Daryl enjoyed the challenge of adapting to the needs of plants and their ever-changing conditions while studying horticulture in Dublin
Daryl Byrne, from Celbridge, Co Kildare completed his BSc in Horticulture in the National Botanic Gardens in Glasnevin, Dublin.
Why did you choose to study horticulture?
I had an avid interest in horticulture. I had been working in a garden centre in previous years. I saw this course was on offer through the Botanic Gardens after I obtained my FETAC Level 5 in the Botanic Gardens. I thought it would be a great step to take. It was a great opportunity to study in the Botanic Gardens as you’re surrounded by plants. It is a nice environment to be in, the staff are friendly, and there are always resources there especially through WIT to help you get through your course.
Why did you come to WIT?
The resources were great. The staff members were great, and there was a nice community feel. I am one to look online to find out about different courses. For me the course in WIT was a good stepping stone to get into horticulture and to get into the world of college.
Did you do work placement?
In second year, part of the course included placement in the National Botanic Gardens in Dublin. That gave you an idea as to what to expect in the industry. There are a great range of places to work that you can choose from to suit your interests. The individuals working there in the Botanic Gardens worked with you and helped you along. If they saw that you had an interest in a particular area, they would guide you in the right direction to help you along and to perform in that area.
What modules did you major in?
You specialise in second year and pick what modules you want to do. I chose garden management as well as landscape design for those who wanted to do garden design it was a good path to go down. I wanted to go down the route in hopes of obtaining a head gardener post.
What stands out for you from your experience at WIT?
The comraderie between students. Throughout the whole course you really meet a whole lot of people, you make a lot of contacts. I still keep in contact and I will do for many years to come because they are just amazing. We all had a similar mindset so we could work off each other that way.
What advice would you give to somebody considering this course option?
Having even a slight interest in gardening does benefit you. Keep your options open. Horticulture is a very broad subject so there will be something for you.
What do you love about horticulture?
Every day is different. The environment is always changing, you have to adapt and survive. No day is the same. The weather conditions are changing, so plants are adapting to those environmental changes you have to care for them every single day. It is a challenge, but I love a challenge.
What are you doing now?
I am currently working in a garden centre called the Orchard Home and Garden. I have been working there for ten years now. They were partly my inspiration for taking part in this course because my manager and my colleagues pushed me towards that direction because they saw I had a great interest in that.
Interviewed by Susie Brennan at Conferring 2018