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6 Mar 2020

Award-winning Garden Apprentice at Crathes Castle Garden

Written by Ann Steele, Head of Heritage Gardening (Policy)
A young man standing in a garden in front of a glasshouse
Award-winning Garden Apprentice Timothy Turnbull at Crathes Castle Garden
One of our Garden Apprentices has been awarded the Carter-Patterson Memorial Medal and Prize by the Royal Caledonian Horticultural Society (RCHS) in recognition of their hard work and commitment.

The Trust is very aware of how hard its young Garden Apprentices have been working over the past months, getting to grips with new skills, life outdoors in all weathers, tools, equipment, machinery – and lots and lots of plant names! When the opportunity arose to nominate one of our trainees for the prestigious Royal Caledonian Horticultural Society’s Student of the Year award we were lucky to be spoiled for choice. It was hard to select only one, but in the end – between Head Gardener at Crathes, James Hannaford, SRUC lecturer, George Gilchrist, and Head of Heritage Gardening, Ann Steele – we decided on Timothy Turnbull, Garden Apprentice at Crathes Castle Garden as our nominee. It was with great pleasure that we saw Tim receiving his award at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh on 3 March from RCHS Honorary President George Anderson MBE, well-known Beechgrove Garden television presenter and professional horticulturalist of note. In a meeting of generations Tim was also able to catch-up with Ron Tulloch, former gardener at Crathes and now retired.

An older man and a younger man wearing suits with other people in the background
Tim Turnbull and Ron Tulloch at the award ceremony

Tim’s contribution to Crathes and as an ambassador for the Trust’s Garden Apprenticeship programme is much appreciated – as is that of all our trainees. As our second year apprentices move into their final 6 months of their Modern Apprenticeship in Horticulture at SVQ Level 2, we look forward with interest to seeing where their careers take them next. We hope that some will continue to our School of Heritage Gardening at Threave Garden to study for Royal Horticultural Society qualifications while working in the garden there. We’ve been training professional gardeners at Threave for 60 years – a track record we’re very proud of – look out for our anniversary events this year! From Threave, our alumni have spread their wings across the world into all branches of horticulture and to the highest levels. Fortunately they have come home to us too, bringing their skills and experience back to the Trust and to care for Scotland’s heritage gardens.

A man and a woman holding a stem of a plant
Garden apprentices Tim Turnbull and Hazel Lawrie practising grafting during an extra evening lesson at SRUC Oatridge College.

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