After competing at the UCD’s Young Horticulturist of the Year heats in early February in which I came first in. I was delighted to get the chance to represent my university at this year’s Ireland Final.
The event which is organised by the Charted Insitute of Horticulture and sponsored by Bord Bia took place in Ardgillian Castle on the 25th of February. In total, there were eight horticulture students taking part in the final. These students represent colleges from across Ireland; Greenmount, UCD, Cork Insitute of Technology, Botanic Gardens Dublin, Waterford Insitute of Technology, Blanchardstown Insitute of Technology and Kildaton College.
Before we took part in the competition we were invited around for a lovely tour of the gardens by the head gardener. Although a lot of the plants were only beginning to wake from their winter slumber there was still plenty to see. What caught my eye was the Potentilla collection and the rose garden, quite spectacular and I have a great interest in roses too.
After completing the tour we had lunch and this was a great chance to get to know the horticulture students. Getting to know more about their course, what aspired them to a career in horticulture and what they wished to pursue once they completed their studies. For many it was their first year competing but I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to represent UCD last year in which I was runner up as well.
There were ten rounds testing your knowledge across the board in horticulture including identification, science to name a few. After some very difficult questions and even tougher opponents I was runner-up on the day, a fellow horticulturist from Greenmount won it.
I would highly recommend the event to any aspiring young horticulturist and the great thing is that you don’t even have to be associated with a college to compete. It’s great meeting like-minded and passionate horticulturist to be able to share your story and hear theirs. It’s fascinating to hear about the different areas in which everyone is studying, interested in and wish to pursue as a career.
Also, check out a recent interview with Gareth Austin on competing at this event and why I choose to study horticulture. The link is; http://www.donegaldaily.com/2016/03/05/gardening-young-horticulturalist-of-year-proves-fruitful-for-donegal-man/
If anyone is thinking about or consider pursuing a career in horticulture and would like some advice or even just to get in touch, I would love to hear from you. The contact details are located at the top of the page in the ‘Contact Tab’.
Thanks for reading my latest blog and hope you all enjoyed it. If you have any feedback as always I would love to hear.