Garden Show Ireland returns to Castle Gardens

Pictured celebrating the return of Northern Irelands premier gardening event to Antrim Castle Gardens is local Antrim resident Jessica Smyth.

  Picture: Darren Kidd/Press Eye
Pictured celebrating the return of Northern Irelands premier gardening event to Antrim Castle Gardens is local Antrim resident Jessica Smyth. Picture: Darren Kidd/Press Eye

Antrim Castle Gardens will be all abuzz from May 6-8 as Allianz Garden Show Ireland returns to the beautiful venue for a three day festival of flowers, food and fun.

With a renewed focus on gardens this year there will be more to entice and inspire every level of gardener, not least the return of firm favourite Show Patron Monty Don.

This year’s event will showcase a stunning large feature garden which vows to engage and excite visitors alongside the expanded range of cameo gardens and community focused gardens all celebrating local produce.

Claire Faulkner, Allianz Garden Show Ireland Director, said: “We are proud that after the success of the 2015 Show, Antrim & Newtownabbey Borough Council has confirmed Antrim Castle Gardens as our home for the next three years.

“Antrim Castle Gardens is one of the most unique and historically intact gardens under public ownership in Ireland and is the perfect setting for this event. We are also thrilled that our title sponsor Allianz will be joining us again and look forward to a great event in May.”

Sitting alongside the traditional array of plants, artisan food stalls, local craft and show gardens will be fun filled activities appealing to all age groups. Live music, a dedicated kids zone with kite making, insect hotels and fairy houses, a tea dance, flower arranging competitions and much more.

Mayor of Antrim, Councillor Thomas Hogg, said: “Following the huge success of last year’s event, I am delighted that the Allianz Garden Show Ireland will be returning to Antrim Castle Gardens this year.

“This is a fantastic opportunity to showcase this stunning and unique venue to the thousands of visitors who travel from across the province to the Show each year.

“Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council is extremely proud to support this prestigious event, which will no doubt contribute significantly to the economy of the local area.”

Damien O’Neill, Group Head of Marketing for Allianz, added: “Allianz is delighted, once again, to be title sponsor in 2016. Last year’s event was a huge success and this year looks set to be even bigger and better. Allianz is committed to sustainability of the environment and we recognise the big part that our gardens can play in achieving this goal.

“We know that the Show not only brings communities together but also showcases the very best in the world of gardening with all its attendant benefits. We are very much looking forward to all that this year’s Allianz Garden Show Ireland has to offer.”

The Show will celebrate the NI Year of Food & Drink 2016 in style with local produce taking centre stage and being applauded by local chefs who will give demonstrations on using local produce.

Food NI will have an expanded Food Pavilion which will play host to local artisan food producers and talks from renowned chefs.

Aine Kearney, Director of Business Support and Events, Tourism Northern Ireland, said: “Tourism Northern Ireland is pleased to once again support the 2016 Allianz Garden Show Ireland.

“The event continues to attract great crowds to Antrim, showcasing our tourism product and contributing to the development of the economy in Northern Ireland.

“I am delighted to see the Show mature as a family festival and at the fact that the organisers have joined with us to promote Northern Ireland’s Year of Food and Drink showcasing the delicious offerings of the local area.

“I commend Claire and the organising team for the contribution they make towards the creation and sustainability of a vibrant tourism industry.

“On behalf of Tourism Northern Ireland I would like to wish visitors and participants an enjoyable Allianz Garden Show Ireland.”

The emphasis in every aspect of the Show is about encouraging people to get involved and enjoy their gardens.

For Primary Schools there is the opportunity to create a scarecrow for Allianz Scarecrow Wood or be part of the Allianz Schools’ Garden Challenge making ‘Edible Container Gardens’ and Secondary Schools will be designing and producing gardens for display.

The Enkalon Team Garden Challenge encourages everyone to get involved in gardening with community groups, charities and groups of friends building a garden in a day.

The 2016 Allianz Garden Show Ireland will run from May 6-8 at Antrim Castle Gardens and is open daily from 10am-6pm with parking in town centre car parks and at Junction One. 
Admission for adults is£10 (concession £8) and the event is free for children under 16.

There is a reduced rate for online booking.

For more information visit www.gardenshowireland.com