The diploma gives students a year’s placement in three different gardens, to allowing them to build up a wealth of practical skills and learn from some of the best professional gardeners in the country.
Edward Rogers, Misako Kasahara, Misako Kasahara, Daniel Ainscough were all presented with certificates by trustee of the Studley College Trust, Bill Simpson at The Grove hotel, Hertfordshire, on Friday.
Misako Kasahara, who is now working at Kew Gardens, London, got a diploma with distinction. She spent a year each at the National Botanic Garden Wales, Windsor Great Park Buckinghamshire and Garden House, Devon.
Giulio Veronese also achieved a diploma with distinction. He works at Cambridge University Botanic Garden after training at Osborne House, Isle of Wight, the National Botanic Gardens Wales and Highgrove.
Edward Rogers, now at a private estate, received a diploma with higher credit after working at Garden House, Devon, Highgrove, Gloucestershire, and Waddestone Manor in Buckinghamshire.
Daniel Ainscough has opted to study for the higher diploma by spending a fourth year at Abbottswood House in Stow on the Wold. He received a diploma after working at Chatsworth House, Wadstone Manor and Abbottswood.
Veronese said: "It’s been a fantastic journey both horticulturally and sentimentally. It’s not all about plants, we’ve met some fantastic people. It’s about human relationships."
Ainscough and Kasahara both said that the doing the diploma had been well worth it because of the places where they were able to work.
The graduates all thought that the profile of the guild and of professional gardening should be raised, a topic discussed at the AGM, and were concerned that professional gardening was a career most young people were unaware of.
Rogers said: "It’s the wrong perception that gardeners just want to lean on their rake or keep their heads down, we do want to converse with the public. I’m very proud to receive this, the diploma is a challenge but well worth it, it’s been a thrill to meet so many brilliant gardeners."
In his report to the AGG PGG president John Humphris congratulated the graduates and thanked the head gardeners, estate owners and bursaries involved. He said that all seven of this year’s graduates had found suitable employment.
The PGG currently has 16 trainees on three-year traineeships and eight new trainees had started in June. He added that it was notable that the most of them were first career gardeners, rather than career changers.