The Covid-19 pandemic has been an immensely difficult time for people living in Ireland and around the world. The Government made the difficult decision to put the country into lockdown to protect the country and its people. The lockdown of the country, although necessary, has had a huge impact on Ireland’s economy, with many people out of work and businesses having to close their doors. This was also the case for the horticulture industry with most garden centres, nurseries and landscapers closed during what should be one of the busiest times of year.
With the easing of restrictions on businesses and people, most garden centres, nurseries and landscapers are back operating albeit in a limited capacity. This is also the case for DAFM, having been focused on protecting the necessary supply chains for Irish businesses and consumers, normal duties are beginning to step up again. People have been spending more time at home and in their gardens and with garden centres and nurseries open and landscapers back in operation, there are some positive signs for the horticulture industry in Ireland. The industry is commended for making the switch to online sales, when the normal engagement was not possible which will no doubt become one of the emergent opportunities of Covid-19.
Remember any business selling plants online must be registered with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and all plants for planting sold online must have a Plant Passport. Bloom which is the main showcase event for the amenity sector also became a casualty of Covid-19. With so much preparations already in place by Bord Bia and many of Bloom participants, it was celebrated with Bloom at Home 2020.
The Bloom at Home campaign encouraged the public to come together and celebrate Bloom from their own homes and gardens. Social media played a central part of the campaign, with national competitions where people could share their gardening efforts online.
Gardening has benefits that are scientifically proven to create a sense of calm, to reduce stress levels, to speed up recovery time for those that are ill and certainly brings a sense of community and pride. ✽