A student horticulturist has been given the chance to hone his skills in the gardens of an historic house.
Sam Baillie, 20, from Daventry will be working at Kelmarsh Hall in Northamptonshire thanks to a Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) bursary.
Kelmarsh Hall was able to offer the year-long traineeship after receiving a grant from the RHS Susan Pearson Bursary Fund, which was set up to allow trainee horticulturists to undertake a programme of practical work experience in a public garden.
Sam is looking forward to learning more of the trade from Kelmarsh Hall’s head gardener Josh Coyne and Kelmarsh trustee Richard Flenley, a semi-retired landscape consultant who has worked at a number of significant properties including Hampton Court Palace.
Sam will gain hands-on experience in all aspects of the maintenance and development of the Grade II* listed gardens, before completing a formal project once the traineeship comes to an end.
Sam’s career path could have taken a completely different route, as he was initially studying travel and tourism at college. He said: “I used to garden with my dad when I was younger and then when I was a teenager, I started gardening to earn a bit of money. From there, my passion for the subject grew.”
The traineeship is the perfect opportunity for Sam to progress his career. He said: “It is a chance to hone my skills in a wonderful garden.”