January 3, 2024
Saying ‘cut’ to television and ‘action’ to landscaping
Angelica Deveros was awarded a $1,000 Post-Secondary Scholarship from the Ontario Horticultural Trades Foundation in 2022. She graduated from Humber College’s Landscape Technician program this past April and looks forward to making her mark in landscaping design.

For Deveros, landscaping is a second career. She spent 18 years working in live broadcast television, but ultimately decided it wasn’t the right fit.

“I decided I wanted to make a change and do something that wasn’t so sedentary,” said Deveros. “During COVID-19, I started liking gardening since I was outside so much. I bought a house and it was the first time I had a garden to tend to for myself.”

Did you have any exposure to horticulture before Humber?

Nothing in a business sense, just myself doing it and playing around in the garden. Aside from watering plants for my parents when I was younger, I didn’t have any exposure otherwise.

What was your favourite part of studying landscaping and horticulture?

I really loved plant studies. We had to memorize over 400 plants and learn the characteristics, the common names, the scientific names, the families, and be able to recite them and write them out. There’s something really cool about walking along the streets and being like, “Hey, did you know that’s that?” We barely scratched the surface of the plants that are out there, and I thought that was really cool.

What are your plans post-graduation?

A friend of mine — who’s another recent graduate from Humber — and I decided to start a little garden design business called No Place Like Home Garden Consulting. We started in May 2023.

Basically, we work with residential homeowners who want to do the work themselves but don’t know where to start. We go in and help them out and consult with issues they’re having. Mostly what we’ve done is design, so we’ve designed gardens to fit their needs. Afterwards, we give them a package that tells them what to do to winterize and how to take care of them.

I’m now trying to look into more design. I’m trying to decide what I want to do that’s more full time.

Are you planning on pursuing more education?

My plans right now are not to. I’m always up for learning more — I have been looking at some jobs that require a little more education if I want to go further — so it’s not out of the cards. I’m 38, so I don’t know if I want to spend any more time in school right now. You don’t know what the future holds, right? I’m not opposed to it if it would help my career.

What is your biggest goal or dream for your future career in the profession?

I really like design, so it would be cool to do something on a larger scale where you could design for a park or for a city. I don’t know if that’s feasible, but it’s a dream. In 20 years, who knows what could happen? For me, the dream would be to design gardens all day long.

How did you hear about the Foundation scholarships?

Our teachers told us about them. One of our teachers was always looking out for his students and really cared and would tell us about all these things. We also had a lot of speakers talk to us — we had someone from Landscape Ontario speak to our class.

How did receiving this scholarship benefit you?

It was really helpful because I was working two or three television shifts a week while in school, which could be stressful and take away from what I want to focus on. It gave me a chance to take two shifts instead of three, and then focus my attention more on school and give it all I could and take everything I could from it.

Do you have any advice for people considering a career change?

If you can afford to give it the time you should try. If it doesn’t pan out, it doesn’t matter. You gave it a try, and you learned something. Honestly, I really enjoyed learning again, and using my brain in a way that I hadn’t done in 17 or 18 years. You’re always learning, but there’s something about opening a book and testing your knowledge. Don’t be afraid to be the oldest person in the class.

There’s something powerful about doing something different. If you’re not happy, what’s the worst thing that could happen?