#CroiGarden - The World’s First Healthy Heart Garden at Bloom in the Park!

With Summer in the air, NUI Galway and partners, along with charity partner Croí, the heart and stroke charity, will present an inspirational cardiovascular-themed garden to educate people about heart health.

The #CroiGarden, designed by Professor Derek O’Keeffe, Consultant Physician, University Hospital Galway, highlights the importance of the three cardiovascular pillars – blood sugar (diabetes), blood pressure (hypertension) and blood lipid (cholesterol) control. In addition, the other key trinity of diet, exercise and mental health feature as part of the garden’s theme.

To vote for the Croí Garden at the Bloom Garden People’ Choice Award, text GARDEN1 to 51500 (standard rate SMS). The vote is open from 09:00 on Thursday, 2nd June to 13:00 on Monday 6th June 2022. Vote before 13:00hrs on Monday, 6th June. Votes after this time will not be counted but SMS rates still apply. Please follow the voting instructions exactly or your vote may not come through. ONE vote per person per garden only. SMS Provider: Púca. Votes open to ROI & NI residents only.

The Croí Garden is a conceptual show garden at Bloom 2022, that is inspired by the Cardiovascular system. It is intended to raise awareness and promote discussion about the importance of cardiovascular health. In particular the gardens architectural design, planting choices and use of technology provide an innovative way to engage with and educate the general public about looking after their own health.

The garden is 7x5m, framed with thematic hedging to the rear and an ECG fence to the front. A focal blood vessel like cylinder forms the entrance with a seat and green wall framing an open gravel space.

The garden features core elements intended to reference blood, flow and health while also delivering a useable and engaging garden space. Key elements include the entrance, created from a large red cylinder; a cellular seat created from moulded concrete; an arterial green wall contained within a cylinder and tubular forms set within the planting. Key elements are framed by thematic planting centred on the use of reds, whites and accented with blacks and purple hues. The garden features a water element, which flows from the occluded arterial green wall to white cubes below.

The garden will also include pollinating robotic drones to promote discussion about the entwined importance of planetary health for human health. The Croí garden will also feature an anthropomorphic interactive robot which will engage with viewers about how to make healthy choices in their life.

Plant species have been chosen to be consistent with the conceptual theme while also being ecologically appropriate and complementary. The plant composition centres around the use of greens, reds, whites accented with blacks and purples. Prunus lusitanica, with its blood red stems, forms a solid backdrop. Prunus serrulata, with glossy red bark provides height and volume to offset the cylindrical elements. With heart shaped flowers, Dicentra spectable serves as a feature flowering species and is accented with Epimedium and Digitalis alba. Pittopsprum Tom Thumb, Aquilegia Black Barlow and Phyllostachy nigra provide black form, flowCroer and verticality in the composition. Plants including Heuchera, Asplenium and Hakonechloa underpin the green wall arrangement.

Of note, our choice of the Digitalis (Foxglove) species reflects the fact that extracts of this herbaceous perennial plant can be used to make an important cardiovascular medicine – Digoxin, which is used for the treatment of  cardiac  arrythmias and  heart  failure.

Croi Creative Garden at Bloom


Looking after your diabetes can really help reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke. You need to pay careful attention to keeping blood sugar levels in your target range.

Blood Pressure

Having your blood pressure measured is quick and easy. By taking control of your blood pressure, you can make a positive step towards reducing your overall risk of having a heart attack or stroke.



It is important to have healthy cholesterol levels as high cholesterol level is one of the major risk factors for heart disease. Experts recommend that everyone over 40 should have their cholesterol tested every year.

Have questions on your heart health?

Croí’s FREE telephone helpline, Heartlink West, is available for those living with, or affected by, heart disease and stroke. When you call, you will be connected with one of our Cardiac Nurse Specialists or you can join one of our weekly, virtual health chats!

Heartlink West is available weekdays from 9am – 5:30pm on 091 544310 or by email at healthteam@croi.ie.

Join us at Bloom 2022!

Ireland’s annual garden festival in the Phoenix Park takes place over the June Bank Holiday weekend from June 2nd – 6th.

Tickets are available here.