A CARMARTHENSHIRE landmark has welcomed a new group of students to learn and work at its premises.

Aberglasney has welcomed a group of students to the gardening team as part of the 2023 student bursary scheme.

Among the students taking part in the opportunity are Beth Large and Ben Harris.

Beth finished a degree in English literature and was unsure about what she wanted to do for a career. A visit to the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh ended her uncertainty as she found the glasshouse really inspiring and decided to try and pursue a career in horticulture.

She started a part-time horticulture course and was hooked. She completed the RHS level 2 theory course and then moved on to the RHS level 2 practical course at Aberglasney in 2022 and it was this that led her to fall in love with Aberglasney’s gardens.

Beth said: “When I heard about the Aberglasney bursary scheme I couldn’t wait to apply. I feel incredibly fortunate to be offered this place and I’ve learned so much already.

“As well as working in the garden we also do projects and weekly plant identification to help us vastly improve our knowledge through regular practice.

“Above all, it’s wonderful to help maintain a beautiful garden that many people can come and enjoy.”

Ben’s interest in gardening came when he was working at his local garden centre in Derbyshire. He enjoyed learning about the different plants they sold and started volunteering with the gardening team at a National Trust property nearby.

He enjoyed the practical experience and completed the RHS level 2 practical certificate. He was then given a place on the Historic and Botanic Garden Training Programme and spent a year as a trainee gardener at Wrest Park.

Ben said: “While working in a garden near Nottingham I began looking into other traineeships that could further improve my skills and knowledge. I jumped at the chance when offered a place on the Aberglasney bursary scheme and am now looking forward to the year ahead.”

Jim Stribling, Aberglasney’s director of operations, said: “All our new students have just fitted right in with the gardening team already. Since our gardens are ever evolving, we are often able to provide students with unique and valuable opportunities to participate in significant landscape projects. With our new head gardener, I’m sure this year’s students will enjoy playing a part in making his ideas come to fruition.”

Aberglasney’s bursary scheme is a 12-month funded training programme to learn about and work at the historic gardens with hands-on experience and training in all common UK garden tasks and more specialist subjects.

Anyone wishing to apply for the next bursary can find out more at www.aberglasney.org.