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Gardener Callum Chosen as One of Tresco Bound Trio

Published Wednesday, 22nd May 2013 in Study at SRUC news

Tresco gardens, Isle of Scilly courtesy of

Second year, Horticulture with Plantsmanship student Callum Halsted is to spend a year working at the famous Tresco Gardens in the Isles of Scilly.

Callum won a scholarship offered each year to three promising horticulturists who have secured a basic qualification in vocational horticulture and plan a career in botanic gardens, private gardens and parks.

For Callum there were many reasons to apply for the scholarship. Not only had he met previous winners who told him how rewarding it was, he was also keen to take some time out from his studies to concentrate on his practical horticultural skills. And, of course, Scilly itself (with Tresco the second largest island) was a huge draw.

“I’ve been on holiday to the Isles of Scilly twice and like most people who visit I completely fell in love with their natural beauty and relative isolation.” Callum says.

The sub-tropical Abbey Garden, described as a perennial Kew without the glass, is home to thousands of exotic plants which thrive thanks to tall wind breaks and walled enclosures, not to mention to relatively mild climate. The Garden was built in the 1800s by Augustus Smith, then Lord Proprietor and leaseholder of all the islands.

As Callum explains: “The garden boasts an amazing array of plants from the Mediterranean, South Africa, South America and Australia. As the name suggests all this is set in the grounds of a ruined Benedictine abbey. It’s a real sub-tropical paradise and in the UK!”

As Callum hopes to work in Botanic gardens in the future he believes Tresco could be a fantastic stepping stone for him: “I have a real interest in plants from Mediterranean and Arid climates, so a job where I would be working closely with collections of those sorts of plants would be perfect.”

While some folk might find moving to entirely new place daunting, Callum has no reservations about relocating for a year.

“I can’t describe how happy I am to be going. Ever since I first went to there aged 7 I’ve wanted to go back. This has been my goal for the last three years so to have been selected is a real thrill!.”

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