Horticulture Department

The Nursery grows a wide range of native and ornamental trees and hedging, conifers, shrubs, herbaceous perennials, alpines, bulbs and seasonal bedding plants. There is a busy propagation and potting schedule throughout the year, with all production eventually being sold from Camelia Botnar Garden Centre.


The trainees acquire a thorough knowledge of the various methods of propagation and plant cultivation.  They learn how to grow and care for plants both under cover and outside.  This includes the use of different compost mixes, fertilisers, irrigation and heating systems.  Integrated Pest Management is practised in the Nursery and as a result, the trainees study cultural, biological and chemical methods of pest and disease control.


The garden centre has a number of ornamental gardens on site which are all maintained by the trainees and Nursery staff. Retail experience can also be gained in the shop if the trainee is so inclined. All of these areas provide widespread experience in the garden centre sector.  


After six months once Levels 1 and 2 are successfully completed trainees may be offered to take Level 3 where they are given an employment contract and they may be able to attend a local college to obtain an NVQ qualification  in Amenity Horticulture, PA1 and PA6 spraying certificates, First Aid and Manual Handling training. There is an option for candidates to achieve further awards if they wish. 


Participation in qualifications is encouraged in this department to complement practical skills,  and our on-site tutor is available to provide any necessary support with written work and with general communication.


Horticultural trainees receive training and certificates for the safe use of hedge cutters, strimmers and mowers.   They learn the basic principles of horticulture including garden design and maintenance planting schemes pruning, plant care lawn care and management.  Trainees should leave the Foundation with a skill set that will get them a job anywhere in the horticulture sector.