Dermot_CallaghanTeagasc has appointed Dermot Callaghan as the Head of its Horticulture Development Department. He will lead the Horticultural Development Department, which has responsibility for all Teagasc horticultural research, advisory and training activities. He will also lead the establishment of the new horticultural facilities at Ashtown, in Dublin. He holds a Degree in Agricultural Science (Commercial Horticulture) from University College Dublin. He joined Teagasc as a fruit adviser based in Teagasc, Kildalton College in 2008 and more recently he was the Teagasc mushroom specialist operating the Joint Teagasc-CMP mushroom advisory programme. Commenting on his appointment, Dermot Callaghan said. “The horticulture sector in Ireland is a small but dynamic and exciting sector, covering mushrooms, protected crops, field vegetables, fruit crops, hardy nursery stock, flowers and foliage. I look forward to working closely with those involved across the range of enterprises to provide the most up to date knowledge and information to allow them grown and develop their businesses for the future”.


SAP Nurseries is looking forward to a season of expansion and growth over the coming year. Increased turnover in 2015 and other positive indicators from the amenity horticulture market have encouraged Nursery Director John Flanagan to expand his Tipperary based team. The investment includes the recruitment of consultant Jason Popplewell along with new sales executives John Walsh and Amy Maher, who in the coming months will be specifically targeting the greater Dublin and North East areas. John tells HC that “We are looking forward to the 2016 season and see clear indications of growth across all areas of the market that we currently target”.


With improving sales resulting in an increased workload for field production staff, the company recently decided to invest in a new ‘Damcon’ Bamboo cane drill. It was fitted to the front of their existing ‘Pazagglia’ root ball machine. It now makes it quicker and easier to place bamboo into the ground after planting, plus a thicker and stronger bamboo can be used. Joe Ahern tells HC “The staff in the fields are delighted as it makes the working day easier for them, while also increasing their production output.” Joe also reports “that demand within the trading division of the business is also seeing increased demand for plants like such as Thuja, Taxus, Buxus and other bare root hedging plants, on the back of the improving garden retail and landscape sectors.


The relationship between Nangle & Niesen Nurseries and Deepdale Trees continues to strengthen with the Cork tree grower once again winning the contract to supply trees for the 2016/2017 season. Deepdale Trees, a Bedfordshire based tree nursery, is one of the premier suppliers of high-end trees to the UK domestic market. The winning of the contract sees the continuation of a relationship that started in 2011 when Nangle & Niesen visited Deepdale as part of the Bord Bia export Programme. Ronan Nangle tells HC that “Every year we talk about price, but the quality is and has been the main driver for both businesses”.


Celebrating the 10th edition of the show, it is a must for all serious plant retailers and professional landscape industry practitioners alike. One of HC’s favourite events to attend, due in part to the effort that the Rentes family puts into organising and presenting the 700 varieties that will be on the show. Apart from the serious business of buying and selling, it is a very worthwhile networking and a social event not to mention their now famous ‘Hog Roast’ lunch.


Expo TCO has recently decided to move their trade show to October. In 2016 it will be held from the 4 – 6th of October. GrootGroenPlus will be held from the 5th – 7th of October. The boards of both trade fairs decided that this partial overlap will make it easier for both national and international visitors to attend. In the short term, the trade fairs will look at ways to cooperate and to create an optimum trade fair experience for exhibitors and visitors alike. More at www.grootgroenplus.nl & www.treecentreopheusden.nl


Summerhill Landscape New York has renewed its hiring campaign once again, recruiting via JobsInHorticulture (JIH) utilising the range of HR services that they now offer. Summerhill worked with JIH last year to fill three positions from the overall 60 applicants, that they received in total via the promotion campaign they ran on the HortiTrends network. Shane O’Keefe has been with Summerhill for a number of years and tells HC “that each of the successful candidates last year are now in a management/supervisory role.” This year they are advertising six positions. Also hiring is Quest Landscapes who are based in the Isle of Man. They are seeking a contracts manager for projects up to and over £1million. Nearer home, both Uniplumo and O’Connor Nurseries are also currently hiring. A new site JIHUK will be launching in early 2016. More on these and other career opportunities at JobsInHorticulture.ie


Graduate students105 students recently graduated with certificates that ranged from level 5 right up to a degree at level 8. The graduation ceremony took place at the Botanic Gardens on the 4th December 2015. Guest of honour on the day was the Director of the Botanic Gardens Matthew Jebb, who was responsible for awarding the certificates alongside college principal John Mulhearn. It was a proud day for all involved. Anyone interested in becoming part of the class of 2016 is invited to attend the College Open Day taking place from 2-4.30pm on the 10th of March 2016 at the college campus, situated at the Botanic Gardens, Glasnevin, Dublin 9.


