There has been a huge delay in my blogging of late due to a trip to London for work so I'm finally getting back on track a bit now. My apologies - even for me this is a long time.
I was lucky enough to receive an invitation from Bord Bia this year to attend a "Food Bloggers Picnic" at Bloom. The event took place on Friday the 1st of June and we met at the entrance to Bloom at 9am. It was great to see some familiar bloggers but I also got to meet many more that I was certainly familiar with but had yet to meet in person.
Bloom is of course, known for it's amazing gardens and this year did not disappoint. I've always loved visiting show gardens - seeing unusual plantings - taking tips on how to pair different plants together and generally creating an appealing garden. I loved these wire floral globes in this garden - while not easily translated at home - they still inspired me.
This contemporary garden of sorts had hay bales and white sheets woven through trees.
Loved the planting here - interesting texture and combinations. Below - a winner on many counts really appealed to a wide range of people. I'm a sucker for lupines and primroses and this garden had an outstanding display of them. The borders were lush and overflowing with colour and drama.
Glenisk yoghurt created the Lorax garden which was an innovative way to continue to brand this delicious range of yoghurts. Recently Glenisk gave my blog a mention on their newsletter so I was delighted to meet Emma first hand and the garden was inventive and practical. I have used their yoghurt to make this moist lemony yoghurt cake - recipe on my blog - really is delicious.
There were bug houses on the walls and innovative recycling using cans and used yoghurt cartons.
I loved all the circular elements in this garden, above. And was in awe of this gorgeous Iris I found.
I found these colour combinations particularly unusual and pleasing - many of which I have incorporated into my own garden in Nenagh. My own hydrangea is just coming out and my alliums are sadly now finished - would never be able to have them timed so beautifully !
This garden had a wild display of foxgloves, another favourite plant of mine and below spectacular primulas envelop a big clay pot.
After our main blogging activities were over Sophia and I returned to see more and she could not resist having a climb in this beautiful tree - all the kids were doing it!
Of course, many of you know that Bloom would not be Bloom without the food tents filled with wonderful food producers from throughout the country. As we were busy in the morning gathering goodies for our Food Blogging Picnic I did not take as many photos as I should have. All my favourite companies were there including Burren Smokehouse - the ever charming and enthusiastic Birgitta and I had a few brief moments to catch up, Goatsbridge - Sophia and I finally got to try the famed caviar. Delicious, salty and a wonderful pop of flavour. From North Tipperary - The Scullery, Tipperary Kitchen, Crossogue Preserves and Inch House were there. I finally got to meet Green Saffron (below) - I'm a huge fan of theirs and have buying their ready made spice mixes for Tikka Marsala, Rogan Josh etc from their stand in the Limerick Milk Market for the last few months - never fail curry - one evening I made one and the smell literally brought my neighbour Johnny in through the house to find out what it was. Really fabulous. For those of you who don't live in Ireland - curry and chips is a very standard take out meal here and until I moved here - almost 5 years ago, I had no idea about this - curry, in Ireland? Yes curry in Ireland. Maybe it's age or something but I find it really hard to consume much takeaway these days not that I ever did but it just does not suit my body anymore so making a good curry at home is much better - nothing warms the soul on a rainy Irish evening - all year round!!
Spanish Point SeaVegetables were there who I had met recently during the Slow Food Clare weekend - my post on our fabulous seaweed foraging morning is done and will be following this one later in the week - again my apologies on my delay with everything - this week I'm cutting back my hours at work after commuting 250 kilometres a day for the last 10 months - I won't know myself with two days less in the car.
Sophia and I also enjoyed the animals and perfectly planned rows of lettuce.
The food blogging picnic was great fun and an innovative way to get us food bloggers not only to interact with each other and Irish food producers but also a way for us to introduce the international bloggers to the wealth of Irish produce. Many thanks to Maeve Desmond from Bord Bia not only for the invitation but also putting together the idea. Our team included myself - Kathryn Laing from The Purple Page, Sarah Nicholson from Cake in the Country, Paula Ryan from Paula's Kitchen Table, Frank Murphy, a UK blogger from FrankMurphy100, Michell Minnaar, also from the UK from the blog, Greedy Gourmet and Anne Lataillade from the French blog, Papilles et Pupilles ( I just looked at her blog and her post on Bloom on 11 June is beautifully photographed)..
I just had to put together a little collage of this incredible display inside the tent of primulas - to die for!! I've got to buy up a mass of these to add to my rockery project I'm going to try and implement in my garden this summer.
One last thing, yesterday my daughter Sophia launched her own blog called The Crazy Miss Matched Blog - she is doing all the writing herself and coming up with the themes and I'm doing a tiny bit of supervising - helping her see glaring spelling mistakes or the way she has written it - she is not on Twitter nor do I think she needs to be yet. Please take a look. Many thanks.