Lewis grows his horticultural skills
Lewis Black’s teenage passion for bonsai plants is blossoming into a new career in horticulture at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE).
Lewis, (19), from Broxburn, has just started a Modern Apprenticeship at the Garden and will be working towards his SVQ Level 2 in Horticulture and Landscaping over the next two years.
After working for a couple of years in customer relations at Edinburgh Airport, the former Broxburn Academy pupil decided on a complete change of direction. He explained: “Although I enjoyed my job at the airport I spent a lot of my time at my desk and indoors. I decided it was time for a change, googled horticultural jobs and found information about the apprenticeship here at the Botanics. It was pure chance. I was delighted when I heard that I was the successful applicant.’’
Lewis added: “My first attempt at horticulture began with an interest in bonsai when I was 16. Within three months I had killed my first plant with over tending it. That didn’t deter me. I bought more bonsai plants and discovered how to grow them successfully. I am also a keen gardener but it is amazing how much I have learned during my first few weeks here at the Botanics.’’
Lewis, who has already spent time with the herbaceous and alpine teams, said he is particularly looking forward to joining the Garden’s Tree Team for work experience.
RBGE’s Curator of the Living Collection, David Knott, explained: “The Horticultural apprenticeship scheme at RBGE, introduced in 2011, provides an excellent opportunity to gain practical horticultural experience while working in the seven different Garden areas; arboriculture, alpine, display and research glasshouses, herbaceous, turf and nursery. At the same time the apprentices attend Oatridge College, in West Lothian, one day a week studying towards an SVQ Level 2 in Horticulture and Landscaping. On-the-job training and mentoring by RBGE staff is a real focus and, with one eye to the future, the apprentices could well be the Horticultural staff of the future.’’
For further information contact Sandra Donnelly on 0131 248 1037/07554115908 or Shauna Hay on 0131 248 2900/07824529028
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