Bloom to go virtual for a second year

JUST FOR THE CRAIC! - Edna English serves up a socially distanced beer in summer 2020 to next door neighbour Niall McCarthy from the Covid Arms Bar to be crowned winner of the festival’s ‘Best Craic’ category.

For the second year running, Ireland’s largest gardening and lifestyle festival – Bord Bia Bloom – will not take place in the Phoenix Park from June 3-7, due to the ongoing threat to public safety from Covid-19.

However, the good news for all garden and outdoor lovers, is that the festival will take place virtually in 2021.

On the fifteenth consecutive year of the festival, a programme of initiatives and online events created in partnership with some of Ireland’s leading garden designers and long-time festival participants will bring the joy of Bloom to life in a new and uplifting way.

Bord Bia CEO, Tara McCarthy commented this week: “I want to thank all of Bloom’s fans, as well as the hundreds of growers, designers, contractors, exhibitors and sponsors, for their continued support as we plan this year’s festival.

“Bord Bia Bloom would not be possible without their passion and enthusiasm, and while we are very disappointed we can’t gather in the Phoenix Park, the Bloom team is excited to continue to bring the joy and benefits of gardening to the public this summer. 

“We know that gardening has had a positive impact on many people’s mental and physical well-being throughout this difficult period and during last year’s Bloom At Home initiative, we saw thousands of both new and experienced gardeners embrace it over the June bank holiday.

“We are inviting the public to join us virtually again this year and safely enjoy Bord Bia Bloom from their own homes.”

So following the success of last year’s #BloomwithRTÉ competition, Bord Bia is delighted to once again partner with RTÉ for an online celebration of gardening across the country, from country lawns to city balconies.


The Fermoy garden of the O Lochlainn’s took category honours in the first virtual Bloom in 2020, being crowned winner of the festival’s ‘Best Craic’ category.

Donal O Lochlainn, his wife Edna, along with their good friend Niall McCarthy, recorded a video taking in the O Lochlainn’s garden. The short video, brought the glory of their garden to life, with verdant flowers, water features and an enviable yard as the backdrop to the makeshift ‘Covid Arms Fermoy’; a pop-up bar staffed by Edna wearing her facemask, who passed a pint to Niall on a shovel, making sure to adhere to social distancing. Service with a (hidden) smile.

Full details of the 2021 initiative will be announced in the coming months.