Sussex Life - - Front Page -

John My­ers, head gar­dener at Fairlight Hall, went from the cor­po­rate world to start­ing his own gar­den­ing busi­ness. He trained for three years at Royal Botanic Gar­dens Kew spe­cial­is­ing in glasshouse hor­ti­cul­ture. He took on his cur­rent role last year. “My job in­cludes many dif­fer­ent as­pects from or­gan­is­ing the day-to-day run­ning of the gar­den and man­ag­ing the gar­den­ing team, mak­ing plans for the fu­ture of the gar­den, train­ing staff, sea­sonal tasks, giv­ing talks and tak­ing gar­den tours, plan­ning for events and ad­min­is­tra­tion to name just a few,” he says. “I re­ally en­joy work­ing with in­ter­est­ing plants there is al­ways some­thing new to learn and there is never a dull mo­ment. “Any­one think­ing about a ca­reer in hor­ti­cul­ture should do some re­search on which area of hor­ti­cul­ture you’d like to work in, get some work ex­pe­ri­ence or vol­un­teer, and get your qual­i­fi­ca­tions, RHS Level Two qual­i­fi­ca­tion or equiv­a­lent are a good start. I be­lieve you need to be pas­sion­ate about the area of hor­ti­cul­ture you want to work in. Skills, good plant knowl­edge and ex­pe­ri­ence will fol­low.

“When­ever I look at some­one’s CV I like to see some­one who is proac­tive; pro­duc­tive with the right kind of qual­i­fi­ca­tions and knowl­edge.

“At Fairlight Hall I have started an ap­pren­tice­ship for those look­ing for a ca­reer in hor­ti­cul­ture. Our ap­pren­tice goes to col­lege one day a week to gain their qual­i­fi­ca­tions, but also gains a well rounded hor­ti­cul­ture knowl­edge and ex­pe­ri­ence. We also take on up to two Work and Re­train As a Gar­dener Scheme [WRAGS] trainees an­nu­ally. I have started a vol­un­teers’ scheme, our vol­un­teers help us enor­mously, as well as gain­ing valu­able ex­pe­ri­ence, ba­sic train­ing and a ref­er­ence if they need one when ap­ply­ing for hor­ti­cul­tural jobs.”

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