A momentous year for GLDA
Gary Foran MGLDA, Chairman of The Garden and Landscape Designers Association, looks back at a successful year for GLDA members and the positive future ahead
21 July 2015
For the Garden and Landscape Designers Association (GLDA), GLAS has come to represent a very important annual event. It continues to provide the perfect window of opportunity for our members to engage in a meaningful way with colleagues, both established and new, in the horticultural, materials supply, contracting, services and educational sectors, across our shared industry. We look forward to meeting with as many of you today as possible, to share information on the significant role and activities of our association, and on the wealth of professional experience, expertise and knowledge our full members provide, in the garden and landscape design sector. Likewise we want to listen and learn about you, your product or service, and to seek ways in which we can work together to our mutual benefit.
Whether you’re an established practitioner in garden and landscape design or related discipline, or a product/service provider, membership of the GLDA has many benefits. It provides you with a well-recognised and respected accreditation, and brings a strong network of support to your business. Our recently introduced category of pre-registered membership, offers practicing designers a progressive program leading towards full membership. Applicants are supported during this process with a series of continuing professional development workshops, portfolio development classes, and through an ongoing open engagement and dialogue with a panel of established full members.
We currently have 16 pre-registered members and this category continues to grow steadily. For our industry colleagues and partners, the GLDA offers an exciting and affordable corporate membership package, which includes a full company listing on our website and other great benefits. With this in mind, we invite you, whatever your personal or business interests, to visit us at stand B12, for an informal and friendly chat with one or more of our full members.
We are delighted to announce that our new website was officially launched at the Bloom Festival over the June Bank Holiday. Working closely with a professional development team, naturally our main goal for the website, much like any related association or company, has been to provide a positive user friendly experience for our target market, and ultimately to assist in generating business for our members. Our new platform is mobile responsive, critical nowadays; is easy to update by our in-house team; provides a showcase on the work of each of our full members, and will be very effective in highlighting the multifarious activities of our association going forward. In addition, our dedicated corporate members section listed under the suppliers tab at the top of each page, and also on the bottom of the home page, provides a professional shop window for this important and expanding membership group. I’d like to invite you to visit our new website at www.glda.ie, and if you have any questions on membership, the work our members do, or on our activities in general, don’t hesitate to contact us here at GLAS (stand B12), or by calling the GLDA office on tel. +353 01 294 0092, or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Through it’s hosting and participation in a number of trade and public events and workshops over the last 12 months, it’s quarterly journal Compass, various social media platforms, and more recently via our new website, the GLDA has continued to promote the importance and value of professional garden and landscape design, and the work of our full members. The highlight event for us this year was our hugely successful and popular seminar in early February. This our inspirational flagship and social event of the year, continues to attract a wide audience of both amateur and professional groups alike, providing welcome relief from winter blues, and heralding the oncoming of spring! This year’s theme ‘The New Perennial Movement’ was a hit from the beginning, and the calibre of our speakers from home and abroad was undoubtedly a big draw.
Our association has had a significant presence during the year at a number of garden festival events. These were firstly, the Galway Garden Festival in July, where our full members offered free design advice to visitors, within recently restored Claregalway Castle. Later in mid-May, Garden Show Ireland took place in the grounds of Antrim Castle. On foot of last year’s success at this event, we were invited to participate once again, by way of providing garden design advice and a series of talks. Finally, at Bloom over the June Bank Holiday, our members provided a series of popular garden design talks and advice sessions, which were very well received.
As has happened nearly every year at Bloom, our members have built award winning show gardens, highlighting to the visiting public the value and importance of engaging a professional garden and landscape designer, and showcasing a variety creative design possibilities. This year was no exception, with two of our full members Jane McCorkell, Ingrid Swan, and pre-reg member Tunde Szentesi, all achieving awards. Jane’s garden ‘Our Origin is Green’ was awarded ‘Gold’ and ‘Best in Category’ in the large garden category.
Ingrid’s garden ‘Santa Rita – The Moment is Yours’ was awarded ‘Silver Gilt’ also in the large garden category. Ingrid also, jointly with Ruth Liddle (Corporate Member Garden Sculptures by Created), was awarded a second ‘Silver Gilt’ for her ‘Sculpture at the Boatyard’ in the concept category. Tunde’s garden ‘Water in the Air’ was awarded ‘Silver’, also in the concept category. Pre-registered member Marion Keogh, co-organised a series of inspired and engaging events with Bloom Fringe Festival for the second year in a row.
The GLDA has continued to steadily and successfully grow itself out of recession. I am confident that our collective industry will, through our mutual cooperation and with support garnered from GLAS, make further positive progress and growth in the coming 12 months. I’d like to take this opportunity on behalf of all our members, to thank the event organisers and Bord Bia, for facilitating this important growth in our shared industry through GLAS, and to wish visitors, colleagues and friends a very productive and successful day.