Bob Smith – Horticulturist
Bob works tirelessly alongside the rest of the Gardens team to keep our wonderful Victorian Walled Gardens in spectacular condition. He has a BSc in horticulture, and no two days are the same for him. One day he could be delivering manure all over Dublin, while the next he might be sowing seeds in the polytunnels in the spring or pruning roses in the winter months; Bob also manages the therapeutic trails which run along the sides of the ornamental gardens, as well as the wildflower meadow and woodland trail. All of these require continuous weeding and maintenance, keeping Bob’s days full! At home, Bob maintains his own garden and enjoys walking his dog.
Selina Crow – Workshop Facilitator and Retail Assistant
Selina is a familiar face to many local kids, as she runs our super popular summer camps in the Gardens and provides amazing activities during our birthday parties! She has an amazing set of craft skills that she uses to educate and engage visiting children of all ages. Selina also manages our Garden Shop, ensuring our visitors and staff have an enjoyable range of snacks and gardening supplies. Selina particularly enjoys getting to meet so many interesting people in her role, from the staff, allotment holders and students right through to the public – let’s face it, everyone needs chocolate! Selina has an MSc in Environmental Science, RH Advanced Certificate in Horticulture and qualification in Child Psychology. Outside of work, she enjoys training her young collie Murphy and taking part in her flower arranging club.
Darren O’Reilly – Garden Assistant
Darren has been working in Festina Lente for well over 15 years and is an integral part of the Gardens team. Amongst his other duties, he is in charge of making sure that the recycling and waste management in the gardens is always taken care of. Always willing to help out with whatever task is to hand, Darren is very friendly and a pleasure to work with. He is an animal lover and looks after his pet birds in his free time.
Ann Gleeson – STH Facilitator
Ann has been with Festina Lente since 2004 and was involved in the organisation of the Garden Restoration and Maintenance Programmes in line with the Historical Survey. Her talent, creativity and eye for detail were instrumental in bringing back to life the beautiful Victorian Walled Garden that you see here today. Ann plays an integral part in determining what we stock in our shop and in all of our garden planting, which has been much appreciated by visitors to the site and to our garden centre over the years. With a strong background in meditation and holistic therapies, Ann is currently qualifying as a facilitator on our Social Horticultural Therapy course. She is also a wonderful source of information for our allotment holders and customers on all things related to gardening.
Darren Murphy – Gardener
Darren had a very varied career that spanned marketing, sales and finance in a large multinational prior to finding a new home here with us in Festina Lente. Working across a lot of key areas of the garden, Darren especially loves his work on the sensory trails and woodland meadows. He is also no stranger to annually cutting our 30foot tall yew hedges, which is not a task for the faint-hearted!!
With a diploma in international trade, he loves learning new things and his horticultural training is progressing well working with his garden colleagues. When not at work, Darren loves spending time with his family, working in his own garden, looking after the family dogs and going to the gym.
Sinéad works weekends in the buzz of the Garden Shop and welcomes the moments of joy and creativity the environment offers to sensory connect with plants and people. She also supports members of the Festina Lente learning community in their QQI Social and Therapeutic Horticulture accreditation journey. With her professional background as a lecturer and researcher in environmental management (PhD, FHEA), sustainable landscapes (including walking practices in rural and urban settings) and community participation, she serves as a facilitator in a diversity of cultural landscapes online and internationally. She offers engaging experiences for communities and organizations seeking to make meaningful connections and transformations as global citizens and enriches all encounters with her training and qualifications as a coach, artist, and body movement practitioner. She values the wisdom of Nature – both indoors and outdoors. As well as caring for microgreens in her apartment, herbs in a small allotment and wildflowers in a local community pollinator garden, she walks the sensory trail of Festina Lente Gardens, dance with the sea and baths with the forest.