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Rising centenary marked with Bloom garden festival set to open at Phoenix Park

Up to 100,000 people are expected to flock to Ireland’s largest garden and food festival over the bank holiday weekend.

Celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, Bloom has doubled in size over the past decade to a 70 acre site in the heart of Dublin’s Phoenix Park.

Designers have been putting the painstaking finishing touches to 23 show gardens that will form the centrepiece of the outdoor extravaganza.

Show-stopping gardens have been created around themes including the 1916 Rising and the war in Syria as well as social farming and the evolution of plants.

Inspiration is global, with spaces reflecting locations in Chile, China and Chicago.

President Michael D Higgins will officially open the festival on Thursday.

Bloom manager Gary Graham said everyone involved had worked especially hard this year to ensure the anniversary show blossomed.

“Hundreds of workers have been helping to build Bloom over the past 30 days, while more than 4,000 people, including 200 volunteers, will work onsite over the five days,” he said.

As well as the show gardens, the event will this year feature more than 100 Irish food and drink producers, 200 retailers and 50 of Ireland’s top nurseries.

There will also be cookery demonstrations from some of Ireland’s top chefs, fashion shows, public debate, music, an open farm, and a children’s play area.

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“There is no other event in the country that you will find all these incredibly talented people on the one site for five days and so readily accessible to the public,” said Mr Graham.

Attendances have sprouted from just 40,000 in its first year to an estimated 100,000 expected this year.

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