Gathering begins with garden tour
Delegates from 25 countries visit
THE FIRST of many events planned for the Gathering took place over the weekend when 26 delegates from 15 countries arrived for an international Garden Centre Association meeting.
Carlow's first gathering event saw people flew in from as far as Australia, Canada, South Africa, USA and Japan for meetings in the Arboretum Lifestyle and Garden Centre. They stayed for two nights in the Lord Bagenal hotel before visiting a number of garden centres including the Arboretum, Orchard, Newlands and Johnstown Garden Centres in Co. Kildare.
The gardening enthusiasts also visited the Japanese Gardens and Avoca. This is the largest administrators meeting that the International Garden Centre Association has ever had, with the most participants and most countries on record.
Rachel Doyle of the Arboretum Lifestyle and Garden Centre has invited the Executive and Administrators to hold their Winter Board meeting in Ireland, in her role as Vice-President of the ICGA.
'The purpose of the event is to share information in respect of the garden centre industry around the world and its current state and to discuss best practices to assist member countries and their independent garden centre members,' she said.
The visit also includes a pre-tour for their annual Congress, which will be held in Ireland the following year, August 10 - 15 2014, kindly sponsored by Bord Bia. Each year a different country hosts the Congress which typically draws in over 200 delegates from around the world visiting some of the best garden centres and cultural sites that a country has to offer, so Carlow has further opportunities to benefit from this visit in 2014.
More than 40 events will take place in Carlow as part of The Gathering.