Courses show lack of real-world awareness, says Beardshaw

Some horticulture courses are still failing to meet the demanding needs of a specialist industry, TV gardener Chris Beardshaw has warned.

Beardshaw said the industry's failure to shake off its image problem combined with ongoing skills shortages were hampering recruitment into the sector.

"Having spent years in education, I still find it increasingly frustrating that modern-day courses in some cases don't actually relate to what goes on in the real world," said Beardshaw.

"I still meet people who have no concept of the complexity of hard landscaping and planting design. Colleges are faced with a real challenge to provide sufficient knowledge for students in the short time they're at college."

Beardshaw launched his own mentoring scholarship last year. Budding horticulturists compete for the chance to spend a year working alongside the RHS medal-winning designer.

Last year 15 people had applied but this year 80 applications are in and Beardshaw expects the figure to rise to 150.

Beardshaw's first scholar, Lindsay Anglin, from Bristol, won an RHS gold medal for her Bradstone Bacchus Garden at the Malvern Autumn Show last weekend. She set up her design practice Green & Stone after gaining a garden design diploma from Pickard School of Garden Design and will build an urban garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in May, under Beardshaw's supervision.

Anglin said: "It's the launch of my career as a garden designer."

Beardshaw will reveal the second winner of his mentoring scheme in May.

- Horticulture is set to be given a boost when gardening returns to prime-time BBC One in November for the first time since Ground Force was axed. Beardshaw will team up with Nick Knowles to present Wild About Your Garden, a six-part series that transforms back gardens from no-go areas into wildlife havens.


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

IoG Saltex 2017 - Kit showcase

IoG Saltex 2017 - Kit showcase

Mowers, turf care, battery equipment, seeds, arboriculture kit and weed control will all see a wide range of new releases at Saltex, Sally Drury reports.

Get set for Saltex 2017

Get set for Saltex 2017

This year's Saltex show at the NEC in Birmingham offers something for everyone, says Sally Drury.

Horticulture education update - staying on course

Horticulture education update - staying on course

Raised levels of investment in horticulture education and increased student take-up is welcome news for the industry, says Rachel Anderson.


Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

IOG Saltex

Get set for IoG Saltex 2017 with our comprehensive show guide and exhibitor info.

Jeremy Barrell On...

Jeremy Barrell

Tree consultant Jeremy Barrell reflects on the big issues in arboriculture.

Products & Kit Resources