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Derby College has appointed a Head Gardener at the Broomfield Hall land-based studies campus in Morley to support students in their work experience programmes and lead work underway to open the grounds to more visitors.
Samantha Harvey (43) from Kirk Langley was a Horticulture student at the College 15 years ago – retraining after a career in retail management.
She spent a year as part of her course at the Cambridge University Botanic Garden and then trained and worked at the Royal Botanic Kew Gardens on the prestigious Kew Diploma where she won several awards for her endeavours.
She then worked as as Head Gardener on private estates in Yorkshire and Warwickshire and also volunteered at the Botanic Garden in Belize where she managed the Orchid nursery and trained staff in care of these delicate plants.
Samantha explained: “It is wonderful to be back at Broomfield Hall where I started my career in Horticulture.
“As Head Gardener, I will be using my experience at Kew and the private estates to re-establish and expand the borders and shrubs in key parts of the grounds, including the walled gardens.
“This will provide Horticulture students with valuable work experience for their future careers and also create a wonderful visitor attraction.
“As the work progresses, we aim to open the grounds more frequently and welcome people to tour the picturesque grounds and learn more about the different trees, shrubs and plants that we have here.
“The workload is extensive and we are currently recruiting volunteers from the local community to help us in this work. We have already had interest from people including keen gardeners, some who have retired and others who are keen to progress into the industry.
“Moving forward, we will be growing an even wider range of plants which will then be sold in our re-opened plant centre at Broomfield and also growing flowers for use by the Floristry department on site.”
Head of College – Broomfield Hall, Eileen Swan,continued: “This is the first time for many years that we have had a Head Gardener in post.
“Samantha comes to us with a huge amount of experience and she has had a wide and varied career since originally coming to us as a mature student.
“Her knowledge, experience and passion for Horticulture will be invaluable to inspire our students as they plan their future careers and she will also take the lead in ensuring that Broomfield Hall is a wonderful visitor attraction for gardening enthusiasts.”
Future courses will include a new RHS practical skills course for keen gardeners. For more information visit www.derby-college.ac.uk or telephone 0800 028 0289. For more information on volunteering opportunities, please email Samantha.firstname.lastname@example.org