HBGBS Study Tour 29th-31st May 2015

24 June, 2015

Our 1 year trainees recently went on their annual Study Tour, based at the Royal Agricultural University, Cirencester. A good time was had by all – here is a summary from Fiona of the weekend’s highlights:

We all met up at 4.30pm and had a pre-supper discussion on everyone’s progress during the last 8 months of their placements. A PowerPoint ‘Next Steps….updates and lessons learned’ opened up discussion on trainees’ recent experience of applications, writing CVs and handling interviews. What to wear at the interview was a hot topic!

Rockcliffe Garden: The Head Gardener Thomas Underdorfer, very kindly showed us around this fabulous garden. It is a private garden and the owners, Mr and Mrs Keswick, are very supportive of horticultural training.

We were joined by Sophieke Piebenger of the Gloucestershire Gardens and Landscape Trust who gave an added perspective form the landscaper’s point of view.

Then off to John Sales’ garden at Perrot’s Brook. John showed us around his three different meadows and explained his regimes for managing diversity in a meadow. The trainees enjoyed a picnic in the garden with John and Lynn.

Our last garden of the day was by no means the least! Rodmarton Manor was a beautiful collection of extended gardens in a bucolic setting. It is managed by the sole gardener and devoted owner, Mr Biddulph.

Our guest for the evening was Pam Smith who spoke about the work of PlantNetwork, as well as giving us some interesting insight into her career in horticulture.


Ernest Wilson Memorial Garden, Chipping Campden: I love this garden. It’s very small and modest and yet we all get so much out of it. It is the best kind of learning –I think we can all rattle off at least a dozen plants introduced by Ernest Wilson! I am sure we all left with a far greater appreciation of his contribution to the world of horticulture.

Hidcote Manor Garden: Well, what can you say? It’s fabulous. We were shown around by Collette Barnes of the National Trust and then left to wander around and soak up the atmosphere and discover the ‘rooms’ for ourselves. We had our picnic in the garden mess room (dodging the rain entirely!).

Kiftsgate Court: This is always a great end to the weekend. It surprises, charms and wows in equal proportion. The Kiftsgate rose was not out but was threatening to engulf at least three mature oak trees. It was interesting to meet a member of the Indian Rose Society there too.

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