Bloom set to flower and be biggest festival yet

Niamh Devereux

THE 2012 Bloom Festival is said to have already cost ¤3m to put together, but potential visitors are assured that this is not a waste of money.

Gary Graham, Bloom Show manager with Bord Bia, says 2012 will be even bigger and better than last year, which attracted up to 90,000 people.

The Phoenix Park festival, Ireland's largest gardening, food and family event, will have a host of new features.

"We have 27 show gardens on 3,000 square metres, including the first show-garden designed by a child," he said.

"There is also a Guinness Book of Records attempt to break the record for the largest number of people sowing seedlings at one time: it currently stands at 904."

Additionally, the Floral Marquee will showcase the best plants and flowers in the country in the biggest marquee ever built in Ireland, the first recreational tree-climbing competition will be held, and there will be a stage where visitors can get advice from experts in horticulture, gardening and floristry.

Mr Graham said that the price of a ticket was great value: "Children get in free, and if adults book in advance they can get a ticket for ¤15." The festival opens tomorrow and will continue until Monday.