GardenQuick Read

E.N. Garden Designs – “My job is my hobby!”

In conversation with Eoin Nolan

Story Highlights
  • "It is their new social scene."
  • "A lot of my work would be repeated."
  • "Make your project unique."

E.N. Garden Designs Ltd is one of Cork’s premier garden design companies, who specialise in creating imaginative and practical gardens tailor made to suit the individual requirements and tastes of the client. Eoin Nolan established E.N. Garden Designs in 2002, having graduated from college at the National Botanical Gardens, Dublin after a three year course with a diploma in Amenity Horticulture, later he followed this by completing a Bachelor of Science in Horticulture through the Technical University, Blanchardstown, Dublin in 2011.

Prior to establishing the company, Mr Nolan gained extensive experience working with landscaping and paving contractors. He also spent considerable time employed in a nursery where he gained his experience with trees and large plant management.In 1999, he won a scholarship and spent three weeks in Japan studying their formal style of landscaping and the tranquil settings their design provides, along with the creation and maintenance of bonsai trees and shrubs. Today, he imports bonsai plants and incorporates them in projects.

In 2002, he qualified as one of six to participate in the television show entitled ‘The Garden Heaven Show,’ (now known as Bloom) in the RDS in Dublin where he received a ‘highly commended,’ certificate for his contemporary Japanese style design. In 2014, he was offered a great opportunity to travel to Australia where he oversaw the project management of a redesign of a garden on country estate. In this role, Eoin designed the garden, sourced plants from different parts of Australia and was hands on in working on the project.

E.N. Garden Designs offers a fully integrated design service for both hard and soft landscaping from original concept to final planting. Over the years, there has been a wide range of gardens designed and built by Eoin on a national level which illustrate the clean, uncluttered lines that has become his signature style.

Since qualifying Mr Nolan has gained immense experience at both design and installation from the various projects which he has undertaken. The projects undertaken have ranged in value from €1,000 to €180,000.
This company’s services include landscaping, garden design, a planting and supply service from his own nursery.

“I set up my business in November 2002 and my job is my hobby. From the age of seven I was growing seeds and then at the age of 12 I was selling them along with window boxes and hanging baskets. I knew that I wanted to study design and horticulture from the time I was in third year in secondary school,” explained Eoin Nolan.

“An interesting part of my business is travelling around Europe and selecting plants for projects and for my nursery. In my nursery I grow this stock on for projects, the plants I specialise in are mainly Japanese maples but I stock many more varieties of plants” enthused Mr Nolan.

“I’m a very precise person when it comes to doing things, in that I either do it right or I don’t do it at all! Clients that come to me want the ‘Wow’ factor and that’s the standard I want to meet every time, I love meeting and surpassing clients’ expectations. By stocking plants that are unusual and mature it allows me to bring something unique to my projects”

A lot of my work would be repeat work from word of mouth of past clients, friends of family and my work is getting recognised a lot more through the use of social media especially on Instagram which really took off during the pandemic last year. My increase in followers surpassed my expectations from when I originally set up the account and this new social media platform has given me an opportunity to show people more of my style of work. My signature style is curves and circles which can be seen from completed projects. I also show different types of plants/ trees, I keep in my nursery, it has given me an opportunity to educate people on various aspects of gardening’

“The business is going very well. Fortunately, 2020 was very busy and this year is even busier. It’s busier now than it was in the boom and worldwide the industry is the busiest that it has ever been. This is due to the pandemic, as people want their gardens done as it is considered an additional space in a house and in Covid it is many peoples new social scene.”

As to any advice Eoin would offer anyone who may be about to embark on work in their garden?
“The first thing I would always stress when people want their garden designed is to ensure that they are dealing with someone who is qualified in design and horticulture. You need to ensure that you select the right type and size of plant for the location, many plants fail to thrive or quickly outgrow a space due to the wrong selection of plants for the given area”

In terms of the future of E.N. Garden Designs Ltd?
“I’m hoping to expand the nursery which is exciting. I like when I am able to bring clients in to show them stock and the clients are also getting a feel for the types of plants they can have in their garden as well as being able to physically see them. Clients feel that they are part of the design process,” concluded Eoin Nolan.


Words: Emer KellyImages: Webpress

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