Jake Jackson from Cheshire, who won a Student Scholarship of £1,000 while studying for a BSC in Landscape Architecture at Reaseheath College, after already completing a Level 3 Extended Diploma in Horticulture, shares his news since receiving the scholarship… “The DCF Student scholarship was a great opportunity to increase my knowledge within the horticultural industry. Since being awarded the scholarship, I have had a very successful first year studying for a BSC in Landscape Architecture. I have now started my second year.
I have used a portion of the grant to help with my studies. As an example, we were tasked with producing a number of professional standard drawings and various design work, using the money from the grant, I was able to purchase a number of isograph pens and other high specification drawing equipment, which meant that I could complete the work to a higher standard.
One of the tasks on the BSC course was to design a garden that would suit a small area. I chose to incorporate my interests of commercial production and new varieties of plants. The main focus was a greenhouse with high specification LED lighting, filled with Sundavilles (which are a new variety of Dipladenia). Every year, all student designs are put forward to Reaseheath college, who then choose the best to be made into a show garden at the RHS Tatton show in the ‘back to back’ category. My garden design was chosen, and the garden went on to be awarded a silver medal which was an incredible achievement. The experience I gained both designing and building the garden this year was invaluable and has inspired me to submit a design for next year’s RHS Tatton show in the ‘Young Designer of the Year’ category – this is a garden on a much larger scale, which will require more attention to detail, but I look forward to the challenge that this will bring.
Outside of my studies I enjoy propagating and growing large blooms of both Dahlias and Chrysanthemums. The scholarship allowed me to purchase a large variety of tubers and plants that I can then propagate from and create large cut flower blooms. I exhibited my blooms at a local show and gained valuable experience in staging and tips from other growers. This year was also the first year in growing giant onions. I was able to purchase high quality seed and gain links within the NVS. I purchased a number of large pots, compost and various nutrients for the plants to grow in. After a year’s growing my final onion weighed 5lb and won the local show. Hopefully next year I will beat my record with the knowledge I gained and enter a larger show such as Harrogate or Malvern.
I am also hoping to gain more experience working within the commercial horticulture sector and also visit as many growers and businesses within the industry where possible to create new links for the future.
Finally, I would like to thank all at the David Colegrave foundation for the incredible opportunity, helping me to further my knowledge and to gain experience that I otherwise wouldn’t have been able to. I am incredibly thankful.”