Promising a welcome relief from election politics the gates opened today (Friday 6th May) for Northern Ireland’s premier gardening event – Allianz Garden Show Ireland at Antrim Castle Gardens. Now in it’s 12th year this three day “Festival of Flowers, Food and Fun” is set to welcome a bumper crowd to the stunning Antrim setting throughout the weekend and, regardless of the weather, there is plenty on offer for everyone.

The Show counts the return of the BBC Gardeners World presenter Monty Don on Saturday 7th May as its star attraction. Show Patron Monty Don returns for the third time and will be giving talks on his bestselling book Fork to Fork as well as sharing his wealth of knowledge during his walkabout.

For budding green fingers young and old there are plenty of opportunities to learn more about gardening by visiting one of the many creative garden visuals or taking time to explore the stunning “Nourishment Garden” situated in the middle of the Show. There are talks on how to grow your own veg and floral arrangements for your dinner table and plenty of opportunities to meet the expert exhibitors who are happy to answer any questions. New ideas can become reality with literally thousands of plants on offer from some of the UK’s finest growers and a free ‘Plant Creche’ is available to leave purchases for collection at the end of the day.

Little visitors will not be bored with a climbing wall, crazy golf, archery and kite making on offer as well as some gardening related workshops on how to make floral and feather headbands, planting workshops and a planting & digging pit as well. The family focused event has over the last number of years engaged with schools province wide ensuring that the Show is eagerly anticipated by all the children who take part in the Allianz supported schools challenges. Primary Schools are displaying their ‘Edible Container Gardens’, meanwhile Allianz Scarecrow Avenue has come alive with scarecrows created by primary schools in the integrated sector.

The Show is celebrating the NI Year of Food & Drink 2016 in style with the large Food NI Pavilion which is filled to the brim with exceptional and unusual local producers. As well as all the fabulous food available to purchase local chef Paula McIntyre is giving talks and will be joined by celebrity chef Maria Elia today (Fri 6th May) as well as local edible gardener and author Jilly Dougan.

Check out the full programme and download our handy What’s On Guide.

Book your tickets here to avail of a special online saving.

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