If you read my post Herb Garden in a Flower Pot you will know that I am definitely in need of some inspiration for the garden in my new house (though the whole buying process takes so long it feels like it is never going to happen!) . So when the opportunity to visit Garden Show Ireland presented itself I jumped at the chance.
Garden Show Ireland is an annual event, held in May, and it moved to a new location in Antrim Castle Gardens for the 2014 Show. The website (check it out here) looked amazing, and promised lots of gardening inspiration, family fun, and opportunities to learn, shop and eat!
On the day it was brimming with independent little stalls, all with wonderful displays, selling everything imaginable for the garden. Aaron, as usual, was such a good baby, and delighted in seeing the many vibrant colours of the flowers for sale, and enjoyed watching the world pass him by!
I have no idea if such a thing as ‘gardening fashion’ exists, but if so, the colours for this year absolutely seemed to be mostly pinks and purples – but perhaps that was just an effect of the Giro d’Italia!
However, there were more than just flowers, plants and garden accessories to tempt visitors to part with their hard earned cash! There was a craft fair tent packed with a selection of homemade and hand crafted items.
And if, like me, you have a bit of a sweet tooth, it was nigh on impossible not to be seduced by the delights on offer! Luckily, quite a few had samples on display which was enough to satisfy my desire, for a short while at least!
Of course one cannot live on chocolate, fudge and pastry alone, so it was just as well they also had more than enough provision for those looking to ‘lunch out’. Every taste was catered for! There were cream teas, pizza, paella, Mexican burritos, and good old fashioned burgers, but to name a few!
Unfortunately it was a bit of a dismal dreary day, weather wise. In fact, Northern Ireland has seen a fair bit of rain over the last few days, and as a consequence there were areas of the Show where the ground was saturated and completely impassable with Aaron’s buggy. We had arrived prepared, as most people had, with our wellies boots and raincoats. After all, if you let a little rain stop you, in this country, there is a real possibility that you may never leave the house! It was a little disappointing that this had not been considered, however on a positive note, I have been informed that the council plan to rectify this by putting all weather support in place for future events. This is great news because Antrim castle grounds really is a beautiful setting for an event such as Garden Show Ireland, and the atmosphere on the day we visited was further enhanced by the jazz band that were playing.
Of course you may not agree with my opinion of the rain. Lewis didn’t! He thought it was great having so many puddles to jump in and racing about with his new umbrella.
He also loved the display of scarecrows, and he picked the Tin Can Man as his favourite. His favourite part of the day was when Mr C bought him a little bird whistle. I have never seen such a thing before. You put a little bit of water in it and blow it – like a whistle – and it really sounds like a bird! You can see a little video clip here. I thought it was the cutest thing until he brought it home. Goodness me the volume of that whistle is loud in the confines of the living room! Needless to say it was quickly removed and designated an ‘outside toy’! It is still a pretty nifty little whistle though!
If you’re wondering whether Garden Show Ireland actually provided me with any garden inspiration, then the answer is ‘Yes’! On display they had lots of different designs for outside rooms. Now, as is pretty standard, I envisaged an outside area in my new garden, which has a seating area, and somewhere to eat and socialise, but I hadn’t considered just how ‘roomy’ I could make this. Here is a little collage of my favourite outside rooms on the day.
Build a little wooden frame. Put some Perspex sheeting over it to water proof your room. Add in a built in barbeque and some serving benches. Make a wall, or use a fence, and paint it with some lovely bright colours to give your room some definition. I can just imagine it. I’m sure Mr C could knock one of these up for me some Saturday afternoon! Okay, I might be getting a little carried away, but I am absolutely going to give it some serious thought. I thought these outdoor rooms were just adorable!
Garden Show Ireland had lots more on offer than I have shown you here. Cookery demonstrations, question and answer sessions with the experts, and children’s gardening activities were all scheduled throughout the three day event. I was slightly concerned that it would all be a little bit too advanced for an amateur gardener such as myself, but not at all. The stall holders were all friendly and there really was, something for everyone!
If you want to see some more inspiration for my new garden why not visit my Pinterest board.
Disclaimer: I was given free tickets to attend this event. All opinions are my own. For further information please see my Disclosure Policy.