Mount Stewart Gardens (National Trust)
Location: County Down, Northern Ireland
Mount Stewart is a 1,000-acre Irish Country Estate on the shores of Strangford Lough and enjoys one of the mildest microclimates of any garden in the British Isles. Considered to be one of the most outstanding gardens in the world, the formal gardens are a series of garden rooms, each themed by Edith, Lady Londonderry and created during her 38-year stay at Mount Stewart. The planting is rich, complex and exotic and in the wider woodland gardens surrounding the lake, is one of the most diverse plant collections in the British Isles.
The garden is constantly being developed and there are several exciting projects underway including the restoration and replanting of the Lily Wood and restoring the Rhododendron Wood.
Trainees will learn about the impact of climate change in the context of a coastal garden with all the most up-to-date climate modelling. They will also work alongside the horticultural team, creating breathe taking seasonal displays. They will also gain experience in propagation, pruning, planting, as well as in maintenance work such as mowing, strimming, hedge cutting, weeding, path maintenance. The garden has a wide range of machinery and has dedicated propagation and composting areas.
Trainees will be interacting with visitors and assisting with interpretation work to enhance the visitor experience.
Placements available: One
Staff numbers: 8 full-time gardeners; 4 part-time; 1 HBGTP trainee; 60 volunteers
Ease of access: The nearest station is Bangor (10 miles away). There is also a bus from Belfast to Portaferry which stops at the garden. Newtonards (5 miles away) is the nearest town with supermarkets and other amenities.
Accommodation: No dedicated accommodation available.