Join the Team

Training Opportunities

Our training covers a wide range of practical horticultural skills including the maintenance of shrub, perennial and annual flower borders, lawn care, bulb planting, pruning and the propagation and raising of plants under glass.

As part of the students’ year with us, they will undertake a couple of assignments to inspire their love of plants and developing a garden area and short term placements at partner gardens or nurseries to suit the individual. 

Students will work closely with our gardens team and volunteers under the supervision of our Head Gardener and Senior horticulturalist and trainer in a safe and supportive learning environment.

If you’re hardworking, have a passion for horticulture and are looking for practical experience to advance your career, then we’re the place for you. 

Aberglasney Bursary

A 12-month funded learning and training opportunity at Aberglasney Gardens with optional subsidised accommodation is available.

The chosen students will gain a full year’s experience at our historic and diverse garden. Training is currently non-accredited, however they will be given the option to carry out accredited training and assessment at Aberglasney during the course of the year.

Applicants must be over 18 and should be able to demonstrate at least 6 months practical experience in a voluntary or paid position at a garden or horticultural establishment.

Applications are now open for 2024. Please use the form below or send an email to headgardener@aberglasney.org. The closing date for applications is May 1st.

Training Opportunities 

Our training covers a wide range of practical horticultural skills including the maintenance of shrub, perennial and annual flower borders, lawn care, bulb planting, pruning and the propagation and raising of plants under glass. 

As part of the students’ year with us, they will undertake a couple of assignments to inspire their love of plants and developing a garden area and short term placements at partner gardens or nurseries to suit the individual.  

Students will work closely with our gardens team and volunteers under the supervision of our Head Gardener and Senior horticulturalist and trainer in a safe and supportive learning environment.  

If you’re hardworking, have a passion for horticulture and are looking for practical experience to advance your career, then we’re the place for you. 

Aberglasney Bursary 

A 12-month funded learning and training opportunity at Aberglasney Gardens with optional subsidised accommodation is available. 

The chosen students will gain a full year’s experience at our historic and diverse garden. Training is currently non-accredited, however they will be given the option to carry out accredited training and assessment at Aberglasney during the course of the year. 

Applicants must be over 18 and should be able to demonstrate at least 6 months practical experience in a voluntary or paid position at a garden or horticultural establishment. 

Applications are now open for 2024. Please use the form below or send an email to headgardener@aberglasney.org. The closing date for applications is May 1st.

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    Student Testimonials

    Aberglasney’s 2022 Student Bursary winner, Jacky Hall, has replaced the noise of working at music festivals for the tranquillity of learning all about gardening. Jacky has recently started the 12-month funded training opportunity at the Gardens in Carmarthenshire where she is enjoying learning new gardening techniques in the peaceful surroundings. 

    Jacky grew up in south Shropshire but has spent the past decade living and working in Manchester. She studied English Literature and Music at the University of Sheffield which led her to working in the arts and charity sector, often in events, in particular music festivals including Glastonbury. One summer she worked at eight different music festivals! 

    Jacky said, “A few years ago I felt ready for a career change. When I worked at the music festivals I would be living in a tent on site at each one. Although I loved working in events I was ready to stay in one place rather than constantly moving around. Gardening has always been part of my life and as a child I had to earn my pocket money by helping my parents in their garden.” 

    In 2019 Jacky began volunteering one day a week in the garden at Ordsall Hall, a Tudor mansion in Salford. The gardens there are small but a beautiful green space for the local community in an otherwise very urban area. The Head Gardener encouraged her to apply for the Heritage Historic and Botanic Garden Training Programme (HBGTP) scheme and she was successfully offered a full-time placement at Ness Botanic Gardens in Cheshire for a year from September 2021. 

    Claire Margetts was with us in 2021/22 thanks to a successful application onto the coveted English Heritage Historic and Botanic Garden Training Programme (HBGTP). 

