|Homebase Garden Academy - the class of 2015/16, featuring Ian Barber: horticulturalist (2nd from right)|
What can I say? Ian Barber: horticulturalist. Wow. After typing 'Retailer', Retail manager' or 'retail assistant' for what seems like forever, it seems odd, but here I am. At the very beginning of an exciting (perhaps perilous!?) journey into all things green and garden-like!
Why? Well, I am one of the chosen few (just 40) on the Homebase Garden Academy 2015-16. This ground breaking scheme was set up to train, inspire and develop a new generation of gardeners. We will be set to work alongside the multiple award-winning garden designer Adam Frost among other exceptional learning opportunities. These include earning a Level 1 RHS award in Practical Horticulure plus a City & Guilds Garden Licence. Not to mention involvement in charitable projects, major UK garden shows, and helping to maintain Winterbourne Gardens in Birmingham.
Previous 'academics' have won gold medals at BBC Gardeners World Live and RHS Tatton Park, and have moved on to incredible opportunities worldwide.
I am under no illusion that the next year will be very busy, not least because of a full time role in my nearest Homebase garden centre is a challenge in itself! That and an almost complete Open University degree in Environmental Studies running simultaneously. Its a wonder I have any time for my passion for the Great Outdoors and Dartmoor Letterboxing (see my other blog: whoisthechallenger)
This blog will document my progress through the year, not just in the Academy, but also in my own garden, which may prove to be my greatest challenge - the nature of which I shall save for a future post!