Gardening with the cream of the crop

Calling budding gardeners! There’s an exciting opportunity to learn specialist skills alongside the cream of the crop at Bodnant Garden and other top horticultural institutions in Wales.

The National Trust garden near Conwy is hosting an open day to showcase the work of the HHSS – Heritage Horticulture Skills Scheme – which is recruiting new applicants now.

Prospective trainees and employers are invited to come along to Bodnant Garden on Thursday, June 20, to meet current students and instructors from across Wales and to find out more about the prestigious scheme.

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Bodnant’s current HHSS student gardeners Keith Phelan and Richard Marriott with instructor Gemma Hayes

Bodnant Garden’s property administrator Rose James says: “If you fancy learning and training alongside the very best at Bodnant Garden or other high calibre gardens in Wales this scheme is for you!

 “Come along and find out more at our open day, which is also an opportunity for prospective employers to see the high quality training the HHSS offers.”

The HHSS is funded by Heritage Lottery Fund and offers traineeships at Bodnant Garden and Dyffryn Gardens (National Trust), at Aberglasney, PictonCastle, Portmerion and Plas Brondanw, and with Newport City Council, Cardiff City Council and St Fagans Natural History Museum.

Starting in September, up to 16 chosen trainees will get a £10,000 bursary from Lantra for 14-month placements at these organisations, where they will receive practical training in specialised, heritage horticultural techniques.

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Tractor training, just one of the many practical skills mastered by our HHSS students Keith and Richard

One of Bodnant Garden’s current HHSS students, Richard Marriott, says: “I have learnt so much already at Bodnant. The scheme is a fantastic mixture of theory and countless opportunities for hands-on gardening.

“It’s an invaluable opportunity to gain real life horticultural skills in a world class garden. It is great for your CV and stands you in good stead for a life long career in horticulture.”

The open day is from 10am to 4pm. More information is available at BodnantGarden on 01492 650460 or from the HHSS website at www.hhss.co.uk.

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