Matthew Bryant

Matthew Bryant

Horticultural Apprentice

Working as a member of the Horticulture team in the Garden, this apprentice position is intended for someone motivated to pursue a career as a professional horticulturist and will enable you, to get a qualification while developing your horticultural skills and contributing to the maintenance and development of the Garden. All staff are expected to support and contribute to the Garden’s core mission of conservation, education, sustainable development and enjoyment of the visitor.
Key Duties and Responsibilities
1. Participating with in-house practical training in all aspects of garden management and maintenance, working alongside our skilled horticulturists, horticulture trainees and volunteers leading to the City & Guilds Level 2 Diploma in Work-based Horticulture (QCF). This will involve informal work-based assessments including plant identification and keeping a work diary.
2. Contributing consistently and responsibly, both individually and as team members, together with others to horticultural responsibilities in the Garden. This includes, but is not limited to: specific horticultural skills development; contributing ideas for improvements; and taking personal responsibility for increasing your own levels of skill and competence.
3. Apprentices will be rotated around the different areas of the Garden under the guidance of experienced horticulturists, so as to gain practical experience and skills with each of the Horticultural Teams. This will include propagation and nursery maintenance; development and maintenance of tropical and mediterranean collections in glasshouses; working with the trees and parkland team; and care and general amenity of plantings and vegetable cultivation in the Double Walled Garden and Broadwalk.
4. Apprentices will be expected to take part in placements/exchanges of approximately 4 weeks over 2 years with other partner gardens or horticultural businesses, and will be encouraged to participate and gain confidence in public engagement activities and giving presentations.
5. Opportunities to gain appropriate NPTC qualifications will be provided.
6. Participation in training through day release leading to the successful achievement of RHS Level 2 Certificate in the Principals of Horticulture. This will involve formal taught courses and assessments.

MAIN WORK TASKS will include:
7. General border maintenance, i.e. weeding, pruning, digging, mulching.
8. Assistance with grass-cutting and other operations using a range of machinery. Day-to-day care and routine maintenance of the machinery.
9. Maintenance of the glasshouse collections, i.e. watering, potting-on, fertilising, pruning. Understanding the impact and control of different aspects of the glasshouse environment.
10. Propagation of new material for the hardy and tender collections.
11. Assisting with the development of new areas and site-wide planting.
12. Maintenance of accurate records of the plant collections.
13. Taking account of Health and Safety in horticultural operations both in relation to personal health and welfare, and that of others.
14. Taking part in the weekend watering rota (currently approximately one weekend in six but under review) for which time off in lieu is given.
15. Undertaking any other duties as reasonably required by your line manager

I am developing horticultural skills such as pruning and propagation and increasing my practical ability through working in the garden with experienced staff members. I am working in different areas of the garden learning about plants from different climates whilst helping with the maintenance and development of the garden.
As part of my apprenticeship I am undertaking the C&G Level 2 Diploma in Work-based Horticulture and the RHS level 2 Certificates in Principles of Horticulture course college courses too increase my horticultural theoretical knowledge.