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Festival has high hopes of cultivating new record

THE annual Bloom festival draws to a close today -- but not before an attempt at a Guinness world record.

GIY (Grow it Yourself) Ireland -- a group aimed at encouraging people to grow their own vegetables -- will try to smash the world record for the largest amount of people sowing seedlings at the one time.

The current record was set by 904 people in Thailand in May 2010.

Organisers are urging people to travel to the Phoenix Park site for the record-breaking attempt, which begins at 2pm.

Rice seedlings were used in the attempt in Thailand, whereas lettuce seedlings will be the choice today.

The plant sale will also kick off this afternoon, with bargains to be had for those willing to come along and haggle.

Meanwhile, the wet and blustery weather failed to dampen the spirits of the avid gardening enthusiasts who travelled to the festival over the weekend. It is estimated that 55,000 people have attended the renowned event since it began on Thursday.

Organisers insisted yesterday that they remained open for business despite the inclement conditions, but urged people to bring their wellies.

"The show gardens were pretty packed today still, and designers are saying they're still getting a good response," a spokeswoman said.

Numbers were down slightly on previous days because of the rain and other bank holiday weekend events.

Bord Bia said the annual festival was an all-weather event and offered three acres of covered marquee space, 2,300km of trackway and 1,200sqm of walkway linking all the main features.

That includes 27 show-gardens, 100 Irish food and drink producers, 40 nurseries, and 160 retailers.

Irish Independent