Miranda’s story

Miranda studied Level 3 horticulture at Capel Manor College.

“Before joining Capel Manor College I was a primary school teacher working at an inner-city London school that promoted urban gardening. I ran workshops as well as community projects, and our school gardener told me that she had studied at Capel Manor College, so I knew this was where I wanted to go. I had heard good things about the College. It also meant that while living in London, I was able to study something that is commonly only taught in such a practical way in rural settings.

I studied horticulture at Level 3 for one year and I chose this because there is a lot of value in doing a practical course when studying horticulture, from growing on an allotment to building a greenhouse concrete base and laying bricks. I already had a degree in History of Art and a teacher training qualification, but knew I needed a recognised qualification in horticulture in order to be taken seriously in the industry.

I really enjoyed the course and learnt a lot. It also shaped the rest of my career. At the College, we were told about the opportunities to further our studies at Kew Gardens (which I had previously been unaware about), I also found out about a competition for a horticulture journalism course on the wall in the library facility. Following Capel Manor College, I went on to do a traineeship and then diploma at Kew before being employed as a member of staff in the Tropical Nursery. I also continued working for BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine, which I started with while at Capel Manor College as work experience.

The Enfield Campus has many show gardens, a garden design studio and access to Forty Hall Farm where we set up allotments. I enjoyed being able to use all of these resources and learned a wide range of skills. I went from having a bit of an idea about horticulture to building a base of skills that set me up for my career. I found the College welcoming and really enjoyed all aspects of the course.

I am now the Senior Content Creator for BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine. I create features, podcasts, perform on stage and organise photoshoots. I have also just written my first book, A Flower A Day, which would have been really helpful to have when I was writing plant profiles and learning about the history behind important plants and their uses.

In the future I hope to keep writing about gardening, I enjoy being able to inspire and encourage people to enjoy horticulture and do it in a way that supports our environment. I also hope to keep building my own garden; I especially enjoy cut flowers and the fruit and veg that goes into my cooking, all expertly grown!”

Miranda Janatka’s book A Flower A Day explores the life of flowers through science, folklore, history and art – every day of the year.

Find her on Instagram @miranda.janatka