Around 150 higher level (NVQ3+) students attended a busy workshop at Hadlow College organised by Palmstead Nurseries.
They came from a number of colleges across the South East: Hadlow in Kent, Writtle in Essex, Merrist Wood in Surrey, Oxford College of Garden Design and trainees from the Historic and Botanic Garden Bursary Scheme & National Trust.
Fergus Garret, Head Gardener at Great Dixter, told students to work hard, observe and learn and record what they see. He also gave them a mini masterclass in planting design principles.
Sue Biggs, Director General of the RHS, invited students to "dare to dream". Whilst Leigh Morris, President of the IoH, said they need a career plan to aim for and should join an industry body such as IoH, BALI, HTA/APL etc, and above all get involved and network.
Tom Hart-Dyke, who is a Plant Hunter and creator of Lullingstone World Garden, told students to ignore the informal barriers put in their way and if they want to so it just do it. Getting good experience on their CV's was also promoted with targeted volunteering for internships for gaining relevant experience.
Nick Coslett, Palmstead's Marketing & Sales Manager, was delighted with the day's attendance and reaction from students and tutors. "It's the industry's chance at putting something back because it is going to need every one of these people (Landscape Architects, Garden Designers, Landscape Managers, Head Gardeners and Growers) in the future," he added.
"The day was supported and complimented by a number of commercial companies with small exhibitions and special technical information seminars. These 'info-bursts' gave students the latest updates on technology and products and updated their tutors as well."
Palmstead's Soft Landscape Workshop for Professionals, now in it's 6th year, will be held on September 25, 2013.