Plumpton College students gain essential skills to build horticulture careers

Peter Fieldwick, horticultural lecturer at Plumpton college in West Sussex, and his students have undertaken work to renovate an overgrown part of the grounds and turn it into a winter interest garden.

The students are working towards a level 1 diploma in horticulture, which is a course at foundation level for those who have learning difficulties or low prior attainments.

They divided and replanted Leucanthemum mixed with Allium bulbs in the front border and planted a mixture of evergreen and deciduous shrubs including three types of Cornus, Sarcoccoca confusa, Euonymus alatus, Mahonia x media ‘Charity’, Deutzia gracilis, Daphne odora ‘Aureomarginata’ , Skimmia japonica ‘Rubella’ and Enkianthus campanulatus. The idea of planting this mixture was to give students the students an idea of how plants are not just at their best during the peak summer season.

Fieldwick approached Evergreen Exterior Services for plants as he has worked with them in the past both buying plants from them and selling to them. He said: "They were more than happy to sponsor us to the sum of £200 off of our order with them as they are very keen to support students working towards a career in the industry.

"All of the work has been undertaken in house by my Level 1 cohort of students but the college as a whole has close ties to the industry whilst working to improve the grounds over the coming year. The college offers a comprehensive range of apprenticeships for those who wish to train their workforce in addition to full time courses for those in full time education.

"Students on the level 1 course progress to level 2 courses in horticulture or hard landscaping or move to  a supported internship programme which gives them the skills needed when moving into the workplace as well as relevant work experience in the part of the industry that interests them."

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