With much uncertainty ahead John Murphy of Annaveigh Plants looks at the status of Irish landscaping and explains how they have survived challenging business climates
31 August 2016
‘The Recovery’ that is slowly happening in the horticultural trade has unfortunately not reached all parts of the country, but this summer landscape quoting has spread out from the east coast and we are seeing more tenders from the midlands and west.
With the increase in house building and some industrial developments pending, our landscape customers are cautiously optimistic for the coming season. The continued program of school building is a welcome incentive from the government but the quality of some of the landscape work leaves persistent questions about supervision of a number of these projects.
The consequences of the decision by the UK to exit the EU are unknown. Dutch traders have traditionally been big suppliers into this market and this decision could lead to a more aggressive approach to the Irish market. Having spoken to a number of such traders, they forecast little change in the UK market this coming season but feel things may start to impact in the autumn of 2017 should the UK continue with this plan. As exporters to the UK we will be keeping a very close eye on the situation and the real possibility of a UK recession will impact seriously on nursery trade to Northern Ireland.
Throughout the downturn many Irish tree nurseries greatly reduced or stopped planting altogether, Annaveigh took a different view and we continued planting up to 25 acres a year. The nursery now covers 82 acres and offers a diverse range of products and is well placed to react to the economic changes we have seen over the past two seasons.
Having increased our assortment of multi-stem trees we can now offer Acers, Betula, Crataegus, Malus, Prunus and many more types in this form. We are also growing an array of specimen shrubs and this year we planted 5 acres of trees to offer as specimen feathered material that will be layer pruned and grown at a wide spacing. A choice of specimen plants in Air Pots, many of which are on display at the show, is also available for that special project.
Over the past three years we have increased our use of environmental crops. This year we have continued to sow Marigolds for nematode control to reduce Roseacea replant problems and the results from previous years looks encouraging. On larger areas of fallow land we are using deep rooting Mustard to break the plough pan and to add organic matter back into the soil. The variety used also has nematode reducing properties. On smaller areas we have sown Vetch and Phacelia to increase soil fertility. Apart from the soil improving characteristics the crops look great and attract a multitude of insects and birds.
We would like to take this opportunity to invite you visit the nursery and see the range and quality we offer and discuss your requirements for the coming season.