Name: Deirdre Howlin
Address: Kilmore, Co. Wexford
Current position: Owner of Grange Greens Plant Centre
I completed the Level 5 Certificate in Horticulture (2004) & Level 6 Advanced Certificate in Horticulture at Kildalton College (2005). I then transferred to the 2nd year of the Level 7 Horticulture course in the Waterford Institute of Technology & Kildalton College and completed my degree in 2007.
I gained experience in fruit & vegetable production, sportsturf and plant propagation while working at Kildalton College. I also did my PLP in Ballykelly Garden Centre, Co. Wexford during my Level 6 in Horticulture.
I grew up surrounded by horticulture as my father owned a garden centre in Co. Monaghan. I went back to college as a mature student.
Overview and current role
A typical day depends on the season but generally involves production of bedding plants, potting on of herbaceous plants and shrubs, watering of plants and the retail side of nursery work. My advice to students is to talk to people in the industry and get as much practical experience as possible. Also it is important to keep up with current trends in horticulture. I feel it is important to produce top quality plants, to be versatile and have a number of sources of revenue.