Yeats-inspired garden wows President and public at Bloom

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Sligo gardener Lorely Forrester wins Gold Medal at Bloom 2015. Two other Sligo winners as well.

GOLD MEDAL: Garden designer Lorley Forrester pictured in her Yeats’s Secret Garden in Sligo’ holding up her Gold Medal certificate at Bloom 2015..   Picture by Nick Bradshaw
GOLD MEDAL: Garden designer Lorley Forrester pictured in her Yeats’s Secret Garden in Sligo’ holding up her Gold Medal certificate at Bloom 2015.. Picture by Nick Bradshaw

Lorely Forrester from Easkey was celebrating on Thursday last as she received a gold medal for her ‘Yeats’s Secret Garden in Sligo’ at the opening of Bloom 2015.

Sponsored by Glen Dimplex, this garden is part of the 2015 celebration of WB Yeats and is based on his well-known poem ‘The Lake Isle of Innisfree’.

Forrester’s garden is a celebration of Yeats’ love of nature, and more specifically the wild flowers, lakes and trees of Sligo, as revealed through his poetry.

The design will also give visitors a feeling of ‘peeking in’ to Yeats’ secret hideaway on the wooded island of Innisfree, which he described as being ‘of clay and wattles made’.

The garden found a high-profile fan in the form of President Michael D. Higgins.  With the Bloom festival practically on his doorstep, the President and his wife didn’t have far to go to view the winning gardens on Thursday last.

He said he was captivated by the Yeats garden, adding that it conjured up the imaginary garden Yeats wrote about while living in grimy, smoggy London.  And he went on to recite a verse of “The Lake Isle of Innisfree”.

The medals at Bloom are highly coveted and months of planning go into the design and creation of each one of the gardens. Bloom judges, led by head judge Andrew Wilson, spent over two days meticulously observing and deliberating before announcing the much anticipated results on Thursday morning, May 28.

The judging panel awarded a total of 25 medals to show garden designers including; nine Gold, five Silver Gilt, four Silver and seven Bronze.

Also taking home a medal was the Western Plant Nursery Ltd from Skreen, who won a silver medal for their floral display.

In addition, Ann Marie Wright from Sligo won a gold medal for her input into the AOIFA Floral Art Exhibition.
Over 50 nurseries exhibited in the Floral and Nursery Pavilion, which showcases the very best of plant nurseries in Ireland.

According to Bord Bia, this year’s Bloom festival is the biggest yet with over 25 stunning show gardens, over 40 displays from Ireland’s top nurseries, 125 Irish food and drink producers onsite, over 200 retailers, 25 cookery demonstrations, 10 fashion shows planned and 6 stages with plenty of gardening talks, music and lively debate to entertain.

Bloom 2015 came to a close on Monday last, June 1.

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