Shamrocks are well travelled

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Waringstown’s Hoophill Nurseries has been doing its bit in keep up a treasured Army tradition - supplying Shamrocks to Irish regiments the world over.

From barracks in Britain to Afghanistan, Cyprus and various other parts of the world Kyle and Kerry Geddis have been front and centre in bringing a little taste of home to troops in the field.

Angela McLoughlin and daughter Kerry Geddis with Margaret Geddis, Lettie Fleming and Morgan Geddis (9) preparing shamrock buttonholes at Hoophill Nurseries.

Angela McLoughlin and daughter Kerry Geddis with Margaret Geddis, Lettie Fleming and Morgan Geddis (9) preparing shamrock buttonholes at Hoophill Nurseries.

Hoophill has been supplying the army for 20 years and in recent years branched out to also supply the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (Prince William and his wife) with the seasonal sprig.

Work on the Shamrocks start early - with the seeds planted in July.

Its takes the plant seven months to mature and they grow 80,000 of them at Hoophill - selling out every year.

Around 7.000 buttonholes are dispatched to the Army - with the Royal Irish Regiment and Irish Guards among the recipients.

Morgan Geddis with shamrock buttonholes being sent to the army by Hoophill Nurseries.

Morgan Geddis with shamrock buttonholes being sent to the army by Hoophill Nurseries.

The tradition stems from the Boer War when Queen Victoria, impressed with the bravery of her Irish troops, decreed a sprig of Shamrock be presented to them.

Three generations - Margaret Geddis with her son Kyle and grandson Morgan Geddis at Hoophill Nurseries.

Three generations - Margaret Geddis with her son Kyle and grandson Morgan Geddis at Hoophill Nurseries.