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Highlights from GLAS 2023

GLAS 2023. Photo: Luke McCormack

The one-day trade show returned with exhibits, displays and demos from more than 80 of the industry’s leading suppliers



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3 August 2023

Proudly supported by Bord Bia, GLAS 2023 saw the coming together of a strong, dedicated horticulture sector in Ireland. The one-day trade show returned with exhibits, displays and demos from more than 80 of the industry’s leading suppliers on 20 July at the National Basketball Arena in Dublin.

John Mulhern, Teagasc delivers a talk on New Apprenticeships in the Horticulture sector in the Bord Bia Learning Theatre

The Bord Bia Learning Theatre was a hit with visitors. Featuring free talks from leading experts on some of the hottest topics in our industry, including apprenticeships in the horticulture Sector, the oak processionary moth, the National Strategy for Horticulture and greening the city.

Each year, GLAS celebrates an array of new products and new plants that have been whittled down from a large number of worthy contenders to form the New Product, New Plant Awards. As always, the showcase was one of the day’s highlights.

With thanks to our expert judges Anna Kavanagh, independent horticulture consultant and James Spillane of Westland Horticulture, the winners were announced and presented during the show.

New Product New Plant Awards

Mike Cox, technical specialist at Ball Colegrave with editor Julia O’Reilly

Ball Colegrave’s Begonia Hula – the world’s first semperfloren Begonia series for baskets, containers and landscapes – took home the Best New Plant Award at GLAS 2023. The Begonia Hula has fast filling qualities complimented with early flowers for high impact colour.

“If you want butterflies in the garden, this is the plant for you,” said Mike Cox, technical specialist at Ball Colegrave. “This plant is a begonia semperfloren. It’s really unique. It’s perfect for baskets and containers because it has a trail. For landscapers, it’s fast to fill in beds, so creating a blanket of flowers with high-impact colour is easy.”

Cox added that the Ball Colegrave team were delighted to be at GLAS: “It’s the first time we’ve done this show in a few years, so it’s nice to have a showing in Ireland and to be acknolwged by the judges of course.

“GLAS is a very busy show, we came in at 8.40am and the first customer was already on the stand. I’ve never done a show like it, so we’re more than happy today!”

Sandro Cafolla, with John McDonald, GLAS

The New Product Award went to Ireland’s leading wildflower seed growers for its “Raised Bog Restoration Seed Mix”.

Speaking about the product to, Sandro Cafolla said: “This is a really groundbreaking product. You don’t need any weedkiller to kill the weeds, you just throw it on the lawn, these plants kill the weeds and the grass and everything. If you don’t cut it next June, you’ll have a problem but if you do cut it, you get a wildflower meadow. We’re doing regenerative agriculture by we’re using biannual species to break the lawn and let wildflower meadows thrive. We’ve been researching this for about three years. This is the first time we’ve been able to do it.

Cafolla added: “We come as often as we can to GLAS. It’s great meeting both new and existing customers face-to-face.”

Commenting on what the judges were looking for, judge James Spillane said: “We had a look at what’s trend, what’s happening in the environment, what the horticulture sector is producing, and what’s needed right now, then asked how what was presented to us fit into that.

“The Begonia Hula really fit the bill there, as did the seed mix. Both are the right choices for the current climate. We spent a long time looking at the offerings, how they fit with the future and how they fit with right now. They ticked the boxes for us.”

Best in Show

Carol Marks, Bord bia with Makayla Heavin and Caroline O’Dowd of O’Dowd Nurseries and John McDonald, GLAS

As judged by the GLAS show director John McDonald and Carol Marks from Bord Bia, the winners of the GLAS Best in Show Awards made a bold impact with their stands.

The winner of the Best in Show Horticulture Stand Award for GLAS 2023 is O’Dowd Nurseries. “We put loads of work into our stand so it’s great to get a bit of recognition for it,” said Makayla Heavin of O’Dowd Nurseries. “Mam came up with the whole idea herself, she’s so innovative. We were trying to showcase what we do best. We have limited space so it’s about utilising it in the best way for us. Of course, you need to have a bit of signage, but we were able to showcase our roses, we have our veg, we have our bedding plants. We wanted to be able to give everything it’s moment!”

Colin and Justina McCuskey, Evergreen Horticulture

Meanwhile, the Best in Show Trade Supplier Award winner at GLAS 2023 is Evergreen. Justina McCuskey, sales, marketing & export at Evergreen Horticulture told “It’s lovely to be recognised for making a bit of an effort really. we take great pride in the quality of our product. when we come to these competitions, we want to represent our product and our brand well. the best way to reflect that pride in your exhibition stand. the more eye-catching you make it the more people you entice over for a chat, and the more sales you’re going to end up making. horticulture is a real visual thing, so we want to reflect that too.”

Supplier of the year

The final award was voted for by the visitors of GLAS and subscribers of With double the number of votes cast this year versus last, the 2023 GLAS Supplier of the Year Award went to Moasure.

John McDonald, GLAS with David Byrne, Moasure, Carol Marks, Bord Bia and Barry Fitzgerald, Moasure

Speaking to, Barry Fitzgerald, content creator & product trainer at Moasure said: “It’s really nice that others think of us in that way. That they see us as a product that really stands out from the crowd. There’s a lot of fantastic tech out there as it is to be able to be noticed amongst that is a real privilege.”

As to why Fitzgerald thinks Moasure made such an impact with members of the trade, he said: “I think it’s because it’s a brand-new technology. Satellite and GPS have been harnessed in quite a lot of tech, but this is different because it’s motion based, which no one else has done.

“When it moves, it measures, which means you can use this deep underground or as high as you can go, and it can circumnavigate obstacles. It works in all sorts of terrain, in all sorts of weather, it can plough through snow and work in rough, rocky terrain, just as easily as it can work in nice smooth roads. It’s very versatile. When you say it’s a measuring device, people assume it captures distance, but it does more than that. It can capture elevation and rise and fall.

“It makes people’s lives easier too. We’ve had feedback that this is helping people measure 80% quicker. That’s a big deal in a world that moves really fast, this is tech that actually saves you time.”

Congratulations to all of the award-winners at GLAS 2023!

Positive feedback

The success of GLAS 2023 was reflected in the feedback from exhibitors and visitors on the day, as well as the results of our Exhibitor & Visitor Survey forms, which were very positive overall.

Indeed, 98% of visitors at GLAS said their experience was “worthwhile” or “very worthwhile” in our exit poll, while 87% said they would recommend GLAS to a colleague or friend. Meanwhile, the success of GLAS was further reflected in the exhibitor exit poll, as 95% said their experience was “worthwhile” or “very worthwhile”.

See you next year for GLAS 2024! For more information on GLAS, visit:


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