One of the questions frequently asked by our garden visitors is “Do you have students here?”
Yes we do!
Although we have work experience youngsters from school and older people on short term placements, sometimes from colleges; our main `gang of three` (this year Katie, Peter and James) arrive in September and stay for a year to study for the RHS Certificate in Practical Horticulture.
The course is quite demanding and calls for each student to put in a lot of their own time in order to pass.
As well as working with us garden staff on a day to day basis, they have to complete a six thousand word dissertation on a horticultural theme and acquire numerous practical skills (tractor driving, strimming, etc). They also have to plant, maintain and be judged on their own vegetable plot, and take twice monthly plant identification tests!
Starting work on the allotments
As a preliminary to the test two weeks later, the students are taken to see the plants growing in the garden by a member of staff specialising in the group selected.
The end of June means it’s me and my group; the summer perennials!
Clip boards at the ready with (left to right) Katy, Peter, me and James
I really enjoy it, not only because I like talking with the students about plants but because we can go “beyond the textbooks” and see how and where they grow at their best in a garden environment…(the plants, not the students!)
Here I am talking to the students about Iris ensata 'Rose Queen'
Over the past few years a number of our students have gone on to join our permanent staff, which is good for them and good for us too!
For more information on opportunities with the RHS follow the link: