More than 10,000 people made their way to Castlefinn at the weekend for the Northwest Garden Show.
With an impressive line-up of celebrity guests, including Diarmuid Gavin, who won a gold medal at Chelsea last week for his Irish Sky Garden, more than 100 exhibitors, and a great carnival atmosphere, it’s hardly a surprise that the big event proved more popular than ever.
Michael Carlin, Committee Chairperson, told the Democrat/People’s Press yesterday that the organisers are “exceptionally pleased” at how well it all went.
“We run the show as a family event and price it accordingly, just €5 per adult and children free. So, we were exceptionally pleased to see so many families coming along over the two days. I think there would been even more, but the weather was a bit mixed on Saturday. Still, the rains held off and we got good numbers. The weather was brilliant on Sunday and that really made it a great day all ‘round.”
He says that gardening seems to be an increasingly popular hobby. “There’s definitely more of an interest in gardening now than there used to be. The industry seems to be thriving. People are putting their money into improving their homes and gardens rather than going out and buying new cars.”
He thanked the local business community for their enthusiastic support for the event, which is organised by the Castlefinn Partnership Initiative.
“We started planning almost a year ago, right after the end of of last year’s show and the response we’ve had from the business community has been extremely positive. Special thanks to Robert Kee & Sons, Eamonn Tinney & Sons and are other sponsors, who provided a tremendous range of spot prizes, including top of the range mowers and strimmers.
He also thanked the celebrity guests. “We want to keep bringing guests of Diarmuid’s calibre to the show. What he did at Chelsea is mind-boggling. We were also delighted this year to welcome Tim Austen from RTÉ’s Super Garden. Tim is another gardening visionary who also works as a landscape architect. They were both wonderful, sharing their knowledge and experience with our visitors over the weekend.
“We’re also grateful to have had so many people giving demonstrations, including Community Chef Brian McDermott who cooked up a storm.
“The family fun activities also proved a big hit, with bouncy castles, an obstacle course, children’s entertainers, face painting and Tug-O-War championships keeping kids of all ages busy and happy over the two days.