One highlight of the comprehensive supporting programme has already been finalised. In cooperation with Verlag Eugen Ulmer, experts will provide information about opportunities and challenges of the British horticultural market. Moreover, Sue Biggs, Director General of the Royal Horticultural Society, will deliver a welcoming address during the opening ceremony of IPM ESSEN. More at www.ipm-essen.de


The college currently offers courses ranging from part-time level 6 Certificate in Science – Professional Horticulture, right up to a full-time BSc Horticulture Level 8. 2015 saw a revamp of the horticulture degree programmes at ITB. Through the programme review process graduates, current students and industry were given the opportunity to review the course on offer, engage and consult with the lecturing team on proposed changes. One of the many significant changes to take place was the adjustment in the timing of placements. Students will now engage with placements during the spring/summer semester, to take advantage of peak labour demands in the sector. Among the module changes, fruit production and vegetable production were brought in from the cold and given centre stage in response to the sustained interest in this area. New modules in Health, Recreation & Green Infrastructure, Culinary and Medicinal Plants, Apiculture and Post Harvest Technologies were added. More at www.itb.ie

Louise_McLoughliMOVING ON

For anyone with even a passing involvement with Bloom, the name, Louise McLoughlin is sure to be familiar. A facilitator, organiser, appeaser, agony aunt and renowned for making things happen, she has been part of the Bloom family since its inception. As the 10 year anniversary looms on the horizon, it is with some sadness that the horticulture sector must wish her farewell as she steps out to look after her young family. On behalf of the entire horticulture sector, Horticulture Connected would like to extend a most well-deserved note of thanks and appreciation for the tremendous work put in over the years. The success that Bloom has achieved over the years is due in no small part to Louise’s commitment and hard work. Her positive, upbeat spirit and smiling face will be sorely missed. To quote Gary Graham; “It’s hard for me to talk about Louise without gushing. Her input was a critical ingredient in the development of Bloom’s show gardens and many other great show features. Like the cement in the mix that formed the foundation upon which much of Bloom’s success is built, her patience, diplomacy and flair for detail provided the glue that helped bring many ideas to fruition. The systems and processes that she devised and honed during our first decade are a fitting legacy to an accomplished event manager who knew nothing about our industry when we started out on the Bloom odyssey. I suspect that like me, there are many in our sector who hold her in the highest possible regard”.


The industry was brought together to include independents, multiples, co-ops, nurseries and suppliers and a concept was brought to life with the aim of getting the country growing. GroMór reached out to 18,000 people at Bloom, over 100,000 Irish Independent readers and invested significantly in radio and social media advertising. This investment has paid off with over 28,000 sessions thus far on the GroMór website.

‘Find your GroMór Garden Centre’ is the 5th most popular page with over 3,500 page views to date. Sandra Doran, Retail Excellence Ireland Garden Group Manager, says “This is a great result for a new initiative and a solid foundation to build on. It is our intention to improve the website with added features and to create an exciting calendar of events which will benefit GroMór centres across the country next year”.

If you are interested in becoming a GroMór member next year, please contact Sandra at sandra@retailexcellence.ie


The Chartered Institute of Horticulture (CIH) has launched the 2016 Young Horticulturist of the Year competition (YHoY). The heats are open to students of horticulture and young horticultural professionals working in the industry. The winner of the competition will receive a £2,500 travel bursary from The Percy Thrower Trust, generously provided by the Shropshire Horticultural Society, to undertake a trip, anywhere in the world, to study a subject related to their chosen field of horticulture. The competition is run in three phases: local heats, regional finals and the grand final, each with questions covering a wide range of horticultural subjects. Heat winners go forward to one of eight regional finals, and the winner of each regional final progresses to the grand final which will be held on 7 May 2016 at the fabulous National Botanic Gardens Glasnevin, Dublin.


Horticulture marketing, PR and communication specialists from across Europe will meet around the 2016 IPM Essen trade fair for their second annual AGM. Representing the UK and Ireland at the event will be Joseph Blair of HortiTrends. The members co-operate to carry out Europe-wide services such as market research and marketing strategy. They also offer introductions to foreign businesses, organisations and trade press. Of particular interest to export-focused businesses, the group supports participation in trade fairs including, staffing of the stand, translation, promotion material, PR activities and press contacts/press releases. Anyone interested in accessing these services or learning more about the group can find out more at www.hortinet.eu


seaweedWexford based Ocean Leaves, launched their new seaweed products to the Irish market in April ’15. Having exhibited at GLAS in July, they wanted to showcase their products to a wider audience and so they exhibited at Glee, UK’s largest retail trade event.

This has proven to be highly effective, generating leads and opportunities both in Ireland and in the UK, as well as further afield, helping to gain recognition within the industry. Irish garden centres visiting the show were delighted to see them, proving that the company is dedicated to the promotion of the products and brand, Ocean Leaves.


‘The Irish Garden’ written by gardening correspondent Jane Powers with photographs by Jonathan Hession won Inspirational Book of the Year at the 2015 Garden Media Guild Awards, which took place at the Savoy Hotel London recently. There were 19 awards for contributions across the garden media industry (including books, journalism, broadcasting, photography and digital media). There are three awards in the books category: “Reference”, “Practical” and “Inspirational”. The awards are the equivalent of the Baftas for the garden media world. Britain is the home of great garden writing, and Jane tells HC that she was really thrilled to get the award for “Inspirational Book of the Year”, in the face of such stiff UK competition.


The Garden Centre Association (GCA) recently revealed its Northern Irish regional winners at a presentation recently. Creative Gardens Donaghadee scooped Best Garden Centre in Northern Ireland. The award for Best Customer Service also went to Creative Gardens Donaghadee in Northern Ireland while the award for Most Improved Centre went to Bushmills Garden centre in Northern Ireland. The awards are decided by the results of the annual inspections, which take place at all GCA garden centres. Garden centres have no advance warning about when their inspection will take place and they do not have the option to turn away the inspector.

Best Garden Centre: Creative Gardens Donaghadee
Best Customer Service: Creative Gardens Donaghadee
Most Improved: Bushmills Garden Centre
Best Restaurant: Creative Gardens Donaghadee
Best Creativity & Innovation: Creative Gardens Donaghadee
Garden Products Retailer: Creative Gardens Donaghadee
Best Indoor Lifestyle: Bushmills Garden Centre
Best Outdoor Living: Creative Gardens Donaghadee.
Best Environment and Community: Creative Gardens Donaghadee


MyPlant® Tissue Culture Laboratory in Kilkenny, which is owned and operated by Pat FitzGerald of FitzGerald Nurseries, is delighted to announce the formation of a new global venture with their takeover by the leading Australian Plant Tissue Culture service provider, Lowes TC Pty Ltd. The new venture, Lowes TC, will see a wide range of services being offered across Europe. “I saw many opportunities evolving for the company on international markets and the home market that we were not taking advantage of due to limited time, technical focus and funding explains Pat. “With Lowes TC now coming in as the managing partner of the new company, I expect the business will fulfill the potential of this technology and increase our exports”.

Lowes TC is recognised as the biggest and best TC lab in Australia producing millions of plants each year from over 1,000 cultivars in its Australian and Indian labs. Greg Lowe, the founder of the Lowes TC group, shares Pat’s vision for the future of the new venture. “The facilities allow the group to easily service the EU with production of high health, uniform TC plants, solving quarantine and supply issues and developing new markets for plant breeders. The close relationship with FitzGerald Nurseries means that high quality hardened plants will also be available to all European customers”.

FitzGerald Nurseries has developed sales and plant IP in 26 countries and will continue to play a major role in hardening the laboratory output, product development, assessment and strategic planning for this new venture. The company now employs 25 people at its Kilkenny facilities and one in Germany with an expectation of increasing staff level to 30 in the coming months. The existing lab facility in Enniscorthy, County Wexford previously employed 13 people and this was expanded to 17 in July. The new venture is expected to employ over 50 people in the coming two to three years with the potential to employ over 100 in five years. This joint venture business brings significant technology, added value export and career opportunities to the Irish horticulture industry. It is a great example of progressive agricultural innovation at the rural town and farm level based on existing and future export market development.


Ebb & Flow – Redrawing the design boundaries between East & West. To celebrate our 20th international design seminar, the Garden & Landscape Designers Association (GLDA) has looked, beyond the confines of these islands, towards the East.

Through our speakers, leading designers and plants people from both East and West, we will explore how the East’s traditions and cutting edge contemporary design and planting philosophy, complements and interconnects with that of the West and vice versa.
While designers from the East have often come to the West to learn some of their trade, many European designers have also been drawn Eastward, tempted by the opportunity of working on large-scale projects.

How have these designers from East and West made the transition and how has it influenced their design philosophy? We hear from Andrew Wilson, a leading British garden designer, and his experiences of working on projects in Singapore and China.

Much iconic landscape design from China has caught the attention of Western designers. Mr. Xiaowei Ma, who has studied in the West, along with his colleague Mrs. Xiao Ying Xie belong to this progressive school of landscape design, and we will hear about some of the ambitious projects currently happening in China, and how Western and Eastern philosophies synergise to create these iconic landscapes.

Looking to India, where the classical, disciplined Mughal garden style lives happily alongside ambitious post-independence and post-modern restorations and ecologically sensitive projects, we are delighted to welcome Aniket Bhagwat, landscape architect, whose inspirational designs are transforming India’s landscapes. He says: “Every plant must matter. Every flower must find its place in the scheme of things. Every light on the street or pathway must be carefully crafted. Every bench must be detailed like a diamond. And every act of design must celebrate the gift of life.”

We hear from the great seafaring Netherlands, with its rich, centuries-old tradition of horticulture, plant collecting and trading in plant material between East and West. From Cor van Gelderen we will hear the story of three generations of intrepid Dutch plantsmen, plant collecting in the East and about the extraordinary town of Boskoop, once home to 1,000 nurseries, beautifully laid out in long sloping plots down to the river.

The GLDA’s annual seminar is widely regarded as Ireland’s foremost platform for the dissemination of ideas and information on contemporary garden making and landscape shaping. It also has a reputation for being entertaining and thought-provoking, while remaining relevant to every facet of the industry, from plant production to architecture. Last year’s event was entirely sold out, so early booking is strongly advised. It takes place on Saturday 20 February 2016 at Crowne Plaza Dublin. More at www.glda.ie.