Bord Bia study shows Irish spending on gardens despite recession

Research carried out on behalf of Bord Bia in Ireland has found that 43 per cent of people are willing to spend money on their garden and that gardening, plants and flowers are seen as a credible and acceptable treat in recessionary Ireland.

Around 35 per cent of respondents claimed that the economic downturn had not had any effect on their buying habits.

According to the research, completed in April 2010 by Ipsos MORI, the value of the amenity market - including outdoor trees and plants, indoor and potted herbs, garden products and landscaping products/services - was EUR717m (£604m). Outdoor and flowering plants accounted for 31 per cent of the total. Large-ticket items such as landscaping products accounted for almost half the market value.

Bord Bia development officer Carol Marks said: "The research has shown the garden is viewed as an extension to the home, with people seeing it predominantly as a place to relax, but also for entertaining, eating and for children to play. As a result of the downturn people are spending more time at home and many are engaging more with the horticultural industry."

Early next month, Bord Bia will launch "It's Garden Time", a gardening campaign that aims to encourage Irish people to make the most of their gardens this spring. Bord Bia's annual gardening and lifestyle show Bloom returns to Phoenix Park, Dublin, from 2 June.

The research findings were presented before Bord Bia's National Amenity Horticulture Awards. Bord Bia presented quality awards to 86 businesses, including 50 garden centres, 12 landscape contractors, and 24 nurseries.

NATIONAL AMENITY HORTICULTURE AWARDS

- Small Garden & Lifestyle Centre of the Year Cois na h'Abahnn Garden & Lifestyle Centre, Wexford

- Landscape Business of the Year Thomas J Crummy Landscaping, Boyle, Sligo

- Nursery Business of the Year Annaveigh Nurseries, Cashel, Tipperary

- Large Garden & Lifestyle Centre of the Year Arboretum Lifestyle & Garden Centre, Carlow.


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