herald

Sunday 16 December 2018

A million good reasons why Bloom still coming up roses

Model Thalia Heffernan at Bloom
Model Thalia Heffernan at Bloom
Amy Clarke (6) swaps hats with Garda Mandy Lowe
Simon Harris with wife Caoimhe Wade

The Bloom Festival reaches its final day today, with 25,000 punters expected to enjoy the celebration of food and flowers.

The show is widely regarded as Ireland's biggest garden, food and family festival, and by close of play this evening it will have seen more than 120,000 visitors.

Even more impressive, lunchtime yesterday marked Bloom officially welcoming the millionth visitor over the past 12 years.

Picnics

There was a carnival atmosphere in the chilled-out zone at the stage, with drowsy punters soaking up the sun on beanbags or enjoying picnics.

Aside from the food trucks, the biggest queue in this area was at the garda tent, with children eagerly awaiting their chance to sit in the new garda van and sound the siren.

Gardai were there to launch the Safer Communities Campaign, but it was the children who led their parents to the tent rather than the other way around.

Health Minister Simon Harris swapped celebrating the abortion referendum success at Dublin Castle for the calmer surroundings of the Phoenix Park.

The previous weekend, Mr Harris had been standing in the castle courtyard after the most seismic of votes, vowing to deliver swift constitutional reform.

A little downtime brought up another pressing matter for his to-do list - the garden.

The minister and his wife, Caoimhe Wade, were seeking inspiration at the festival as they wandered around the show gardens.

Mr Harris revealed that the couple have moved into their new house, but have yet to do anything outside.

"It's hard to find the time," he said, before hastily admitting: "But when we do, it won't look anything like these."

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