Me & My Job - Samantha Jackson, trainee gardener, RHS Rosemoor

Samantha Jackson, trainee gardener, RHS Rosemoor - image: HW

- How did you get started in the industry?

I was working in social care in Hampshire, then left to care for my dad and re-evaluated and went travelling, and thought about what I wanted to do. I was interested in horticulture and moved in with a friend in London and enrolled at Capel Manor. I was there for two years part-time and worked for a garden maintenance company. I want to stay in touch with Mr Fothergill's too after winning the Capel Manor highest skills in plant care award. The bursary is most welcome as I take the next step in my horticultural career. I'm working as a growing and gardening assistant during the summer in Raymond Blanc's Michelin-starred Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons organic kitchen garden in Oxfordshire. It's a three-month placement working alongside the gardening team and dealing with all aspects of gardening in the vegetable garden.

- What was the best thing about your course?

The support from the staff was fantastic and the gardens are amazing with their variety of plants all year round. I did a BTEC level 3 diploma in horticulture and a level 2 certificate in garden design.

- And the worst?

It's a shame I was not introduced to horticulture when I was younger. Horticulture was never an option and never mentioned unless you were doing biology or another science. There were younger kids in the class at Capel, aged 18-19, but for me it was never thought of and it is a shame careers advisers don't talk about it more.

- What are your plans for the future?

I'm at Le Manoir until the end of the summer in the kitchen garden then onto RHS Rosemoor for a year doing the traineeship. I'm interested in horticultural therapy because of my background in social care.

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