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GLAS Special: The Kildare Growers on 2019

Uachtarán na hÉireann Michael D Higgins and his wife, Sabina, checking out The Crumlin Children’s Hospital garden, designed by Kieran Dunne and Anthony Ryan. Photo: Courtesy of Kildare Growers.

Leaving the challenges of 2018 in the past, Tim Schram of Schram Plants tells us about the year so far.



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18 July 2019

by Julia O’Reilly

2019 kicked off with an extremely mild winter, which brought worry that a late cold spell was to follow. Thankfully, this was not the case, and having seen one of the better springs in many years, the season kicked into gear with good early growth and market demand.

In recent years, the purchasing power of the public has risen, this, along with more pleasant spring-like weather and a genuine eagerness to garden from the public, has driven an increase in plant sales. Garden centres report happy and healthy growth in plant sales for the first six months of the year.

Pollinator plants are now at the forefront of market demand. The importance of the humble bee is now firmly in the public eye. With declining numbers in the bee population being reported for a number of years now, it is great to finally see an interest in planting for our very important pollinator insects. Seeing much more grass verges and amenity areas being left to flower can only be a positive step in anticipation for things to come.

The 2019 calendar was as busy as always with Rentes Spring Fair, and the two IHNSA trolley shows kicking off the spring season. All were relatively well attended and there was good enthusiasm for plant sales.

Bloom was again a success for the industry. With strong visitor numbers over the weekend despite poor weather conditions, the interest in gardening in Ireland certainly is green. A noticeable emphasis on green, sustainability, and pollinator friendly plants was in place across the event.

We, the Kildare Growers were delighted to be awarded a Gold medal in Bloom for our garden on behalf of Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin. Once again it was designed and constructed under the watchful eye of Kieran Dunne of L&K Dunne Nurseries and Anthony Ryan.

We pride ourselves on our co-operation within the group and the value and participation that each of our six members bring to the table. It forces us to question, push and improve our operations within each of our individual nurseries. Despite the shrinking market in Ireland over the past number of years, the industry is still strong, and we continue to try to drive this forward.

The focus on quality is at the centre of our operations today. Our growers supply the Irish and UK market with products that we believe to be of unrivalled quality. Our plants are Irish grown and are suitably acclimatised to the Irish garden.

With the next generation now entering the group, bringing youth and vigour, the roots of Kildare Growers and its members – Amour Nurseries, Doran Nurseries, L&K Dunne Nurseries, Rentes Plants, Schram Plants and Woodstock Trees & Shrubs – are set firmly in the fertile soil of the amenity sector. We look forward to growing with you into 2020 and beyond.

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