We love a challenge, and we could have had no bigger one than when Bord Bia rang us with a last minute request just before the recent Bloom in the Park, Ireland’s largest garden festival which ran from 2 June to 6 June in Dublin’s Phoenix Park. We’d already supplied grass for quite a few of the medal-winning show gardens there, but this was a different sort of challenge altogether.
Bord Bia was seeking help with an installation to promote Origin Green, a world-leading and highly successful initiative to promote home-grown food, produced on Irish land and sold in Ireland, and also to nurture and develop sustainability practices within our country’s food, drink and horticulture industries. To become Origin Green verified, companies must submit detailed sustainability plans for approval. At this point in time, 507 Irish companies have submitted their plans, and 184 companies are now Origin Green verified.
The Origin Green stand for Bloom in the Park stand had been designed to communicate key messages to the show’s 115,000 visitors in a visual and compelling way, involving a couple of cows and the two key elements that underpin our country’s agricultural production – water and grass. And not just any grass. As well as being lush and healthy (a stock-in-trade for Summerhill Lawns), the grass had to be long, to replicate the look of a classic Irish meadow – and there had to be 90 square metres of it.
Long grass. Hmmm. We’d never really had much call for that. OK, we’d never had any call for that. But we were excited at the idea of being able to help, so we accepted the challenge. The main problem we had now was that we had only been given a week’s notice. And as you know, grass can grow quickly, but not that quickly. If we’d had a year’s notice there would have been no problem. Not only that, but our harvesting machinery was not set up for long grass. Luckily for us, we did have a patch of grass that we had left, because it had become too wet in recent downpours.
We administered generous amounts of TLC in terms of water and fertiliser while our resident mechanical genius managed to rejig the machinery. We flattened the grass and rolled it in double quick time, to ensure it stayed healthy and lush during delivery. The grass was laid in the Phoenix Park marquee, it looked fabulous and our client Bord Bia was delighted. After the show, Mike Neary of Bord Bia said: “The Origin Green feature proved very popular and attracted a great number of visitors. The water and grass features engaged the visitors and helped us communicate our sustainability message.”
So, as you can imagine, we were delighted we had been able come up with a solution to help. And, if you’ll pardon the pun – roll on Bloom 2017!