How a historic Londonderry park was ‘grown to order’ as part of a £5.6 million regeneration project
GB Landscapes is a 70-strong landscape contractor team based in Castlederg, County Tyrone, who are specialists in hard and soft landscaping, construction works and commercial and public authority landscaping. They approached Johnsons to ‘contract grow’ £138,000 worth of plants for Brooke Park, near Londonderry city centre, a historic outdoor space that holds strong memories for local residents.
Brooke Park, also known as the People’s Park, was formerly the site of the city’s first orphanage. It has recently reopened to the public after a £5.6 million regeneration project supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Derry City and Strabane District Council and the Stormont executive.
The park’s plants needed to be of excellent quality and produced to the correct specification and size, in order to meet the client’s exacting standards in terms of visual appeal and functionality. They also needed to be ready on time, to fit with the project’s very tight schedule and avoid any delays.
A bespoke, tailor-made, site-specific approach was the only way to ensure eight-hectare Brooke Park could truly flourish, so the Johnsons’ team set about bespoke ‘contract growing’ a diverse range of plants especially for the scheme, including:
• 13,000 shrubs.
• 14,500 herbaceous and grasses.
• 4,300 rhododendron and azalea.
• 1,300 roses hedging.
• 130 trees.
Brooke Park is now back into public use, helping improve the economic well-being of the city by making the area more desirable to live and work in. Visitor numbers have increased steadily since reopening in September 2016, with hundreds of people heading there each week and TripAdvisor reviews frequently praising the beautiful surroundings.
Gary Baird, Managing Director at GB Landscapes, said: “This was a key account for us this year and needed to be site specific, to the highest of standards and on time to the tight scheduled plan.
“Johnsons of Whixley helped us contract grow specific plants for this project and the quality of plants were to specification and size. Credit is owed to account manager Tony Coles who was on hand at all times.
“Johnsons of Whixley do an excellent job at consistently delivering value for money and quality stock on time. We regularly benchmark and are always happy to see that the team provide the most competitive rates. From a soft service point of view, their customer service is exceptional.
“We are more than happy to recommend their services. They are instrumental in us delivering quality to our clients and for that we are truly grateful and appreciative.”