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Garden festival kicks off in Ireland, attracts residents, visitors

2018-06-01 11:19:40 (Beijing Time)         news.xinhuanet.com

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People visit the garden festival in Phoenix Park, Dublin, Ireland, May 31, 2018. Dubliners and tourists on Thursday found a new venue for fun and sightseeing as a garden festival opened here in the city's Phoenix Park, one of the largest urban parks in European capital cities. (Xinhua/Tang Lijuan)  

DUBLIN, May 31 (Xinhua) -- Dubliners and tourists on Thursday found a new venue for fun and sightseeing as a garden festival opened here in the city's Phoenix Park, one of the largest urban parks in European capital cities.

The opening day of the event not only attracted tens of thousands of local residents and overseas visitors but also Irish President Michael Higgins and his wife Sabina, whose residence is just within a stone's throw from the event venue.

Pressing forward in a large crowd of festival-goers, the couple spent hours visiting almost each of the 20 mini gardens displayed at the festival.

A garden designed by Andrew Dunne, a local resident from a small fishing village in the country's eastern coastal county of Louth, caught the eyes of many visitors.

Named Sustainable Seafood Garden, Dunne's work features a fishing boat which doubles as a kitchen floating on the sea with shimmering fish sculptures in the water. It tells the story of the journey, from tide to table, of the fish and seafood that surround the island country.

An independent panel comprising 14 Irish and international horticultural experts picked his work as the top prize winner of the festival.

In addition to the 20 spectacular show gardens, there are a large number of floral and botanic creations displayed at the event. A huge pavilion set up at the main entrance of the festival houses hundreds of varieties of flowers and plants.

Alongside horticulture, the event also showcased the best of Irish food. Over 100 local food and drink producers made the best use of this annual event by setting up different stands inside the venue, offering visitors a variety of locally famous food and drinks.

Organized by Irish Food Board, a government agency tasked to promote the Irish food, drink and horticulture industries, the event named Bloom 2018 will last five days.

As the last three days of the event coincide with a weekend and a local banking holiday, organizers expect more people will turn out at the event and the number of the visitors is likely to exceed 100,000 people, the highest in its 12-year history.