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22 Feb 2013

Derry~Londonderry garden to help tourism ‘bloom’ in Philadelphia

Tourism Minister Arlene Foster checks out plans for special Derry~Londonderry garden which will feature at world’s largest flower show

A specially-commissioned Derry~Londonderry UK City of Culture garden will be the centrepiece of the Tourism Ireland stand at the world’s largest flower and horticultural show – the upcoming Philadelphia Flower Show in the United States. Tourism Minister Arlene Foster and Tourism Ireland CEO Niall Gibbons met the designer of the garden, Trevor Edwards, to look at his exciting plans for the garden design and to wish him well in Philadelphia.

Designed to celebrate this special year of Derry~Londonderry UK City of Culture, the garden will be called ‘The Garden of Culture’. It will incorporate a replica of the historic city walls, the two cathedrals, the famous ‘Hands across the Divide’ statue, as well as the Guildhall. The water represents the River Foyle and the trees, plants and shrubs which Trevor Edwards has chosen are examples of the type grown in this corner of Europe, thanks to the influence of the Gulf Stream around our shores.

Tourism Minister Arlene Foster said: “The Philadelphia Flower Show is the world’s oldest and largest indoor flower show, attracting about 260,000 people each year. Trevor is going to use his considerable design talents to recreate Londonderry’s landmarks, including the historic city walls, in bloom and I’ve no doubt ‘The Garden of Culture’ will be a real talking point for visitors to the show.

“It provides a wonderful opportunity to place the spotlight on Londonderry UK City of Culture and to spread the word about Northern Ireland’s wonderful gardens to a large audience of potential American holidaymakers.

“Our stunning landscapes and first-class hospitality mean we have so much to offer overseas visitors and, together with the publicity generated by the World Police and Fire Games and the G8 summit coming to Fermanagh, Northern Ireland is once again being put on the map for all the right reasons.”

Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said: “Tourism Ireland is delighted to have commissioned Trevor Edwards to design this wonderful garden celebrating Derry~Londonderry UK City of Culture 2013. Given that the Philadelphia Flower Show is such a popular event, it is a really effective platform for Tourism Ireland to raise awareness about the exciting programme of events taking place in the city this year. Our ‘Garden of Culture’ will highlight to the many thousands of people visiting the show just what an appealing destination Northern Ireland is for culture seekers and garden lovers.

“The United States continues to be one of the most important markets for tourism to Northern Ireland and the island of Ireland. American visitors stay longer, spend more than the average visitor and tour more extensively while they are here. Our busy programme of promotions for 2013 includes a major focus on Derry~Londonderry UK City of Culture, which provides fresh and compelling reasons for Americans to visit. In our promotions, we promise our visitors an experience that will be unique, full of engagement and great fun.”

Trevor Edwards said: “It has been a great privilege for me to design this garden. I have tried to incorporate many of the features associated with the city, as well as with its surrounding countryside. I am sure visitors to the show will be intrigued and want to find out more about Northern Ireland.”