Toole said: “All of us in BIM are thrilled that the Sustainable Seafood Garden has received this award today. This is BIM’s first time at Bloom and I want to thank everyone who has been involved in the creation of the garden.
“In particular, I want to applaud the dedication and vision of our garden designer, Andrew Christopher Dunne. From the outset, Andrew understood our aim to celebrate Ireland’s seafood sector in its entirety. He has impressed everyone with his incredible attention to detail to ensure that every plant, tree and feature within the garden is linked to our message of sustainability.”
The impressive marine garden set amongst two piers – old and new – representing the traditional and modern fishing industry includes plants and trees found along Ireland’s coastal areas, including wild flowers, ferns and grasses.
The centrepiece of the garden includes a large water feature with shimmering fish sculptures and an ‘upcycled’ fishing boat where some of Ireland’s leading fishmongers and chefs will be showcasing sustainably sourced seafood throughout the five-day event. The garden also includes furniture and features made from recycled materials.
“This has been a labour of love for me,” said garden designer Dunne. “I’m so proud to get this recognition for the garden. The theme has particular resonance for me as I’ve lived all of my life in a fishing village in Co Louth and I have a keen understanding of the importance of our seafood industry.”
Bloom 2018 officially opens today and runs until Monday 4 June.