Entries for this year’s ALCI Awards are currently being judged by Awards judges Gary Graham and Kerrie Gardiner. Ross Carew, Executive Secretary of the ALCI reports that there was a bumper entry this year, with a total of 47 entries in 13 categories in categories from 21 members. Commenting on the most noticeable trends evident from this year’s entries, Ross commented that there are a number of themes worth highlighting. There are five different vale categories for private gardens ranging from under €10,000 to over €100,000. In the last few years, there has been a noticeable increase in the complete cost of the average private garden entry. That trend continues this year, with most private garden entries in the €50,000 €100,000 category and several in the over €100,000 category. Indeed, a few of these cost between €250,000 and €500,000. So, overall it is very evident that there is a lot more money being spent on private gardens compared to five or so years ago.
While the ALCI Awards are for projects completed by landscape contractors and indeed many of these would have been designed and built by ALCI members, it is noticeable that an increasing number of entries also feature the input of third party landscape designers and landscape architects. It’s good to see different disciplines within the landscaping industry collaborate to produce outstanding work.
There has also been a noticeable increase this year in entries in the Residential Development and Commercial Development categories. Again, this reflects a buoyant economy with a return of residential building after some quiet years and a marked increase in investment in landscaping by commercial property owners. Other trends evident from this year’s entries are the growing popularity of outdoor rooms and entertainment areas, the increased use of artificial grass and low maintenance gardens, and the integration of outdoor lighting into garden design. The winners of this year’s ALCI Awards will be announced at a luncheon in the Convention Centre Dublin on 6th March 2020. ✽