A Bicton College apprentice could be walking away this weekend as the Young Horticulturist of the Year, in a competition organised by the Chartered Institute of Horticulture. Miriam Petry, who is working at RHS (Royal Horticultural Society) Rosemoor beat off stiff competition to win the regional heat and will travel to Dublin on Saturday for the final.
Miriam said: “I am so pleased to have won the regional finals and I cannot wait for the grand final this weekend in Dublin! I am still a bit overwhelmed by it all and I have not fully come to terms with the fact that I am in the national finals.”
The Young Horticulturist of the Year finals will be taking place in the fabulous Glasnevin Botanic Gardens in Dublin on the 7th May 2016. It is famous for its uniquely restored glasshouses including the Curvilinear Range of Glasshouses designed by Richard Turner and the Great Palm House.
The format of the grand final will consist of answering a range of questions from topics such as identifying plants, pests, diseases and disorders, as well as questions on many other sectors within the field of horticulture. The final will also include a combination of buzzer rounds and individual questions.
Miriam said: “I found my passion for horticulture by volunteering with the National Trust at Cotehele, which is in Cornwall. Working in that unique, historic place, has been a truly inspiring experience and has helped to develop my career in horticulture.
“I am really enjoying my apprenticeship at Rosemoor, as the experience provides me with a good overview of all the different areas of horticulture, as well as allowing me to be part of big events like the Chelsea Flower Show.”
The winner of the Young Horticulturist competition will receive a £2,500 travel bursary from The Percy Thrower Trust and the Shropshire Horticultural Society, to undertake a research trip anywhere in the world to study a chosen subject of horticulture. Former winners of the competition have spent their research trips visiting the likes of China, New Zealand, Borneo, South Africa, the Galapagos Islands, the Himalayas, the United States, South America and Europe.
Miriam concluded: “Bicton College has played a vital part in my practical apprenticeship with Rosemoor, by providing very instructive lessons and guiding me with my career progression. I think an apprenticeship is an excellent way to learn and it really has helped me progress with my studies. My special thanks go to everyone who has been incredibly supportive and the team at Rosemoor and Bicton College who have helped me along the way!”
Head of Horticulture at Bicton College, Carol Cuthbert, said: “It is great to see that Miriam is really enjoying her time at Rosemoor. We are all very proud of what Miriam has achieved so far. We all wish her the best for the national finals in Dublin this weekend!”