Luke’s story

Luke studied The Professional Gardener (Level 2) at Capel Manor College.

“Capel Manor College seemed an obvious choice as a place to study. It has a great reputation in the area and I know that people travel a long way to attend the College so I am lucky to have it on my doorstep. I started The Professional Gardener (Level 2) course in September 2020 and completed it in July 2021.

Before joining the College, I worked in the print industry for 38 years, I was furloughed, then finally made redundant during the COVID-19 lockdown. I had always loved gardening and it was a passion of mine, but I was not sure which course was best suited to me until speaking to the College advisers and getting their recommendations.

I thought The Professional Gardener (Level 2) course was great, it covered so many aspects of the horticulture industry. In addition to the knowledge itself, the course also provided a great insight into the different careers that exist within it. I enjoyed many aspects of the course.

Returning to education after so many years of working was daunting, but the support from the staff and other students was great. Meeting so many people with different skills, knowledge and ideas was really uplifting. In terms of the theory, I really enjoyed learning all the botanical names for the plants, how to care for gardens and lawns all year round, and understanding soil texture and conditioning. The practical sessions maintaining the existing gardens at the College were equally enjoyable.

I think Capel Manor College is a special place. The Enfield Campus has amazing buildings surrounded by beautiful gardens, where could be better to do a gardening course? The teaching quality is excellent and is supported by great equipment, facilities and specialised technicians. I have gained so much confidence from doing this course and I now trust all the knowledge I have with customers and suppliers. I have also gained new friends that share a common interest and are always happy to help.

I am now a full-time gardener and was fully booked this summer! I am furthering my studies on the hard landscaping course at the College so that I will have additional skills that may be better suited to the winter months. I want to carry on working as a gardener for a few years, and then maybe once I have enough experience, I would like to look at a conservation or restoration role in a heritage garden. Although I already had some gardening experience and knowledge, I can safely say that I would not be where I am today without Capel Manor College.”