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Let your imagination run free this long weekend

'SUMMERTIME and the livin' is easy', the old and oft-murdered George Gershwin song tells us.

Well, we might be asking you to stretch a point here since the summer has until recently been rather ropey, and very few of us are livin' easy these days.

But the accounts we are receiving from the first of four days of 'Bloom' – Ireland's largest garden festival – suggest it might well be worth stretching your imagination that bit further this weekend.

Bloom is a garden show extravaganza set over 70 acres at the heart of one of Ireland's greatest resources, The Phoenix Park in Dublin. It is now in its sixth year, and last year, despite poor weather, it attracted 80,000 visitors.

It is a haven for the serious gardeners, with demonstrations and workshops by all the top names in the gardening world. But it has things for the less ambitious who view gardening as a good excuse to potter about with a trowel or a rake.

If you are around Dublin this weekend, or within striking distance, you could do worse than look in. If not, there are bound to be similar attractions in your area.

A thought too for both Junior Cert and Leaving Cert students who will be heading into state exams next week, but rest assured you'll get your day in the sun too.

Irish Independent