Rebecca, Garden Apprentice at the Royal Pavilion Garden
My name is Rebecca and I work as the Garden Apprentice here at the Royal Pavilion Garden. I started in December and have 2 years to complete my training.
Prior to working as an apprentice, I worked as a graphic designer for a small independent toy company. I decided to have a career change after I found myself spending more and more time longingly looking out of the window.
Before I applied for the apprentice role, I volunteered at the Sussex Prairie Gardens and discovered that horticulture was a career path I wanted to pursue.
One of the things that excites me the most about working here, is learning about how the gardens are looked after each season. All the planting must be kept to a Regency style with most of the plants in keeping with what was available during this time.
As it is still my first season outside, I love seeing how the plants develop and change as the year progresses. Every month feels different with new flowers popping up to take centre stage. I love the challenge of learning all their names and speaking to people about what is looking at its best.
Working in the gardens tends to vary from day to day, however there are always jobs that need to be done. This might mean cutting and maintaining the grass, composting waste, clearing the paths, working in the flower beds and tackling the never-ending battle against the bind weed! Thankfully we also have a dedicated team of volunteers who offer a wealth of knowledge and (wo)man power!
As well as the practical experience of working in the garden, I also spend 1 day a week at Plumpton College where I learn the theory that goes towards gaining my Level 2 qualification in Horticulture. I particularly enjoy learning about plant science and botany, which our Head Gardener, Rob, is always happy to discuss with me.
It is an exciting time to be working in the Pavilion Garden, with the planning for the up-and-coming Garden Project. To me, it looks like the perfect opportunity to protect the garden and keep it special for the many people who visit and enjoy it.
At the moment it can quite soul destroying to see things such as litter and damage to the plants and flower beds on a daily basis. With so much historical and cultural significance, the garden is somewhere I am really proud to work. It would be nice for its legacy to be enjoyed for many years to come.