Not many people can say that they get paid to do something they really enjoy. Darlene can. Her satisfaction stems from working for a good company, with good people producing a product that customers recognize to be of good quality.
Positions in Darlene's field can make more than $45,000.00 per year.
Darlene Fitzgerald is a horticulturist. Her job involves deciding what is to be planted and when. She oversees the planting, soil testing, scheduling of watering and fertilizing, and monitoring of pruning and twisting. In addition, she supervises staff and troubleshoots problems. Her stock management duties also include the computer tracking of cuttings and the trials of new plants and ideas.
Darlene thinks her interest in horticulture started in grade two when her mom encouraged her to grow a School Garden and enter her vegetables and flowers in the local Agri -Fair. In college the instructor of her first horticultural course showed her the many diverse opportunities available in the horticultural industry.
After graduating from high school, Darlene enrolled in part-time general studies at the University College of the Fraser Valley while working full time. She completed courses in Psychology, Computers, Criminology, and Business. Darlene liked business and computers, but knew she'd hate working behind a desk all day. After taking a few horticulture courses, she realized horticulture was the perfect mix.
Did you know? Horticulture is going high-tech as more and more greenhouse operators adapt to computer operated controlled environments.
Darlene enrolled in a Horticulture Diploma program and continued to go to school and work full time. In 1996, she graduated with honours and received the Lieutenant Governors Medal for the highest GPA in a two-year program. She also received two scholarships.
Most people expect women to receive flowers, not manage a crew to produce them. But when it comes to horticulture, that's where you'll find Darlene Fitzgerald.
Darlene has an aptitude for business and computers but didn't want to spend her days in an office. Horticulture was the perfect hybrid for Darlene. She likes the hands on work and uses her business skills to supervise staff, oversee production and coordinate shipping. For Darlene, it's a career that began in grade two.
Education: Part-time general studies at the University College of the Fraser Valley, Horticulture diploma program
Hobbies: Walking, hiking, skiing, gardening and various other outdoor activities, cooking, making crafts
Member of: BC Landscape and Nursery Association, Chairperson of both the Growers and Joint Commodity Health and Safety committees