Louise Mogridge completed an Amenity Horticulture course at Writtle in 1995.
After running a gardening business in Devon for 20 years, she and her husband relocated to West Wales where she sells cut flowers and vegetables.
What does Writtle University College mean to you?
Studying at Writtle gave me the foundation to build my career in horticulture. My course covered the different aspects of amenity horticulture, which suited me as I was unsure of which area to concentrate on. This varied course helped to give me the confidence to try the different options and see where it would take me.
This became quite a journey, taking many turns until I settled on landscaping and garden maintenance, running a business with my husband for the last 20 years. I have many fond memories of my time at Writtle, meeting many people from all walks of life, some of whom I am still good friends with, after 30 years!
Writtle was a friendly and welcoming community (I am sure it still is) and I am very glad to have been a part of it.
What have been the highlights of your time at Writtle?
I always looked forward to our field trips, from The Chelsea Flower Show to Hampton Court, we saw some amazing gardens.
A favourite was a visit to Beth Chatto's garden. Beth gave us a tour, it was such a privilege to talk to her. These trips also gave us all a chance to get to know others on the course, which wasn't always possible in the classroom.
I have great memories of Freshers' Week with the traditional parade on floats through Chelmsford, collecting money for charity. A few of us got a photo on the front page of the local paper, if memory serves me right, we had won a prize for our float!
I did enjoy the social side of student life, many an evening (maybe too many!) spent in the pub on the green.
Where are you now and what are your plans for the future?
After 20 years running a gardening business, myself and my husband decided it was time for a change and we relocated from Devon to West Wales a year ago. Having taken some time out, I am now looking to grow and sell cut flowers, plants and veg on a small scale.
My time at Writtle gave me skills in many different aspects of horticulture, some well used and some to explore more. Successfully completing my course, along with my experience in the industry, has given me the confidence to continue to learn and grow my new venture.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
If I didn't live so far away, I'd be enrolling on a floristry course! It's never too late to learn.
For information on Writtle University College's current horticulture courses, click here.