Threave students thrive

Bright future of gardening at Threave

National Trust for Scotland gardening students have been proving their skills by topping the local phase of a national horticulture competition.

Two former students took the top two places, while a current student came third, in the Royal Horticultural Society’s Young Gardener of the Year regional heat.

They have benefited from the training given at the trust’s School of Heritage Gardening – a comprehensive scheme that teaches heritage and modern horticulture skills at historic venues across the country.

Katie Croft, who studied at the Threave estate in Dumfries and Galloway, and Matthew Fox, who was a student at Kellie Castle in Fife, topped the Scottish regional finals in Glasgow, while Joshua Cook, currently a Threave student, came third.

They now go forward to the national finals at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh in May.

Sinclair Williamson, gardens adviser for the trust’s School of Heritage Gardening, said: “These students have proved the quality of the training the trust is offering, which ensures the future of gardening, not only at our properties, but across the country. They carry on the skills that have been traditionally employed in estates and gardens for centuries. The School of Heritage is continuing to develop with new courses, so we hope that the standards will carry on rising.”

Earlier this year the trust announced a new diploma to take gardening to an advanced level at several properties. This is in addition to the range of gardening courses, some run in partnership with other organisations, which provide heritage and craft skills along with artistic and scientific knowledge.