Posted by: sweetpea | June 11, 2007

Missing the boat!

I think I probably mentioned a while back now that I have finally realised what I want to do career wise!  It’s taken a long while, but Horticulture is definitely it. I’m still not sure whether I want to go into the design side or the gardening side.  I love the physical side of gardening, but I’m also a creative person which is why I think Garden design appeals (or possibly even Landscape Architecture).

Anyhow I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about training.  I know I have an awful lot to learn, but I’m very keen and rearing to go, the only thing is that I seem to keep missing the boat! Because I can’t really afford to give up work even part-time to fund a college/uni course long-term I’ve been looking out for other options.  The first of which was a one year training placement with the RHS, but unfortunately I found out about it too late to apply this year!  Then after enjoying my Garden Design evening course, I decided I’d like to take that further, but have to wait until September for the course to start, but at least I should have no problem getting on it.  However I’ve had this niggle in the back of mind that maybe I haven’t got enough gardening knowledge behind me for the garden design course so maybe I’d be better off trying to do a horticulture course first.

With this in mind I have just done a google search for trainee gardener positions, I figured this would be the best way for me to learn as books etc just don’t work as well with me!And I came across the National Trust trainee scheme which sounds like just what I’m looking for, except that I’ve missed the boat again for this year.  So the plan at the moment is to go ahead and do the Garden Design course this September, and then apply for both the RHS and National trust schemes and hope that I’m accepted on one of them although I know competition is going to be very tough.



  1. Very best of luck to you. I wen throught this dilemma myself a few years ago. I live just a few miles away from Hadlow Horticultural College, which offer some of the most highly acclaimed garden and landscape design courses in Europe. I got the stage of the Head of Department e-mailing regularly,trying to get me to persuade me to enroll on a three year course, and my them employers were willing to let me go part time……but whichever way I looked at it, I couldn’t accomodate the associated loss of earnings for such a long period. It was 3 days a week, plus homework.

    I know the National Trust scheme is well respected, and quite a lot of people have gone on to permanent positions elsewhere on the
    strgengh of it. ( was at Chartwell last week, where they are restoring the walled kitchen garden among other things)

    I now have a vague plan of combining my interests in photography and writing once I have moved house, and trying to get some freelance garden and countryside journalistic work.

    I hope things work out for you!


  2. Based on the appalling number of errors in my previous comment however, it is to be hoped that my typing skills improve dramatically, if I am going to make any headway at all in journalism!

    I promise that I can spell – I just have sausage fingers.


  3. Thanks GM, I’m pretty sure if you were writting a journalism piece you would double check thoroughly for mistakes, and don’t they have proof readers or something that also check for mistakes, although come to think of it it’s sometimes amazing the number of mistakes you can come across in magazines! Your plan sounds good, good luck with it.
    I hope things work out too, I know I can’t bank on getting a training position but I’ll be trying my hardest next year and in the meantime try and swat up on as much as I can and hope that some of it at least stays embedded in my brain! I have a feeling that the lottie will have to take a back seat next year at least.

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