One of the most positive things to come out from this situation is the rise in gardening activity. From the moment we arranged for the safe delivery of garden products, I have been inundated with calls, emails and orders,” says Head of Sales, Martin Goucher. “While the logistics have been more than a little challenging, having the opportunity to talk with people, give advice and listen to their lockdown gardening stories has been really encouraging and to be honest, has really helped me,”
From their Malahide base, the O’Brien’s team have been delivering a range of garden products across the wider Fingal area. “I’m just off the phone from a man in Swords and his story is now a very familiar one. His mother always loved gardening, but he’d never gotten the time to get around to it himself. We may only have supplied some compost and railway sleepers, but for him the process of getting involved in his garden seemed almost cathartic.” Sharing such stories has become part of company culture and has greatly lifted spirits.
“Everyone involved in plants and gardening already knows the value and joy such activity can bring,” says Company Director, Ciaran O’Brien. “Because of the restrictions and people being stuck at home, they are discovering what we already know; that gardening is the ultimate exercise, therapy, escape, retreat and mindful activity you can do. More than that, in the end, you get rewarded with flowers and wonderful outdoor space,”
“One of the most satisfying aspects of the last couple of months has been providing advice and encouragement to customers,” says Martin. “A lot of people are genuinely scared of their gardens! Afraid they might do more harm than good. It is really rewarding to be able to help people, to provide a little guidance. To know you’ve contributed to their lives.” This sentiment is echoed across the company. “I was just speaking to a woman from Malahide, who got my number from a friend,” commented Andy Jones, Maintenance Manager. “She was asking for a quote but really wanted to know how she could get involved with her garden. More significantly she wanted to know how she could bring nature into her garden. Irish people have changed their attitude to gardens and landscapes, and it’s wonderful”
The base in Malahide has been closed to all but essential visitors since the restrictions have been in place but will reopen from Monday with new procedures in place. “Our preference is to still process orders over the phone and arrange safe delivery but understand that’s not always ideal. The landscape shop will be open from Monday and we ask that anyone visiting follows the signage. We have the pickup and assembly points in place and contactless payment options. We cannot accept cash at this time.”
The landscape shop in Malahide will be open to both trade and retail customers from Monday 18th of May. New protocols are in place to ensure social distancing is adhered to. Visitors are asked to wait inside the gate and Ollie will provide instruction. Where possible, customers are asked to order in advance so orders can be prepared.
You can view our landscape product pages here
Do you want to know more about gardening? Here are Martin’s top sites for sound advice.