Limerick culture garden to Bloom for all at City Hall

Alan Owens


Alan Owens

City of Culture director Mike Fitzpatrick with garden creator Ailish Drake at the recent Bloom festival in Phoenix Park. The garden is to be recreated in Limerick
AN AWARD-winning garden created for the recent Bloom festival in Dublin is to be relocated to City Hall.

AN AWARD-winning garden created for the recent Bloom festival in Dublin is to be relocated to City Hall.

The Limerick Culture Garden, created by Ailish Drake and husband Conor Hourigan as part of the Made in Limerick strand of City of Culture, won the silver medal for large gardens at Bloom.

More than 100,000 people visited the show in the Phoenix Park over the June Bank Holiday weekend, and the garden itself was visited by President Michael D Higgins and Taoiseach Enda Kenny, amongst others.

The Culture Garden will now be relocated to a permanent space outside City Hall, with the build starting on Monday. It is expected to be finished in three weeks.

Ms Drake, who lives in Montpelier, began planning for the garden in September and was awarded funding as part of the 109 projects in the Made in Limerick funding strand.

“Every garden designer’s dream is to bring a garden to Bloom and certainly I was delighted to get the opportunity,” she explained.

Ms Drake explained that the design of the garden was done with showcasing Limerick in mind.

“Limerick has a really rich medieval heritage, King John’s Castle, St Mary’s Cathedral, the Hunt Museum’s medieval collections, so basically the garden is one that would be found in a castle or manor house in the Middle Ages,” she said.

City of Culture erected an information stand at the event to inform prospective tourists about the many events taking place this year, in particular the upcoming Royal de Luxe project, and director Mike Fitzpatrick travelled to the Phoenix Park for Bloom to represent the year of culture at the event.

“It is great to have a garden in Bloom,” he said.

“It has been a lovely partnership working with Ailish and Conor, so it is a really exciting time and a fabulous looking garden and we are delighted,” he added.

The garden will now move to the courtyard area of City Hall and will be open to the public during the summer.

Mr Fitzpatrick said the location of the garden was a strategic one that would bring tourists through the garden and on to King John’s Castle.

“It will be quite a nice visit and as you go past City Hall and St Mary’s Cathedral into the garden, then you can walk on to the castle,” he said.

Speaking about City of Culture, which is some six months into the year at this point, he said it means “an enormous amount to people”.

“For visitors, for citizens, for cultural practitioners, artists, gardeners, singers and musicians - a lot of people have come into the city to perform and make and produce work, like this garden, which is a loving production,” he added.