With temperatures set to soar this weekend the organisers of Northern Ireland’s largest gardening festival – Allianz Garden Show Ireland, are getting prepared for a busy three days. Now in its 14th year, the gates at Antrim Castle Gardens will open tomorrow – Friday 4th May at 10am with over 20,000 visitors expected to attend across the three days.
Visitors to the Show will be greeted on their arrival in Allianz Scarecrow Avenue by the largest collection yet of scarecrows created by primary school children from the integrated sector, along with 24 amazingly creative miniature gardens made by primary schools from across Northern Ireland. Gardens abound at this year’s Show. ‘Eco’ gardens have lots of ideas to attract wildlife, and Northern Ireland’s only Chelsea Gold-Medallist, Ian Price has created the Show’s feature garden. Working in conjunction with Northern Ireland charity, Aware, Ian’s “Meditation Garden” will reinforce the proven links between the benefits of gardening and being outdoors to maintaining positive mental health.
Promising a ‘Festival of Flowers, Food and Fun,’ the 2018 Allianz Garden Show Ireland programme offers plenty for families. From kite making and planting veg to making bugs and pots, kids can pick up lots of new skills. New this year will be demonstrations of tree climbing by professional arborists, dry-stone walling and traditional woodland craft demos botanical painting workshops, yoga in the garden, demos by local farmer florists and more!
For Gardening enthusiasts celebrity gardeners, Mark Diacono, Lia Leendertz and Helen Dillion, will be offering advice and sharing some of their experiences, whilst resident gurus, Geoff Stebbings and Reg Maxwell will be sharing their excitement at the plants on show.
Celebrating local produce is high on the menu during the three days and there is a foodie feast in store at this year’s Show. A show staple, the Food NI Food Market is back and will be filled with artisan food stalls and local producers championing home-grown produce. Resident-chef Paula McIntyre will be taking to the Food NI Pavilion stage demonstrating ways to use fresh ingredients that celebrate Northern Ireland’s rich edible heritage in enticing new recipes.
Allianz Garden Show Ireland takes place from 4 – 6 May at Antrim Castle Gardens. For more information or to book tickets visit: www.gardenshowireland.com