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I am a horticulturist/ gardener/ landscaper etc call me what you may. I am aware that little if any promotion of gardening takes places in Ireland. This isn’t doom and gloom merchandising I am selling nor my opinion, this is mere observation. Apart from a garden show in June and some events Bord Bia detail below, one must essentially pay to qualify for almost all of the promotion.

This isn’t just me, or about just me, by the way. This is Irish plant sales fuelled by the general consumer combined with a demand for gardeners/ landscapers and garden designers who also buy plants. It is an entire horticultural industry that in 2007 was valued at approximately €1 billion

Bloom aside ie. one summer pay to enter event per annum; from what I can see and to the eye Bord Bia online and in print seems to be pretty much food/ organics etc. I hope I am proved wrong here or told with facts that I am incorrect – but what exactly if anything is or has been promoting horticulture in Ireland since June 2010 – to date.

On Tuesday November 16th I asked Bord Bia, via twitter:

@Bordbia any promotions/ pr for irish horticulture/ gardening planned any time soon…..? full page advert in @the_irish_times maybe ?

The following [below] is the conversation which followed.

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@DoneganGardens Hi Peter, you can check out the itsgardentime site & also http://www.bordbia.ie/Pages/IGT-Events.aspx for events :)

@Bordbia thanks for the link, are they not all events organised by garden centres themselves ?

@DoneganGardens you’re very welcome Peter, they are indeed, Bloom is then a seperate event organised by us.

@Bordbia ok so, outside of Bloom then there are no plans to do anything really ?

@DoneganGardens also running into our Christmas tree promo. Next we will be organising for the Amenity Quality awards in early Feb!

@DoneganGardens just sent you another tweet there – ships that pass an all that. We do have regular promotions throughout the year.

@Bordbia well, I didnt pay to do the awards scheme this year so I cant be in there – also I dont grow Christmas trees

@Bordbia …..what are the regular promotions since/ outside of Bloom til now ?

@DoneganGardens Actually Peter, if you’re looking for some further reading these days why not check out http://bit.ly/dcwexv

@DoneganGardens Peter what specifically are you asking, is it Landscape Gardening promotions you are interested in?

@Bordbia yeah saw that. most of covered on the blog. a list of ‘regular promotions’ [not Bloom] & landscape/ gardening specific, please :)

@DoneganGardens is this for a blog post Peter?

@Bordbia yes. an enquiry from a previous post[s] http://bit.ly/bp3A9E and http://bit.ly/5tmstG led to initial question

@DoneganGardens Hi Peter, all the details of awards, events, info etc are all on our website via about gardening & its garden time :)

@Bordbia are there 2 people running this account at same time or is this bord Bia’s response to what garden related promotions have taken…

@Bordbia ….place since Bloom to now ?

@DoneganGardens no Peter it’s just me as always – Maeve :)

@Bordbia *smiles at Maeve. Is that the official line then ?

@DoneganGardens Peter every activity we do for food/drink/hort is all on our website, hard to relay in 140 characters :) (keep smiling)

@Bordbia a full page advert [plus] in the irish times promoting gardening would help Maeve. Either or its not much on Bord Bia’s part

@DoneganGardens thanks Peter – I’ve mentioned this to Carol & hort team & this is included in 2011 plans :)

@Bordbia http://bit.ly/bNaOt3

@Bordbia thanks for mentioning [?] to Carol Maeve. what is included in the 2011 plans ?

@DoneganGardens Hi Peter, thanks for sharing!

@DoneganGardens Hi Peter, you’re more than welcome to contact Mike Neary here in Bord Bia Horticulture, would you like his email?

@Bordbia yes sure. what does mike do and what should I contact him about ?

@DoneganGardens Hi Peter! Mike looks after the Horticulture Dept so you’re very welcome to enquire about 2011 plans which was your last Q.

@Bordbia my guess is 2011 plans are already planned and will be pretty much the same as 2010, but i’ll enquire nonetheless. thanks Maeve

@DoneganGardens you’re very welcome Peter!

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From the answers I got …..[?] It seems there’s little or nothing to answer my [original] question. The weekend magazine in the Irish times had one full page advert [and more] promoting food.

A few Bord Bia relating links – where gardening is promoted [?]

Am I being finicky here….?

I wrote this article on promoting Irish horticulture / gardening. But I find this post I called the happy gardener tells, from my experience anyway – if you don’t pay the money – you dont qualify for the promotion and outside of that…. I am on my own.

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*note the word horticulture [singular and only] has been removed from the above Bio and is therefore different from the official Bord Bia twitter bio as shown at the top of the page.

My point[s], if even they have been made, is not to gain a higher hand nor insult in any way. I’ve said it before here that something needs to happen, something more regular. It doesn’t necessarily mean a big bag of cash or a dedicated team. Simply something more than a once per annum big show and then it fades away. I’m fully aware there are twitterati employed that may suggest well its just Peter and sure let him off. Maybe those who believe they own the Irish internet may even begin speaking in the third person again about me. But I am 34. I reckon I have another 30 odd years in this industry remaining [touch wood]. And it is I as one of so very many that is picking up the pieces from last years weather re-enactment of Noah’s Arc and Titanic combined and trying to make it work this year, still.

I run a weblog which is ‘great outdoors’ dedicated. It’s not just about Donegan Landscaping. It is podcast, video, images, twitter,garden group, blog etc done on a regular basis – daily and weekly. I do it for free. Pause it. Why I bother with a blog. It is done free gratis, in my spare time. The set-up is pretty decent. The stats are pretty good – I’m sure some computer whiz kid could tell you how bad/ good they are on an etch a sketch. If I can do it why can’t/ won’t or should there not be one to do the same under the banner of Irish Horticulture. It’s just a suggestion. But it’s the best one I’ve heard since June 2010 and most likely until June 2011. Whether or not and whilst assuming there is no [regular] tv, radio, print, advertising budget.

There should be – video’s for potting bulbs, plants, trees. Images and audio, interviews from people and places – and I don’t mean the usual suspects who are obviously a lot more tactile than I. I mean the guy and his wife team from Laois or Offaly [for example]  who is a gardener – and offer more than a one line listing on your site type of effort. I mean seriously promote the guy. Not an article that was written for your website done by those who you know best, only – or by those from an association. Because lets face it – how many memebers are there of the ALCI/ GLDA/ ELCA/ IOH etc combined – and then open a golden pages for just Dublin and count even just the landscapers/ gardeners ?

Am I missing something…..?

If this is the horticultural promotion board – then promote it.

horticulture n the art or science of cultivating gardens

source: collins english dictionary paperback edition

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