Westmeath Horticulture Course star in Dermot O’Neill’s new series “Dermot’s Secret Garden”

Westmeath Horticulture Course star in Dermot O’Neill’s new series “Dermot’s Secret Garden”

Students on Westmeath Community Development Horticulture Course, based in Belvedere House and Gardens got the opportunity of a lifetime to star in the new series of Dermot O’Neill’s programme “Dermot’s Secret Garden” which will air this Thursday 14th February on RTE one at 7pm. 

The series consists of six episodes. Dermot decides to enlist the help of gardening expert and tutor John Smyth and the students of this FAS sponsored Local Training Initiative Gardening course  to help with the arduous task of preparing the ground for their ambitious project. And in return he offers gardening lectures.


Over the last two years Dermot has been involved with the students on varies projects including the building of the LARCC garden project in Multyfarham, restoration of the walled garden at Belvedere and including many projects regarding his own private walled garden at Clondeglass, Co. Laois. This has been a unique opportunity for students to engage with world renowned plant expert ganing knowledge in planting schemes and projects.

Dermot’s private garden is closed to the public and for Dermot to allow our Students to work closely with him is something that Westmeath Community Development is very proud to be part of.  Clondeglass has been very important in Dermot’s personal come back from illness. It houses his own private plant collection and the students have gained important knowledge regarding horticulture through Dermot’s vast knowledge on the subject.

Speaking about the project, John Smyth, Horticulture Tutor, noted  “It has been a unique experience to work with Dermot and all Horticultural students who played their part in bringing Dermot’s dream to life”.

The students are based in Belvedere House and Gardens where they are completing a FETAC level 5 major award in Horticulture under Tutor John Smyth and Co-Ordinator Majella Maher. The course was established in 2009 and it has been oversubscribed every year.  The course is a progression path to further education and many of the students are currently completing the Horticulture degree in Blanchardstown IT and the Botanic gardens. Course coordinator Majella Maher commented “We are looking forward to seeing the impact that the students have made regarding this and we would like to thank everyone who was involved “.

The Programme is sponsored by Westmeath Community Development in association with FAS and Westmeath County Council. If you would like to learn more about the programme and for details on the next Horticulture Programme please contact the course Co-Ordinator Majella Maher 087-7923349 or mmaher@westcd.ie .