Ryan studied the Level 2 and Level 3 horticulture apprenticeship at Capel Manor College.
“Before I came to the College, I had been working in post-production for the film industry. It was a lot of sitting down in windowless rooms for long periods of time – not great for my physical or mental health.
I did not always know exactly what I wanted to study, but once I started volunteering, I found myself really enjoying garden maintenance and creating displays, as well as growing ornamental and edible plants. I knew then that I wanted to focus on that moving forward, and I had aspirations of having my own team and looking after a public space in London.
After researching potential courses online, I chose Capel Manor College because it was the best option for me living in London and they offered a day release apprenticeship at the time I was looking for one. I also knew a few people working in the ‘green’ industry and they had been to the College and recommended it.
The content of the course provided a thorough introduction to all the various elements that a horticulturalist should know, and there was plenty of practical as well as theoretical study. I enjoyed meeting all the other students and lecturers, from RHS courses to apprentices and short-course students.
My experience at Capel Manor College without a doubt helped get me to where I am today, which is Head Gardener at Victoria Park. It is not just the qualification or the things I learned at the College, but the support and encouragement from lecturers and particularly my tutor, Mike Sutton, who gave me the confidence and reassurance to push myself further than I could have done alone. I am eternally grateful to Mike for all his advice and wisdom!”