Garden seeks stars of the future

The National Botanic Garden of Wales is launching an apprentice scheme for young gardeners of the future.

The new scheme, announced in May, was described by Curator Simon Goodenough as “an inspiring innovation for the Garden and for horticulture in Wales”. Recruitment will begin shortly with the first placements starting in September 2015. The scheme is being funded by a supporter of the Garden.

Simon said: “The Garden is a centre for horticultural excellence and this news is timely and appropriate. The value of a career in horticulture, with the many openings and opportunities now available, is becoming more widely acknowledged. Our apprentice scheme will give chosen individuals the training, qualifications and confidence to begin a horticultural career. It will also help to fill the current skills gap.”

The scheme will comprise a two-year training programme run in close liaison with Coleg Sir Gar and, ideally, will see two apprentices being taken on every year. The scheme will include day-release and work placements to enable apprentices to obtain recognised qualifications in horticulture and to experience different aspects of the industry.

The benefactor, Patrick Daniell, has been working closely with the Garden to establish the scheme. Patrick admires the Garden for its ethos and the enthusiasm of its staff and volunteers. He hopes that, through the scheme, the interest and benefits he has experienced from horticulture and the values he places on good training and confidence building will be passed on to others.

The National Botanic Garden of Wales is a registered charity, partly funded by the Welsh Government and Carmarthenshire County Council.

It is open from 10am to 6pm with last entry at 5pm. Admission to the Garden is £9.75 (including Gift Aid) for adults and £4.95 for children over 5. Entry is FREE for Garden members and parking is free for all.

For more information about this new scheme or anything else Garden-related, call 01558 667149 or email