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Bord Bia Promotes….

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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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Landscaping Awards & AGM 2008

17th-century-brackenstown-gardens

saturday night 11th of October 2008 saw a host of names from both Northern and Southern region meet up for was was a brilliant night at the annual Landscaping awards and agm.

An amazing stage was the setting at The Ramada hotel in Belfast and a great nights entertainment and celebrating was had by all. We had entered two gardens.

The AGM the next morning brought up some very topical issues. One for example last year was the seizure of two contractors vehicles by county council inspectors for not holding waste carrier licences. They had been carrying green waste!

UPDATE: The reason the two gardens didn’t recieve merit was due to the fact that [quote] ‘garden was not established enough to allow for fair appraisal.’ That sounds fair enough.

See Donegan Landscaping Awards Page for more information

ALCI… the who? seminar…. what?

don't lose your head....

don't lose your head....

some say we find ourselves in challenging times. Some say there is a difficult road ahead and depending on the sector of the market you are involved in this may well be the case.

Rather than burying your head the ALCI wishes to bring these matters to the fore. The event is open to everyone [ie not just ALCI members] and costs a mere tenner [a bargain considering tea and coffee is included].

It’s Tuesday, it’s a half day and it’s expected to be a full house. Details and contact details are below. Get your 10 bob in now!!

Seminar – Managing Growth in a Challenging Economy
Speakers:     Mark Fielding – ISME
Alan Tracey – Business Advisor
Charles Funke – Landscape Architect
Where:         Glenroyal Hotel, Maynooth, Co Kildare
Date:           25th November 2008
Time:           2-5pm
Cost:           €10

PRESS RELEASE:

within obvious changing environment the decline within the construction industry could only play an obvious and primary role in causing a downturn in sales for the landscaping industry. But those who will really weather the storm are the landscape contracors of Ireland, who have alternate factors outside of our new governments policies to consider.

With one of the wettest summers on record in Irelands history, Spokeperson for The Association of Landscape Contractors of Ireland [ALCI] Peter Donegan MI Hort, today spoke optimistically of the future that lay ahead for its members.

‘We have had more than just a changing economy to deal with this year. We have had one of the worst summers in the history of this country and this alone is probably the greatest single factor to knock our members, if at all. But one must remember that grass, plants and trees still grow and whilst that alone ensures our economy can only slow down so much, the trouble is, this year it has made it difficult to complete or start projects and also to look after them.’

The Director of Donegan Landscaping also went on to note that ‘We are aware that the construction industry has had a downturn and that a sector of our members may have been heavily dependent upon this as a source of turnover, that said we are also aware that there is also a possibilty of one almost talking ourselves into a constant low economically. One must remember that if the weather of this year is the same through 2009, it will not be the stock markets that bring over 100 companies to their knees.’

The ALCI represents almost 200 companies of both trade and landscaping and has been in existance for over 30 years. Wednesday 25th November 2008 [2-5pm]will see their seminar – Managing Growth in a Challenging Economy – take place at The Glenroyal Hotel, Maynooth, Co. Kildare. Speakers will include Mark Fielding – ISME, Alan Tracey – Business Advisor and Charles Funke – Landscape Architect.

association – n 1 a group of people with a common interest
or Peter Donegan tel: 00353-1-8078712 or email info[at]doneganlandscaping[dot]com

Landscaping Costs How much?

In conversation with some members of the ALCI, I decided to do a brief survey on landscaping costs, generally speaking.

All my staff are qualified in horticulture. We are members of the ALCI. I am a member of The Institute of Horticulture. Full Insurances. Quality Approved System and enough design and landscaping awards et cetera.

I think I was just having an ‘alright’ day here rather than my usual [i think I needed coffee…!] but, I must reiterate the point being made here is transparancy to the point where choice can be made and we know the cost based on the service we will get. After that, when you get that service, its just a matter of getting paid… the reason possibly for my [allowed] bad day.

UPDATE: I have decided that the entire bill of the contract mentioned that was ‘not paid – in full’ should go to Niall Mellon Township/ Garden of Hope Charity.  A trip I will make to South Africa this November. The amount is €2,750. Like a pink boat with a nice ending – that has cheered me up!