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Teenage Apprentice Gardeners

Posted by Jean Vernon on 22 Jul 2009 at 11:20 AM

Finally caught up with the entrepid Blue Peter Gardener, Chris Collins this morning. He's a busy bee and is working at the show all week in the Gardenin in Action Marquee, where visitors can enjoy an exciting programme of talks and demonstrations by RHS gardening advisors and invited guests.Make sure you check it out when you get to the show there are five sessions most days plus a Q&A session in the afternoons, Weds-Saturday.

He's been all over the show already and a few gardens have taken his eye. "I like the BTCV garden because I think it's been really well done, and that's quite hard to achieve with wildflowers, because you need to get it moved and to keep it all intact."

He's also very keen on the wonderful RHS/Ball Colegrave National Flower Bed Competition. "I trained on the parks so I'm a big bedding man and I love the eccentricity that goes with the bedding."

He's got another bee in his bonnet at the moment. "I like Tatton because it's more community based, my big thing at the moment is that I want to see more teenagers come into gardening, I want to see proper apprenticeships established again, we've got enough designers we need more gardeners.  Hopefully in the future the RHS will pioneer that a bit, well if I've got anything to do with it anyway. Any horticulturalist will tell you that we are running out of them. That'll be the next big thing. I pioneered the children thing and I'm going off to the next one now."

I like his thinking and fully applaud this idea. We need to instill some basic practical skills back into the next generation and give them a purpose. Horticulture is a fantastic industry to work in and there are so many different avenues to explore.

 And finally, anyone who is wondering what vegetable Chris Collins would be: " I'd be a yam," he laughs, "because I worked in Africa for quite a while and I got addicted to yams, I'm even and rough."


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