An Alnwick man has beaten 1,200 applicants to secure a place on the Homebase Garden Academy, a 12-month programme to help kick-start a career in gardening.
Jack Hinde, 22, said he is thrilled to have landed a place on the scheme and is looking forward to growing his expertise in the industry.
The Garden Academy looks to develop gardening skills and knowledge while working alongside award-winning garden designer Adam Frost.
The Academy is in its third year and Jack is one of more than 30 students on the new intake, bringing the programme’s students and graduates total to more than 80 across the country.
Over the next year, Jack will spend time learning from Adam about garden planning and design; working with top garden suppliers to develop his product knowledge covering planting and landscaping; and learning practical horticultural skills to earn a Royal Horticultural Society Level 1 Award qualification.
At other times, Jack will be working full-time at the Alnwick Homebase store, helping customers with their gardening dilemmas and how to make the most of their outside space.
Jack said: “I’m thrilled to have secured a place on the Garden Academy to learn from the likes of Adam Frost.
“I’ve always loved gardening, so to be given the opportunity to turn my passion into a career is great.”
It certainly is a major boost for Jack to work alongside Adam, who began his career working with the BBC Gardeners’ World presenter Geoff Hamilton.
Adam has since won multiple awards at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and is an RHS ambassador – a role which he will use to raise the profile of horticulture as a career, encourage more secondary schools to embrace gardening and to inspire gardening talent for the future. His work takes him across the UK and Europe, where he creates gardens that sit comfortably in their surroundings.
Paul Forster, store manager from Homebase Alnwick, said: “The Academy is a fantastic opportunity for people from different backgrounds to come together to share their passion for gardening and turn it into a career and Jack is a great addition to our team.”
Applications to join the next Academy open this month/June. For more information, visit homebase.co.uk/en/static/garden-academy