Gabor, who won the £1,000 British Protected Ornamentals Association (BPOA) – Peter Seabrook Bursary while studying Production horticulture level 2 at Myerscough College, shares his news since receiving the scholarship…

“Thank you so much for awarding me the British Protected Ornamentals Association (BPOA) – Peter Seabrook Bursary.

I work as a grower at Lovania Nurseries Ltd. from 2009 to present day, during this time I have learned many growing techniques. Over the years I have worked with over 600 varieties and developed a knowledge of there needs and treatments. Initially I started to grow bedding plants, after that I learned to look after ornamentals, perennials, alpines, bulbs and shrubs.
The plants we grow are exposed to the widest variety of diseases and pests. I have a hunger to learn methods for treating ill or infected plants. We have so many chemicals available on the market, that are possible to spray on the plants to control pests and disease, but lots of them are very dangerous for the environment, bees or human health. I would like to know more information about pest and disease control chemicals, also I would like to work out a new spraying program to minimise the environmental damage and effect on human health and bees.
My goal is to replace the synthetic chemicals with organic products and use biological control throughout the entire year. I am fortunate that the company I work for is open to new ideas and my manager Steven Massam helps me to learn more from growing and from the biological control.

British Protected Ornamentals Association (BPOA) – Peter Seabrook Bursary has put me one big step closer to achieving my goals. I am studying at Myerscough College, where I learn Production horticulture level 2, the bursary gave me the chance to continue my study in Production horticultural level 3, I can continue this now thanks to the bursary.
This foundation also gave me the opportunity to travel and do QA Level 3 Award In First Aid At Work (QCF) instead of Level 1. I want to learn more from the pests and biological control too. The bursary meant that I could develop my learning by buying a couple of books like “Pests of Ornamental Trees, Shrubs and Flowers”, these books describe in detail the insect varieties and their life cycles with photos and diagrams and like “Biological Pest Control, The Glasshouse Experience”, where I can find lots of information on biological control. When I was attending the AHDB workshop Diamondback Moth Seminar in January 2017, I realised how important it is to recognise the insect varieties.
The bursary helped me to buy a digital microscope with high zoom capability to identify the insect varieties, which helps us to correctly select the pesticide or biological control to use and my colleagues can also use it as well. In the winter time the company grows a wide range of bulb varieties and inside the heated glasshouse the mice appear.
To extend my knowledge of pests, the bursary helped me to start one other course next to the college, this is the RSPH Level 2 Award in the Safe Use of Rodenticides course. This course will help me to control the rodents safely and minimise the plant damage. At work we use and store fertilisers and mechanical equipment, I feel the need to learn more about fire safety and safe storage of all chemicals, fertilisers and equipment.
The bursary gave me one other opportunity after the pest control course, I would like to do Level 2 Fire Safety for Fire Marshals Course (QCF).

I constantly strive to improve myself and I am open to new ideas when I attend conferences and seminars such as the BPOA Conference in January.”