New Cork garden centre gears up for busy spring

Olive Ryan chats to the owner of a recently opened garden centre in Cork about plans for 2023
New Cork garden centre gears up for busy spring

Soft furnishings will also be available at the McDs store this spring.

AS we ease into 2023, we all need new inspiration for our gardening needs as we stock up on seed supplies and plants for the year ahead.

A new option opened just before Christmas in Dripsey, with McDs arriving and providing a lot of seasonal fare.

Now that the festive apparel has been sold or put away for another year, it is time to put the plants on display and we are looking forward to perusing the new stock arriving in the coming weeks.

McDs is a Galway-based indoor and outdoor living store that has recently opened in Cork, in what was previously Griffins Garden Centre in Dripsey, about 25 minutes drive west of Cork city.

 A range of garden tools to choose from at the store in Dripsey
A range of garden tools to choose from at the store in Dripsey

Sean McDonald opened his first store in Loughrea, County Galway, back in 2009 and has not looked back since. The store at Dripsey is his third - there is also a store located in the Galway Crystal Building in Galway city, which opened in 2019, and the online side of the business, which was developed during the pandemic, is thriving.

The business model is based around seasonal shopping which specialises in indoor and outdoor living, with soft furnishings, garden furniture, tools and accessories, propagation equipment, bulbs, seeds, solar lighting, picnic items, artificial stems, wreaths, gift ideas for occasions and plants of all descriptions being sold at the stores.

The garden centre side of the business has not featured majorly at Dripsey until recent weeks, and we look forward to enjoying a wide range of plants offered for sale.

There will be a range of seasonal bedding, trees, shrubs, herbaceous plants, roses and herbs to meet planting needs. Indoor plants will also be on offer from tiny cacti to the larger palms.

Where possible, Irish grown plants are sourced for sale in the garden centre. There is also a great variety of pots to choose from for both indoor and outdoor use. Some items for pets and bird feeders are also on sale. The spring/summer range will be in store from early February onwards, just in time for the growing season.

McDs will have a wide range of plants on sale this February.
McDs will have a wide range of plants on sale this February.

I spoke to a senior member of the management team in Galway about the expansion of the company to Cork, who said: “McD’s are delighted to be open in Cork since October. Our website meant that we already had a large customer base in Cork.

“It was a big endeavour to get the shop open in time for Christmas and our staff worked tirelessly to make sure that the Christmas displays were as magical as ever.

“At the moment, the focus will be on the garden centre. Due to the premises being closed for some time, this area is in need of some attention. Therefore, our horticulturists and gardeners will be working hard to restore this to its former glory.

“Making room for our fabulous Spring Summer collection, our customers can expect to see an array of colourful flowers and plants, as well as a wide selection of garden furniture, solar lighting, fountains, barbecues and more.

“We hope to provide the people of Cork and surrounding areas with the best value at a time when inflation is high, while also offering friendly advice from our wonderful Cork team of advisors and horticulturists.

“We are also delighted to support the community with local employment and are so impressed with how our Cork team have developed the store in such a short space of time.

“We cannot wait to show our customers what’s new in McDs for Spring Summer 2023.’

The store at Dripsey is managed by Cornelia Creedon, a graduate of horticulture at Kildalton College in Kilkenny, who has worked in several retail horticulture outlets around Cork county over the last few years.

“The focus of the store will be over two seasons, the growing season of spring and summer and the festive season centring around Christmas each year,” said Cornelia.

“We will aim to provide our customers with a broad range of items relating to outdoor and indoor living which will cater for all of their needs throughout the year.

“We hope to inspire with our products and provide good value for money.”

Bean & Back are doing the catering at McDs in Dripsey, operating from their super shiny coffee truck. They currently offer tea/coffee/ hot chocolates and home baked goods, and there are plans to provide a range of light lunch options in the coming weeks.

You can check out details of any offers and opening times of the store at Dripsey on their Facebook or Instagram pages - McDs Garden and Home.

A great new addition to the Cork gardening scene this spring, it will provide a renewed interest in this much-loved garden centre location at Dripsey. Happy Spring Shopping!

Plant of the Week

This week, a collective of early spring flowering plants provides hope and interest in the garden.

The mild temperatures - for the first few weeks of January at least - has ensured many new arrivals in the garden every week right now, with bulbs like crocus and winter aconites appearing at ground level and reliable winter flowering shrubs like Daphne and Hamamelis also providing colour at a higher level.

Some of these shrubs are flowering slightly later this year as a result of the cold snap in December which sent plants back into their slumber!

They are welcome now though and give us great hope for the growing year ahead, as does the opening of McDs at Dripsey.

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