Garden design business takes root

Phil Gilbride in one of his nurseries at his Killeshandra Garden Centre.

Killeshandra Garden Design is the new business venture of horticulture expert Phil Gilbride.

While still in its infancy, the landscaping and design business based at Killeshandra Garden Center is already thriving through word of mouth from satisfied customers.

Phil brings a wealth of horticultural experience and knowledge to the art of garden design. With its own nursery and garden centre, it has a cost effective supply of trees, shrubs, bulbs and materials. He has also just completed a graduate degree in garden design at UCD.

Phil has a team of dedicated full-time and part-time staff to ensure the garden project is completed to his exacting standards, while remaining affordable.

A good listener, Phil is eager to first find out what customers want from their garden and sort out their preferences.

“We have a number of meetings where we go through some planning stages until we agree on a final work plan. Then we come in and do the work,” says Phil.

Project manager Phil employs a construction expert to undertake structural work, such as patios or building retaining walls. He wants homeowners to optimize the use of their garden and outdoor spaces, making them as attractive and practical as possible.

“My style is contemporary with lots of cottage-style plantings, so I like clean, contemporary finishes with masses of plantings – I think that works. I always grow to get into trees. Trees are always in style Of course, I will adapt to the clients’ style and wishes. In the end, it’s the client’s garden, not mine!

His approach ensures that customer satisfaction with the finished garden is long lasting.

“The idea of ​​planning a garden is that you plan for five years and 15 years. What will it look like in five years? What will it look like in 15 years?



Why bother with dead petunias?

“Petunias are the best-selling summer plant because they bloom profusely,” says Phil Gilbride of Killeshandra Garden Centre. It has thousands and thousands of petunias, sitting alongside lobelias and calibrachoa, enjoying the boost provided by its polytunnels.

“The idea with an annual is that it doesn’t come back year after year, so it puts all its energy into the flowers for a year – it has very little rootstock.

“Petunias will last a few months, but if you have dead-headed petunias, they will last you until October. They need to be clipped under the cup at the base of the flower. This means you are removing the seed. If you leave the plant produce too many seeds, it thinks its job is done and will stop producing flowers. Whereas if you deprive it of seeds, it will continue to produce flowers. So removing the dead flowers, while you remove the dead flowers, the main objective is to remove the seeds underneath so that they continue to produce flowers.

If you are a hands-off gardener, perhaps consider planting diascia.

“It’s just started to bloom and it will bloom for months,” Phil says of this frothy beauty.

“The great thing about it is there’s no dead cap, and nothing attacking it either.”

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