Changing the landscape

21 Dec , 2018  

Since its inception in 2007, Nordon Landscapes Ltd. has quickly carved a solid reputation for itself as one of Ireland’s premier landscape contractors, setting industry-leading standards in high-quality project delivery. We spoke to Business Development Manager Michael O’Connor find out more about this exceptional operation, which boasts strong relationships with a who’s who of main contractors, local authorities and semi-state bodies.

Established eleven years ago, Nordon Landscapes specialises in commercial landscape construction as well as light civil engineering and grounds maintenance works. Headquartered in Portumna, County Galway and fronted by founder Oliver Donlon and commercial manager Cormac Barry, this market-leading business delivers a full range of commercial landscaping projects nationwide, incorporating major infrastructure and civil engineering projects, business parks, schools, hospitals community facilities, etc.

Quality workmanship and the keenest attention to detail are guaranteed at all times and this is why Nordon Landscapes benefits from a large volume of repeat business from a host of long-standing clients, including some of the country’s leading landscape and building architects, main contractors and blue chip companies.

With almost half a century of combined experience working both in Ireland and the UK, senior management possess a comprehensive knowledge of all aspects of the landscaping business and this has enabled them to develop Nordon Landscapes into one of the leading contractors within the landscaping sector, with turnover in 2017 of €2million.

A complete service is offered from design through to installation and ongoing maintenance, making Nordon Landscapes a one-stop shop for all landscaping requirements. Each project is assigned a dedicated Project Supervisor, with the MD adapting a hands-on approach on site to guarantee absolute client satisfaction.

“We predominantly carry out soft landscaping operations – trees, plants, grass, etc. – as well as associated hard landscaping, works” reveals Business Development Manager Michael O’Connor. “Most of the work at the moment would be mid to largescale projects with a value anywhere between €20,000 and €1m, say for a large road scheme. We provide tree planting, shrub and hedge planting, underground support structures, irrigation and drainage systems, grassing, turfing, soiling works, groundworks, surfacing, lighting, and site furniture.

Notable current projects include the redevelopment of the Curragh Racecourse for John Sisk & Son which involves re-turfing the parade and pre-parade rings along with extensive tree and ornamental shrub planting. Nordon are also currently working on a number of student accommodation projects in Dublin on Gardiner Street, Dorset Street, Arbour Hill and The Liberties. These project present formidable technical challenges with landscaping works at roof level requiring the use of lightweight structural soils with extensive drainage and irrigation systems. Semi-mature tree planting at courtyard level requires the use of underground StrataCells to aid root development in build-up areas and root directors to protect services and adjacent structures.

Obviously, given the seemingly endless amounts of rainfall in Ireland, installing these high-performing drainage systems and underground support structures is vitally important and Nordon Landscapes leaves no stone unturned (literally!) in making sure that all projects are completed to the highest standards. Depending on the individual project, certain aspects can be quite technical and Nordon possesses the experience, professionalism, expertise and patience to make sure that what constructed and lies unseen beneath the ground is as structurally sound and dependable as what is visible above the surface.

Nordon Landscapes Ltd.  has developed and maintained strong working relationships with many of the construction industry’s key players including: government bodies (such as the IDA, the OPW, local authorities and the Department of Education; blue-chip companies (Sodexo Ireland, Dublin Airport Authority, Merck Sharpe Dohme, Pfizers & Shannon Property Management), main contractors such as John Sisk & Son, Bennett Construction, John Paul Construction, JSL Stewarts, J Manning and Sons, BAM Construction; and leading architects such as Doyle & O’Troithigh, Cunnane Stratton Reynolds, Brady Shipman Martin (BSM) Landscape Architects, Mitchell and Associates Landscape Architects, Murray & Associates Landscape Architects.

In addition, they also hold service contracts with clients such as Ballinasloe Town Council and and the University of Limerick to undertake the provision of landscape and grounds maintenance.

Working regularly with an award-winning industry giant such as Sisk represents a massive endorsement of the high quality of the services provided. “It’s great to have gained the trust of so many industry-leading main contractors,” says Michael. “At the moment, we’re working on The Curragh Racecourse and the M17 / M18 Motorway for Sisk. Other current projects include Punchestown Racecourse for Elliott Group and a number of student accommodation projects in Dublin City Centre for Bennett Construction and John Paul Construction.”

Nordon Landscapes has a team of 30, from Contract Managers to Foremen to Site Operatives, and they are all fully qualified in commercial horticulture and landscape construction. Allied to this is a network of trusted subcontractors The business has been growing steadily over the past two years and has had work in pretty much all 26 counties so it looks like turnover will rise again this year.”

As for the key to success in such a specialist area, Michael continues: “Being able to offer these services nationwide and to be able to mobilise your team and work wherever our clients are operating. To have educated, experienced staff and strong, experienced Contracts Managers in all locations”

“Speedy access to our key raw materials is also vital and we have an extensive network of tree and plant suppliers throughout Ireland and across Europe. You have to be able to supply and service often quite detailed contract specifications and then have the on-site experience to deliver the project on time and within budget. So there are three key facets to it: to be able to supply the products; service the contracts; and mobilise resources on the ground.

“The other key ingredient is Oliver himself,” Michael concludes. “He is involved personally on the ground in every single project and he provides a level of hands-on service to our clients that is rare”

With absolutely every base covered and nothing left to chance, it’s no wonder that Nordon Landscapes’ twelfth summer is its busiest yet!

Nordon Landscapes Ltd.,

Dunkellin Terrace,


County Galway.

Tel: 091 846309

Mobile: 087 3366655

Email: [email protected]

Web: www.nordonlandscapes.com

Taken from Building Ireland Magazine, August 2018, Vol 4 No 7