The Horticultural Trades Association has announced that Helen MacDonald of Merryhatton Garden Centre in East Lothian, near Edinburgh, has been appointed to the role of HTA Council Representative for Scotland. Helen replaces Simon Fraser who stepped down at the last meeting following his appointment to the Board.
Helen’s interest in plants began at an early age helping in her parent’s nursery, which led her to study horticulture at university. Before Merryhatton, Helen worked for Lauder College helping new business start-ups and then with Scottish Enterprise on the Investors in People programme. Merryhatton was a run-down market garden when Helen bought it in January 1997 and she says that developing it into the modern garden centre and café that it is today has been her dream job. Helen comments: “I regard myself as exceptionally fortunate, I can’t think of many other industries where people are so friendly and – like me – seem to gain so much job satisfaction”.
Merryhatton has been developed with a strong focus on valuing people and the local community and Helen is particularly proud of her team who regularly win awards for their customer service.
Helen continues: “Having seen the industry gain widespread recognition for the important contribution it makes to society and to the economy, I believe that it is currently in an excellent position to move forward. I am encouraged with the direction the Association is taking to support the membership and to develop the industry. I am looking forward to joining the Council to represent Scottish member’s views.”