It’s hard to believe there are only two more weeks of my college course to go. I have nearly completed the RHS Level 2 Certificate in Practical Horticulture, it’s been great going to college as well as working at Ashridge. I’ve networked with students and tutors, made genuine friends with the other people on my course, as well as expanded my horticultural skills even more. It’s going to be sad to say goodbye!
Hedge-cutting – check out the concentration on my face!
A few weeks ago I helped out at Capel Manor’s Open Day at their Enfield campus. I was helping my tutor on the RHS stand along with a couple of other students, giving information about courses to prospective students as well as dealing with enquiries about pest and diseases, identifying plants and various other questions from the general public. It was a great way of testing my horticultural knowledge!
RHS Stand at the Enfield Open Day
Here I am showing a member of the public a specimen of woolly aphid!
I’ve also been busy training for another course – the LANTRA Level 2 Award in Chainsaw Maintenance and Cross-cutting. How scary is that!! It’s a qualification which is required when applying for most horticultural jobs these days, and one which the PGG pay for whilst I’m on the Traineeship.
I attended two training days last week with a few other students, one day was all about the maintenance of a chainsaw like how it worked, what parts did what, how to maintain it and repair parts of it. I’m not mechanically minded at all so I made loads of notes and even took photos on my phone to prompt my brain into remembering how to take each bit apart!
The inner workings of a chainsaw – sprocket and clutch system
The second day was actually using the chainsaw to cut up timber on the ground, known as cross-cutting. Trying to remember all the health and safety procedures while trying to get to grips with using a chainsaw was nerve-wracking but I think I got the hang of it by the end of the day. I had trouble getting it started(!) but once it was warmed up I was away!
The assessment is Thursday, to say I am shitting myself would be an understatement! I’m sure once I get into it I will be fine, it’s the same as any exam – I’m good at putting myself under pressure to pass. Fingers crossed I do!
The chainsaw gang!
The grounds at Capel Manor are looking gorgeous now we are in the middle of summer. The roses, peonies and herbaceous borders are alive with colour, I love wandering round in my lunch break and noticing more plants which have come into flower.
Some gorgeous roses
A perfect peony
Kniphofia, aka red hot poker
This will probably be the last new post about Capel Manor, I will share some favourite photos in a few weeks time. Until then! 🙂