GLAS Special: The Kildare Growers on 2022
Tim Schram of Schram Plants tells us about the year so far
20 July 2022
After a period of absence, Kildare Growers, together with Mediateam and BordBia, are delighted to welcome you to GLAS 2022.
The last two years have seen some considerable challenges both for the industry but also as individuals. Covid-19 has impacted us all in many ways both in the family setting and commercially. Initial lockdowns triggered a sudden burst of interest from the public in gardening. Many of us tried, to the best of our ability, to service this sudden growth in demand and pressure on stock. The working environment also took a knock, with social distancing and mask wearing becoming compulsory to try and curb the spread.
We were all optimistic during Covid times that the public’s newfound love for the garden would continue long after main threat of the virus passed. To a point this has somewhat been the case. The start of the 2022 season kicked into gear with a healthy appetite for gardening. The mild winter and somewhat late cold in spring held the growth of stock.
Rising costs of raw materials has affected us all, and plant production has not managed to escape this. Shortages in the raw materials for pots and rising energy costs, along with the issues surrounding the harvesting of growing medium have resulted in an inevitable increase in the end products cost.
A welcome return of events
It was great to see the Bloom Event return to the Phoenix Park once again, the focus on the gardening industry was welcomed. Favourable weather meant a healthy visitor number, and the day out was enjoyed by many. A noticeable emphasis on green, sustainability and pollinator friendly plants was in place across the event.
2022 also saw the welcome return of the IHNSA trolley show to kick of the spring season. It was great to see a large turn out and such enthusiasm towards the industry.
Pollinator plants are 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 several years now, it is great to see an interest in planting for our pollinator insects. The constantly increasing amount of grass verges and amenity areas wilding is a positive step in the right direction.
We pride ourselves on our co-operation within the Kildare Grower Group and the value and participation that each of our six members brings to the table. It forces us to question, push and improve our operations within each of our individual nurseries.
Addressing issues such as applying pressure on peat harvesting are at the forefront of the group’s agenda recently. We would like to extend a warm thank you to those within the group and those that lend a hand in the fight. There was a lot of work behind the scenes, and it was greatly appreciated.
Focus on quality
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 2023 and beyond.