THE Cork Racecourse grounds will ‘grow beautifully’ again on the last weekend in May for the welcome return of the annual Mallow Homes and Garden Show.
Since its premiere in 1999, the show has become a mecca for green-fingered enthusiasts, drawing thousands of visitors over three glorious days eager to take in the sights, smells and excitement of one of the largest events of its kind in the country enjoy.
With increased consumer interest in gardening and the outdoors, accelerated by world events over the past two years, this year’s festival will celebrate the role outdoor spaces can play in promoting positive mental and physical health for the whole family.
Color is the focus again this year with lots of new and unusual flowering and foliage plants from Irish nursery suppliers including Ballyseedy Home & Garden Center to whet the appetite of plant lovers.
As always, the beating heart of the garden show, the only one in the country to be run entirely without sponsorship money, will be the unique collection of 25 permanently maintained mature gardens, each created and developed by an Irish gardener and tended to by a team of experts throughout the year .
This does not mean that the gardens are presented in the same style and format every year. In fact, a lot of work goes into restyling and revamping the gardens between shows to ensure they look fresh and vibrant.
The gardens have been completely transformed by Dulux, whose own color consultant, Cora Collins, will be the guest speaker on Sunday with great advice and tips on how you too can add some color to your outdoor space.
Once again, some of the country’s top gardening experts will also be on hand to share their passion and expertise with free talks and presentations accompanied by Charlie Wilkins, Peter Dowdall and Paraic Horkan (resident gardening presenter on Newstalk’s Pat Kenny Show and Ireland AM). ).
For all festival goers, Cork Builder Providers are offering some exclusive special offers in their Dewalt tent, great discounts on commercial pavilions and 10% off their smartfence range across the three days.
There will be flower arranging demonstrations with Margaret Mulchinock, while Energywise will hold daily seminars on retrofitting renewable energy into existing homes.
Other weekend attractions include a pet show, a vintage car collection, a craft food market and a lifestyle and leisure fair.
With thousands of new and unusual flowering and green plants, garden tools and furniture for sale in the Home and Garden zone, there will be plenty to whet the appetite and inspire visitors to transform their gardens to set them apart from their neighbors and to be envied by friends.
Admission to the festival, which takes place from May 27th to 28th, is €15, with free entry for children.
There will be ample onsite parking and if you feel like avoiding the traffic and leaving the car at home there is a free bus shuttle service from Mallow train station on each of the three days.
For more information about the festival and the many attractions taking place over the weekend, visit www.exhibitionsireland.com.