Bloom is possibly the Dublin equivalent of the Chelsea Flower Show. I have never been to Chelsea for the famous flower show but Bloom for me is quite outstanding, and since it is sponsored by Bord Bia, the Irish Food Board, it is probably rather different in scope. This year’s show marked its 4th year. A wonderful event now firmly established in the Irish calendar.
overview of Bloom from the Bloom website
My duties this year at Bloom were minimal. The Irish Guild of Weavers Spinners & Dyers had been allocated space by the Crafts Council of Ireland. This year we were located outside approximately where the Basket Makers were last year. This year all the craft stands were bunched together under an awning, sheltered from the sun and rain but open to fresh air. Not like last year when we were in the main hall and it was stifling. This year we were located beside the first in line were the basket makers, then the potter, then us, and then the felters. A nice line up. The blacksmith was at the end sort of around the corner from the basket makers.
we had 2 spinning wheels and a loom in a very narrow space. I was able to squeeze in and do some knitting, which also attracted attention. Questions like, how do you knit on a circular needle? Most passersby knew how to knit and had knit in earlier years but not on a circular needle. One man and his wife who stopped to look at the loom and the weaving said that his mother had woven cloth for many years to clothe her family. He was from northwest China.
I was able to wander around and visit some of the other areas. Here are the gardaí on duty in the walled garden. A nice assignment on a sunny day.
Here’s what the gardaí could see
And then on to the show gardens, with music
And then I went inside, and what did I find but a friend, from my Dublin City Book Fair days, James Vallely of Craobh Rua Books in Armagh, I browsed there for a long time, and what I bought I’ll tell you another time.