The International Garden Centre Congress comes to Ireland

This week is a very exciting time for the Irish horticulture industry as the 56th International Garden Centre Congress came to Ireland. The five day event has seen over 200 delegates from 22 different countries converge on the country to experience our great horticulture, food and culture.

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The event this year is extra significant for Ireland as it marks the first time Ireland has held the presidency of the International Garden Centre Association. Rachel Doyle was elected president of the international governing body for garden centres last October. Rachel is a true Irish plants person and owns the brilliant Arboretum garden centre in Carlow.

I have been lucky enough to tag along on some of the tours and events that have even happening this week.

The first was to a dinner in The Mansion House in Dublin, where President Michael D Higgins welcomed our international visitors to Ireland. So just your normal Monday evening! I did get to wear a tux and liked to think I was the horticulture version of James Bond!

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In his address he highlighted Ireland’s strong horticulture industry and the importance it plays in our economy. He also highlighted Ireland’s world class horticultural standards, which delegates got to experience first-hand as they travelled around the country visiting garden centres and gardens

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Following the presidents welcome guests got to enjoy a fantastic meal showcasing some of Ireland world class food. Guests got to sample salmon from Kerry and Achill Lamb to name just a few ingredients. For me with my sweet tooth the standout highlight was the dessert!

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My next adventure with the International Garden Centre Congress is today as I get to travel around to visit garden centres and gardens with the delegates. I will be posting more updates about our different stops today and over the weekend.

In the meantime if you want to stay up to date with the congress follow the hashtag #IGCA2014 on social media and follow me on twitter @davidcorscadden

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