Natasha, who won a Student Scholarship of £1,000, while studying for a Level 3 Extended Diploma in Horticulture at Askham Bryan College in Askham Bryan, York, shares her news since receiving the scholarship…
“During my first year of studying for a Level 3 Diploma in Horticulture I have gained knowledge and skills in production, landscaping and grounds work. I have learnt about propagation, improving stock numbers, methods of planting commercially and growing on mass which has increased my interest in ornamental commercial horticulture. I have also learnt about planning and preparation for bedding areas and containers, learning about the importance of colour, texture, form and height and the importance of design when planting out in. Working on grounds, I have learnt the importance of maintenance, presentation and planting out bedding areas and containers. Whilst learning about landscaping I have learnt new skills and techniques including setting out an area, learning how to build a brick wall and I have constructed a pillar. Currently we are learning how to lay a path, which includes ensuring the area is level, using new equipment to assist with the setting out of the area and learning the correct laying technique to be used for the paving blocks to be laid. In the spring the college produced a show garden for the Harrogate Spring Flower Show that I worked on with fellow students and was able to use the skills and techniques that I have learnt this last year to help set out the layout for it and assist with the planting of the show garden.
The main area that I would like to work in within horticulture is either in production or grounds and my main aspiration is to work my way up to a managerial position or Head Gardener, while continuing to learn and build my knowledge as horticulture continues to change and adapt. I have just recently started working with a grounds team for the summer which I am really enjoying being able to put the skills and experience from the first year into practice.
In addition, I would like to thank The David Colegrave Foundation and say how extremely grateful I am for being awarding me a scholarship as it will enable me to continue studying next year and gain a Level 3 Extended Diploma in Horticulture qualification. I am looking forward to studying next year and as part of course there is work experience where we get to work within the industry, testing our knowledge and skills whilst also expanding on them. In addition, I am also looking forward to putting the skills and experience of the first year into practice as we get to design and build our own show garden. Also as I am studying for another year I will be able to expand my knowledge and skillset which will enable me work to the industry standards in horticulture.
Finally, it will also allow me to be fully prepared for my working career in horticulture with the hope of working up to a managerial position or Head Gardener one day; whilst continuing to build my knowledge and widen my skillset within the industry.”