Doxford Hall Hotel has appointed 21-year-old Jordan Beattie as an apprentice gardener.
From Alnwick, and a former pupil of the town’s Duchess’s Community High School, Jordan is completing a two-year diploma with Northumberland College in landscape gardening and horticulture.
This course covers a range of units, including principles of plant and soil science, landscape features and plant propagation.
Jordan will also gain an understanding of the historical influences on the development of gardens and how to plan design briefs for the landscape and garden.
He will work in the 15-acre grounds alongside head gardener, Esmond (Ezzie) Black.
The gardens are a mixture of rose beds, herbaceous borders and seasonal flowers, with more than 50 per cent of the bedding plants grown in the hotel’s greenhouses.
Hedge cutting and grass mowing are both major parts of the job and during the growing seasons the extensive lawns take almost three days to cut.
There is in the region of a mile of hedges to clip annually, in addition to Doxford Hall’s yew tree maze – the largest yew tree maze in the UK. This 1,200 metre labyrinth was planted to mark the Millennium, and guests have been prone to get lost in among the 3,200 yew trees.
Jordan said: “The course will give me an in-depth insight into all aspects of landscape gardening and I am delighted to have been offered an apprenticeship working with such a diverse and magnificent establishment at Doxford Hall.
“For me, the very best part of the job is being in the great outdoors, planting something from seed and watching it grow and tending to the gardens for the guests to admire.”