Student Testimonials

Mathieu Combet

"Wanting to retrain in the world of gardening and botany, I wanted to do a professional immersion to see the reality of the job, and Aberglasney was very receptive in giving me a chance despite my lack of experience.

My stay at Aberglasney Gardens has been very enriching and stimulating. First of all, the garden is a magnificent place, rich in history, and exactly the idea that I had of an English garden, with a lot of charm, botanical and landscape diversity which is constantly changing with the seasons. The team of gardeners is very close-knit and passionate, and made it easy for me to open up to the world of the garden. It was for me a perfectly successful immersion and very motivating to continue on this path. A big thank you to you all, I will always have great memories of this experience!"

"Voulant me reconvertir dans le milieu du jardinage et de la botanique, j’ai voulu faire une immersion professionnelle pour voir la réalité du métier, et Aberglasney a été très réceptif en me donnant une chance malgré mon manque d’expérience.

Mon séjour aux jardins de Aberglasney a été très enrichissant et stimulant. Premièrement le jardin est un lieu est magnifique, riche en histoire, et exactement l’idée que je me faisais d’un jardin à l’anglaise, avec beaucoup de charme, de diversité botanique et paysagère en constante évolution au fil des saisons. L’équipe de jardiniers est très soudée et passionnée, et m’a permis de m’ouvrir en toute facilité au monde du jardin. Ce fut pour moi une immersion parfaitement réussie et très motivante pour continuer dans cette voie. Un grand merci à vous, j’en garderai toujours un superbe souvenir!"

Rose Nash

"I first came to Aberglasney seeking a career change after 8 years in the IT industry and began as a volunteer whilst studying for an RHS qualification at a local college. Eventually, I successfully secured a 2-year place there on a Historic and Botanic Garden Training Programme and completed my RHS Level 3 Diploma. It was a steep learning curve, but I loved every minute!

I’ve always felt encouraged by the enthusiastic and knowledgeable team at the Gardens, and the supportive learning environment has meant I’ve really been able to challenge myself. We’re given a wide variety of tasks from propagation to path building – none of which I was able to do before starting. I’m also frequently involved in exciting garden expansion projects such as the addition of new beds and increasing our plant collections. I’ve still got lots to learn, but I know I’m at the right place to continue my personal development and progress my career.

I’m now a Senior Horticultural Trainer at Aberglasney. It can be strenuous, but seeing the garden looking as good as it does and knowing you helped achieve it makes it all worthwhile.  Being able to mentor our new students and working with our dedicated team of volunteers every day is one of my favourite parts of the role."

Jacqui Reed

"I spent a long time working for people with autism on a care farm and gardening in my spare time. I longed for a job where I could work outside and grow flowers with wildlife in mind. Alongside work I studied for my RHS level 2, went on cut flower beginner courses, and spent lots of time on my allotment. I got a job as gardener at The Grove for a while, growing cut flowers, then by chance I came across HBGTS training scheme online. I never dreamt I’d be accepted but I’m pleased to say I’m spending a year training at Aberglasney Gardens. I find it a great way to learn because I’m in the garden getting stuck in with the day-to-day tasks and working alongside really knowledgeable, lovely people. The garden has so many different areas – I’m learning something new every day. When I started, I didn’t feel very confident with machines and my Latin plant names were pretty questionable. We do weekly plant idents and I’m finding them a lot easier now I’m working with the plant I’m trying to remember. We also write reports on certain aspects of the garden; mine is currently an investigation into epiphytic orchids. The variety of tasks is great for me. It can be precise work like seed sowing, or we can be covered in mud working with tractors and compost. No day is the same and that’s why I love it. I couldn’t imagine doing anything other than gardening now as a career. In the future I'd love my horticultural career to be based around propagation."