Random acts of Gardening

Posted on June 09, 2014 by Noel Joyce | 0 Comments

Hello allow me to introduce myself as I will be frequenting this page every now and again. My name is Noel Joyce and I am one of the designers at Breezy and I wanted to weigh in with my role on what we are doing and perhaps give you an insight into the work that goes into the design and development of our ideas. I hope to be able to deliver the purpose for the existence of the ideas as products and explain the reasons why they came about.

First a little about myself, I am a product designer which was my chosen career path after an accident seven years ago left me confined to a wheelchair and ended my career in the military. I went to study in the institute of technology in Carlow where I graduated with an Honours Degree in Product Design. As I progressed through college the realization that it was difficult to get work as a product designer in Ireland began to become apparent and this led myself and a group of like minded designers to start a collaborative called Designhub. Long story short Designhub has been a hotbed of activity that has allowed a number of designers develop some cool products and product ranges, one of which was Breezy gardening and is now Breezy by AShortwalk.

Breezy gardening started in 2012 when we brought to production a unique product that enabled people to take advantage of vertical spaces in their gardens. That product was the Breezy gardening plant holder. It came about when I as a wheelchair user began to take an interest in gardening. I could not reach the ground and so began to plant in pots that I could reach comfortably on windowsills and shelves. A wayward chocolate Labrador named Charlie was also beginning to have an obsession with plants, only his plan was to destroy them. I don't know what the plants did to Charlie that he had such a compulsion!

As dogs especially pups are prone to following their instincts I knew that stopping Charlie was not an option. After all he couldn't help himself. The gardening world was not one he recognized as something of importance to him, he just wanted to chew stuff. I tried putting the pots on higher windowsills but Charlie just grew. He was an unstoppable force.

Me and Charlie, hard to believe he is just over 18 months old in this photo!

Then one day it hit me, get the plants high enough that he can't reach them but at a height that was convenient for me. Looking around at the vertical surfaces in my garden the cogs in my head began to whirr. After lots of iterations and many failed attempts the plant holder came into existence. If you look at the plant holder it's simplicity belies the amount of effort went into getting it to its present incarnation, I could go on all day about every part of its development, and have done before much to the dismay of the listener/victim within earshot.

We got the plantholder onto the market and it soon became apparent that this product was useful to all, not just a disabled guy with a Labrador pup. It was a way to easily transform any vertical surface into a beautiful wall of color or in my own preference a wall of tasty herbs and vegetables. In late 2012 we were fortunate enough to bump into the guys behind a small UK based company called AShortwalk who specialised in making products from recycled plastics. Brief chats revealed a common objective, making a difference in people's lives through the ideas we had. We teamed up with AShortwalk and have been working with them since. This is how we arrived at the current name for the site you are on now breezy by AShortwalk.

Our new product, The ECOPotagator.

So where are we now? Well we are just ready to show everyone a new idea we have been working on. It is something that will enable the user to experience bringing a seed to a seedling and then onto a plant without the need for several different products to do so, it does this in a space no bigger than the size of a regular plant pot. Its made entirely of recycled plastics preventing 180 yoghurt pots from getting to landfill. This new idea has been developed to allow users to grow herbs, fruit, vegetables and flowers from seed easily. We have called it the ECOPotagator check out the photo above.

That's it from me for now but I will be back here regularly to talk about my own experiences and random acts of gardening as well as how we use the plants we grow.

Talk again soon




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