Another weekend, another festival … this time at Belvedere House near Mullingar, where the Midlands Home and Garden Festival opened the gates for three days at the end of June. Worth going? Well, to be quite honest, we’ve seen better incarnations of this festival in previous years. That is not to say that it was bad, but it has already been better.
And I do not mean the missing helicopter rides (sort of the last hairballs the Celtic Tiger coughed up), but we did not really discover anything new and exciting for, erm, home and garden. You go “Ah, there’s the folks flogging off the bamboo cushions again!” and “Oh, yeah, the sheds and gates were here every year, eh?” Maybe it is just to the repeat visitor, that is seems repetitive.
Folks I spoke to were generally content … there was good food, there were things to see, and the free entrance for children certainly was very welcome. So, yes, must have been us.
And even we discovered some new stuff … the first of which was an Iranian couple doing their own twist on the humble spud, creating “Twisted Potato Chips”. Which were delicious. Hats off to a novel idea on an old theme, and a very good outcome …
Novel ideas? Well, potted trees in colourful planters certainly help to break the uniformity of the typical suburban gardens … but a planter looking like a tractor is even better to me.
Mentioning colourful – this food truck owned by “Once Upon a Thai” certainly catches the eye. Unfortunately, food trucks are still a rarity in Ireland’s towns, mostly due to very restrictive practices regarding their deployment.
Making his way between the food stalls (with admirable restraint) was this young dog … four or so animal rescues had pitched their tents in Belvedere Gardens.
Boy’s Toys on show as well, the local classic car club had an outing too. While some kids were not restrained by their parents from using the playhouses that were marked “For Display Only!” (a health and safety nightmare, I presume). And yer man at the Sleepeazy stall showed that sleep came indeed easy …
Need some creative ideas for your own garden? Well, then how about recreating this garden seat for a start?
Or go all out and build a life-size wood nymph from … yes, wood. This sculpture (and the seat above) were created by artist Patsy Preston.
And finally, another culinary delight – Akatshi Grill, offering Congolese food … but avoid the hot sauce, I’m tellin’ ya!