Allianz Garden Show Ireland blooms bigger with more flowers, food and family fun

MARKING the start of spring, Northern Ireland’s largest gardening festival is back with a bloomin’ great line-up of activities for all of the family.

 Taking place on the 4th – 6th May at Antrim Castle Gardens, this year’s Allianz Garden Show Ireland returns bigger than ever and will be a celebration of flowers, food and fun family entertainment.

 Celebrating local produce is high on the menu during the three days and there is a foodie feast in store at this year’s Show. Whether you want to learn about growing unfamiliar fruit or vegetables, create unusual growing spaces, source local produce, or just soak up the atmosphere whilst stopping to indulge on artisan foods, then this year’s Allianz Garden Show Ireland will take you through a mesmerising trail of food!

 A show staple, the Food NI Food Market is back and will be filled with artisan food stalls and local producers championing home-grown produce, from craft beer and cheeses to chutneys and cupcakes, tempting visitors with their mouth-watering tasty dishes.  Resident-chef Paula McIntyre will be taking to the Food NI Pavilion stage demonstrating ways to use fresh ingredients that celebrate Northern Ireland’s rich edible heritage in enticing new recipes, as well as some interesting takes on intoxicating desserts. Grower, food writer and cook, Lia Leendertz will be serving up live demos and talking about unusual vegetable growing spaces and demonstrating the extra ‘zizz’ that herbs can bring to a dish.

 Eating from your garden and surrounding your house with all-year colour will be recurring themes at this year’s show. Renowned gardener, food writer and chef, Mark Diacono of River Cottage fame and notorious author and horticulturist Geoff Stebbings will be engaging in a debate on “Ornamental versus Edible.” Chaired by Pamela Ballantine the celebrity gardeners will be offering advice and sharing their experiences on how to create both edible and ornamental gardens.

 NEW at this year’s Allianz Garden Show Ireland will be the Artisan Flower Craft Pavilion.  Visitors will be able to learn about growing their own flowers for their flower arrangements with local growers, Cherry Townend from Kilcoan Gardens and Alison Drennan from Beechfield Flower Farm – aka the “Farmer Florists” – and then try their hand at Botanical Art with local Artist, Alison Walker.

 Also new for 2018 will be demonstrations by professional tree climbers. Using some of the magnificent trees in Antrim Castle Gardens’ parkland they will be advising how to look after the trees in our gardens.

 From feature areas including a ‘Meditation Garden’ – created by 2017 Chelsea gold-medallist, Ian Price; eco-garden displays, handmade crafts and fun gardening activities for the kids, it’s truly a superb three-days that attracts everyone from garden enthusiasts to families, spanning three generations.

 To buy tickets and keep updated on news, follow the Show on Facebook and Twitter or visit