Gardening guru and broadcaster Alys Fowler led a line-up of leading names in gardening to reveal the winning Show Gardens at the opening of this year’s Garden Show Ireland event which takes place from 9th -11th May at Antrim Castle Gardens.  Finalists from all over Ireland gathered to discover who would claim Gold in the UTV’s Magazine Show Garden Competition.

The UTV Show Garden Competition tasked existing and budding garden designers to present a small garden which was fun, useful and easy to maintain. Hailing from all over Ireland the four finalists were Ryan McGee from Ballycastle, Michael O’Reilly from Belfast, James Sheridan from Carnmoney and Chris Kinghan form Monaghan. Each presented different interpretations of the theme and the winning garden becomes the centre piece for filming for UTV’s The Magazine which airs on Friday 9th May. Plus, the winning designer will receive a prize of £2,500. 

The finished gardens were judged by a prestigious panel comprising of Ireland’s world renowned plantswoman Helen Dillon, gardening guru Geoff Stebbings and Reg Maxwell – former Head of Botanic Gardens and winner of Best in Show at the first Garden Show Ireland event 10 years ago. Head of the judging panel Geoff Stebbings commented, “The standard this year was extremely high and incredibly competitive.  Designers used the theme to the best advantage and the different interpretations were most interesting.”

Other awards announced today included the Growers Awards and the Team Garden Challenge, supported by the Enkalon Foundation which was open to everyone from community groups, sports clubs, charities, companies and colleges to groups of friends and families. With this year’s theme of a Kitchen Garden, teams designed a 3m by 3m garden and then built their plot in one day on Thursday 8th May – the day before the Show’s opening.

Taking place in a brand new venue for 2014, an expanded new look Garden Show Ireland will include appearances by Alys Fowler from BBC Gardeners’ World, Ireland’s world-renowned plantswoman Helen Dillon and .Bunny Guinness – winner of 6 Chelsea gold medals, author and regular panelist on BBC’s Gardeners’ Question Time.  With thousands of specialist plants, great garden shopping, garden designers and show gardens, a craft village, a free design pavilion, artisan food stalls, live music, garden gourmet, garden challenges, a dedicated kids zone and more, the event promises to be the ultimate garden show experience for gardeners of all ages and experiences.

The 2014 Garden Show Ireland will run from 9th – 11th May at Antrim Castle Gardens and is open daily from 10am-6pm with parking nearby. Adults are £10 (concession £8) and the event is FREE for children under 16. There is a reduced rate for online booking and for more information visit www.gardenshowireland.com.


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