A small holding in Portugal sparked a love of all things horticultural for a student turned teacher in Cornwall.
Former Duchy College student Sid Hill, 24, is ready and raring to start his first full academic year helping students follow their horticulture dream, fully equipping them to enter a growing industry.
Sid, who now lives in Helston, joined Duchy College Rosewarne as a horticulture Level 2 apprentice assessor, having always known his future lay in horticulture.
“My parents had a small holding in Portugal and I spent my childhood on the farm growing our own food,” he explained.
“When I came back to England at 15 years old I didn’t know how to read very well and my academic skills weren’t great in comparison to my horticulture knowledge.”
Sid’s passion for gardening and all things green stemmed from his mum, who is RHS trained and his Dad, who owns an online seed company. After progressing through the levels from Level 1, he achieved a triple grade distinction at Level 3 studying countryside management and then went to study higher education.
“I got into Nottingham Trent, but I chose to study ethnobotany at Rosewarne as this was the only place I could study this. After spending two years on this course I then studied landscape design at Eden for two years and received a 1st class degree.”
Throughout his study in England, from 15 years old, Sid has put a lot of time, effort and research into his own business, Sid Hill Ecological Gardens.
“I have always wanted to run my own horticultural business with my passion, crazy drive and expertise,” he said.
“I specialise in edible and ecological landscapes, creating spaces which are good for wildlife, look beautiful and provide us with food.”
The company he has created is unique in Cornwall and proving very popular as the trend for people to grow their own food and protect nature and the environment is booming.
“I create and design spaces but always prefer the hands on planting,” Sid continued.
“My real passion is to design plant communities, this means creating a landscape using plants from the same type of habitat which are perfectly matched to their conditions. I also look at compatibility between plants and their different structures. In nature you don’t water or weed so I look to put together desirable plants, ornamental planting, making the areas look pretty but very low maintenance.”
However, Sid isn’t content with just running his own business and mentoring students, he wants to study a Master’s Degree and add more knowledge so he can share this in the future.