Bloom `09

pink poppies

I was hangin’ out in the Airfield break room last week and one of the gals asked whether anyone was going to “Bloom” on the weekend. And I was all, “What’s that?” Well, it turned out there was a garden expo in Dublin’s Phoenix Park during the bank holiday weekend.

Sure enough I ended up getting myself a ticket for Thursday, which as Met Eireann promised, was sunny and warm. Really warm, actually. It’s fairly humid in this neck of the woods, and when the clouds shirk their duty of shielding the emerald isle it can heat up a little. I was pretty pooped by the end of the day in fact, not having had the usual run of several months up to what I would classify as a nice July day at home.

Anyway, they had a shuttle bus running to the park from Heuston station, so I took public transit… I also took Morgan’s beautiful camera & lenses of course! I spent the better part of the day running around the fair getting blurry shots of pretty plants and landscape designs.

Part of the expo featured spaces where entrants could create landscapes to advertise their designs. There were a few that I found particularly nifty, such as Anthony Ryan’s “Metamorphosis” garden with its sheltered space and pretty water feature, and this water garden with stepping stones - I just wanted to climb into that hammock!

Two fellows giving a talk about the vegetable garden display they’d set up had a story to tell passersby. It seems the deer that reside in the park had broken in and had a snack, but they only preferred two varieties of lettuce/kale and left the rest. Whew!

I took some time to wander through the artisan food and craft sections. Yays! I actually went around several times.

There was gorgeous pottery – blue and green – they totally nailed the glaze, and cleverly stuck with it over a whole line of different pieces. I discovered some ladies from the weavers’ guild who were spinning raw wool and weaving dyed yarn – I’m always so impressed by human inventions. Especially the old ones – I can’t get over the clever devices people can make!

The food tent was also highly rewarding. I found a lady who makes her own cheeses from sheep, cow, and goat milk. Mmm! Actually, I had previously discovered her downtown in January or so, and I was very glad to find her again. There was an apple juice operation in one corner – I brought a bottle home for Morgan and he agrees the Jonagold apple juice is tasty and not over-sweet. Thumbs up! I also stocked up on summer honey from Andrew McGuinness of Meadowsweet Apiaries. I cracked open a jar when I got home and it’s very nice indeed. Very pale and extremely sweet – I’d say it’s got lots of clover besides a bunch of other things I can’t place. I’m very fond of finding honey from small/local producers. I do miss Patty Milligan’s “Lola Canola” summer honey from Bon Accord, Alberta, but I think of her (I met her when she had about 40-or-so hives) whenever I try a new honey. In fact there are beekeepers who tend ~5 hives on the Airfield property, but I haven’t tracked them down yet. I hear they were selling their wares on sheep shearing day at Airfield, which was the Sunday that weekend, but instead of documenting the “Woolapolooza”, I enjoyed some most excellent hiking around Sally Gap, so I’m still waiting to see how über-local honey might taste.

And just like that, it turns into a food post! That’s okay, there’s really nothing finer! I’d better tack this up on the blog before I get distracted and go eat a pot of honey. But yeah, Bloom was good – would you believe they threw it all together in two days? Me neither! All in all, a very fine day out. [gallery] Diane