Nicola Oakey, (24) has beaten over 1,300 candidates for a place on the ground-breaking Homebase Garden Academy training programme.
Now in its second year, this pioneering scheme will run for 12 months and offers young people a once in a lifetime opportunity to develop their gardening skills, in addition to working alongside award-winning gardener designer Adam Frost.
Over the next year, Nicola will spend time learning from Adam about garden planning and design; working with top garden suppliers to develop her product knowledge covering planting and landscaping; and learn practical horticultural skills to earn him a RHS Level 1 Award qualification.
At other times, Oliver will be working full-time at the Homebase store in Frome to help customers with their gardening dilemmas.
Nicola said: "I’m thrilled to be given the opportunity to turn my passion into a career. I’ve always loved gardening and being outdoors, so I can’t wait to get started.”
Explaining the thinking behind the Garden Academy, Adam Frost said: "This is the second year we have run the Garden Academy training programme, and I’m delighted to be involved again in such a rewarding scheme.
“Attracting young people into careers in gardening is increasingly challenging. By working with Homebase, we have the opportunity to do something special and inspire the next generation of gardeners.”
Matthew Compton, Homebase Garden Trading Director said: “As one of the UK’s leading garden retailers, we are committed to championing horticulture as a great career choice, and we are excited to welcome our second intake of Garden Academy students to what we know will be a great start to their careers.”