Gardening world just grew on me

Chelsea Van Rijn
Chelsea Van Rijn Sarah Keayes

AS THE end of another year draws to a close, I realised I've been writing this gardening column for nearly two years now. It has dawned on me that many of you may not know me or where I'm from.

I am just the girl next door except next door is a garden centre. When I was young gardening was not my first choice for a career. I was going to own my own chain of hotels. Who doesn't have this dream at 18? I happily went off to university to start this process. Due to a chain of events my life changed at 21 and I decided to help out my family in the running of Trevallan Lifestyle Centre (TLC).

Fast forward 10 or more years (don't want to give away my real age!) and I am completely immersed in the gardening lifestyle. I have a Certificate III in Horticultural and am a Certified Nursery Professional. The Certified Nursery Professional (CNP) acknowledges an individual's ongoing commitment to improving their skills and industry knowledge, thereby providing the public with assurance that they have the knowledge and skills to provide superior services. I have to renew this qualification every two years to make sure I am consistently improving my skills and knowledge.

I was also recently one of six Australian finalists for the Young Leader of the Year Award. This award seeks to identify, recognise and reward the outstanding achievements of individuals in the Nursery and Garden Industry, who display exceptional commitment and passion towards their business, the industry and leadership potential for association and industry schemes.

I have been nominated for Young Business Person of the Year by Ipswich Chamber of Commerce and Industry and I have run Ipswich's only garden competition for the past two years. As well as writing this gardening column, I write about gardening for the About the Garden Magazine (which is available free at Trevallan).

For fun I talk gardening at many garden clubs and social groups and recently had the pleasure of judging Gympie's garden competition. On the first Saturday of the month you will usually find me at Glebe Garden Club's meeting, giving a small talk on what's new at Trevallan for the month.

One of my other secret passions is aromatherapy. Did I mention in my spare time I completed a Certificate IV in Massage Therapy? Recently, to my great pleasure, some of my aromatherapy dreams came true when I won Perfect Potion's Sacred Space competition, which was open to all Australian and Japanese residents, in which I had to develop my own essential oil blend. Perfect Potion is an Australian Aromatherapy company; Trevallan stocks their range of organic essential oils and blends. My essential oil blend will be released as part of Perfect Potion's new essential oil blend range.

As well as physically working at Trevallan I also write a blog for Trevallan on gardening and keep many people updated on what's happening on Trevallan's Facebook Page.

And in my spare time I run after my three saplings.

But Who, What, Where is Trevallan Lifestyle Centre …. Next week. Until then give your life some TLC!

Topics:  chelsea van rijn gardening opinion

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