Lauren Moore

Lauren an apprentice at RHS Garden Rosemoor

Lauren Moore

I changed career into horticulture. I have always pottered about in the garden at home over the years but decided to make the career change during the COVID-19 pandemic like many people. During the first couple of lockdowns in Northern Ireland I redesigned a steep, barren part of our garden to a tiered fruit and vegetable patch as they were hard to get in shops at the time and fell in love with gardening again. Seeing things grow, as well as the satisfaction of growing my own food was amazing. It brought me back to my childhood of helping my Nanna and Granddad in the garden.

After that it was quite hard to go back to work inside as I was always looking out the window wishing I was in the garden or wondering what I could do in the garden when I got home. I saw that there was an apprenticeship at RHS Garden Rosemoor, and thought it would be a great way of training and gaining entry into the industry. An apprenticeship is the perfect mix of studying, on-the-job training and practical experience all in one package. This means that you are fully ready for an industry job once you leave.

I enjoyed that the apprenticeship is very diverse, no two days are the same. One day you could be on the Formal Garden pruning Roses and mowing the lawns, the next you could be in the Woodland helping to formative prune some trees and taking out any invasive weeds. I also thoroughly enjoy the plant ident walks, being a self-confessed plant nerd it is very interesting to learn the Latin names of plants and how, when you break it down, it relates to the plants themselves as well as learning about their native growing habitat. The gardens are amazing with so many unique things packed in them and it is great to see them evolve over the course of the year.

Rosemoor is split in two, the Formal side and Lady Anne’s side of the garden. As an Apprentice you rotate through the teams (Lady Anne’s Garden, Formal Garden, Nursery and Edibles). I love working in the Mediterranean Garden as it used to be a Tennis court which Lady Anne converted. It is interesting to see the development of the area as well as the planting scheme. The Mediterranean themed especially as it is so well adapted to the free draining area. There are many small conifers, species tulips and different unusual coloured Cytisus subsp. which give it a very unique feel, it definitely does not feel like you are in Devon.  

I love working alongside knowledgeable people during placement and in my lectures, all of whom are very generous with their knowledge and encouragement. I also enjoy being with a cohort of intelligent, interesting peers who continually inspire and support me, and are just all-round lovely people.

I definitely would recommend the apprenticeship to others. A two-year apprenticeship is an excellent way of practising the knowledge and skills you gain from your time shared between the RHS and college and there is no shortage of opportunities to experience and build a wide network with other areas within the horticulture industry. You learn a lot within a short space of time which feels overwhelming at times but it is surprising how much you are taking in and how quickly you can apply it practically.

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