    Claire says: “My love of horticulture started at home in west Wales, growing up on a plants nursery and Arboretum but grew whilst visiting unique natural plant habitats and visitor gardens during a 15-year career in partnership and commercial development which took me all over the world, including Japan, Madeira, the Amazon; and the Arctic for a leading two-year climate science project. 

    During 2020, I volunteered at Iford Manor under the tutelage of Troy Scott-Smith, studied for my RHS Level 2 diploma and up-started a regenerative garden business for clients on the Fonthill Estate, Wiltshire. However, as a career changer, I was looking for a professional springboard to immerse me in an exceptional historic garden management setting, in which to gain the plantsmanship and high level on-the-tools skills I so desperately needed to advance as a strong member of a historic garden team – cue HBGTP scheme. 

    Choosing Aberglasney out of all the incredible gardens on the scheme was a no brainer for me. Kew trained Head Gardener Joseph Atkins has a history of nurturing the next horticultural talent and is an incredibly knowledgeable and passionate plants person, although this more often than not results in a rather challenging plant ident test! 

    The Aberglasney experience is driven, exciting and the team of staff, students and volunteers are inspiring – it feels like home. I have a lifelong connection to Wales – I was fortunate to grow up here, I studied Law at Aberystwyth University and my first jobs were at howies and the Do Lectures in Cardigan. I am drawn to Wales’ sense of place and unique creativity, which is evident in the layers of history and planting design at Aberglasney. 

    My future aspirations are to build upon the plant knowledge and garden management skills Aberglasney has instilled in me. One day to become a Head Gardener following in the footsteps of my great-great grandfather’s who was head gardener at Norton Hall, Chipping Campden (in the 1911 census living in Gardeners Cottage with his family).” 

    Claire has recently started as the National Trust’s first ever horticulture scholar, studying at the world-famous Sissinghurst Castle Garden in Kent. She was selected from 59 candidates as the inaugural recipient of the Sissinghurst Scholarship, designed to cultivate the Head Gardeners of the future. 

    Claire will spend the next 18 months gaining practical hands-on experience in the art and craft of horticulture, with a particular focus on the approach of the garden’s founders, Vita Sackville-West and Harold Nicolson. 

    Claire said: “The pull of applying to be a part of the traditions and practices used by Vita and Harold, under the tuition of Head Gardener Troy Scott-Smith and his team, was irresistible.” 

    Stefano Ciabo was also a successful recipient of the 2021 Bursary places alongside Claire. As well as the traineeship at Aberglasney he also completed the RHS level 2 certificate in the Principles of Horticulture having previously attended lessons at the University of Bristol Botanic Garden. 

    Stefano moved to the UK from Italy to study Garden Design. 

    Stefano said, “Working at Aberglasney has enforced my idea that I want to pursue a career in gardening, especially as it is so good working with a group of talented horticulturists, students and volunteers as part of a team that runs a heritage site that is open to the public.” 

    Stefano has secured a place to continue his training in 2023. He is now studying at the Inner Temple Garden on the banks of the river Thames in London. The Inner Temple is an unincorporated membership association which has existed in the centre of London since the 14th Century. The Inns of Court hold the exclusive right to call students to practise law at the Bar of England and Wales. The Inner Temple Garden is open to the public on weekdays. 

    Vacancies

    If you are looking for part time work or a seasonal role, we might have a place for you in our Tearooms.

    Varied roles can be found in our team, with flexibility around the hours you work. Weekend and occasional evening work is also available. 

    Please enquire via emailing tearooms@aberglasney.org

    Volunteering

    The work of our dedicated volunteers is vital to the success of Aberglasney. We particularly welcome the interest of those interested in volunteering with the gardening team. Sometimes suitable voluntary roles can be found in the shop, office or events – this depends on whether your experience, skills and interests can be matched to the work undertaken in these areas.

    If you’re interested in joining the team, please email admin@aberglasney.org or call 01558 668998. 

    Student Accommodation

    On-site accommodation is in a beautiful barn conversion attached to the garden with individual bedrooms and shared cooking and lounge facilities.

    All accommodation is subsidised, comes without utility bills and offers free WiFi and parking.