Scotscape has 30 years of landscape and construction experience providing living walls and living walls maintenance, green roofs, commercial and domestic landscaping, landscape maintenance and specialist irrigation services.
This was my last placement and unfortunately it didn’t go as well as I was hoping it to. I tried to check in with my contact the week prior and wasn’t able to get through. When I arrived it turned out my contact had been on leave and the staff were not expecting me for my work experience. They did try to arrange something for me over the next few days but it not working out I got to spend the morning with Angus Cunningham who showed me around their yard. That in itself was a great experience, I learnt a lot in the hour or so that I was there about their products and materials. They have a great vision for the future of horticulture in city-scapes and I really enjoyed learning about their ideas. I would love to see green walls being more prevalent in Sydney, I feel like they are a fantastic way to maximise green spaces in urban jungles.
(the picture above is not affiliated to Scotscape.)
First thing I think of when I’m asked about recommendations is the Chelsea Physic Garden. Whether you go for work experience or just a day trip I definitely think its worth it and if you are just visiting, try to join in on a tour. They’re free and usually on around 11am, I think. I found this garden entirely unique amongst everything I saw while travelling, not to say there isn’t other places similar, they just weren’t part of my experience. The history behind the garden is interesting, as it was nice to learn about a place that was created as a means to educate people rather than out of vanity or beauty.
Working in botanical gardens is an experience I recommend because there’s so many different things you can do from glass houses, to sorting seeds and weeding ponds etc. In terms of places to visit everywhere I went was beautiful and if you have a chance, I encourage you to see it all. Scotland and Ireland were particularly lovely, I spent most of my time exploring outside the cities in the country side and I feel like there’s so much more to see there.
Talking to people while your’e there is a great thing to do, talk to the people you’re working with, the people you’re staying with (if anyone) and they people around you in general. I found that most people are very happy to share their thoughts and ideas on what you can do in the area. By having a good chat to a person he only stayed with for two nights my husband got us invited to the local garden clubs visiting night were we got to take a tour of several local gardens in the area, so you never know where it might lead you.
Garden shows are a great idea, throughout the summer England has a few fantastic shows on. The Chelsea Flower Show of course, as well as the Hampton Court Flower show and the Chatsworth Flower Show are a few top picks. At these shows you can experience innovative designs and a truly fantastic standard of horticulture.
For insight into Urban Gardening I suggest organising a trip to Scotscape, even if you’re only able to be shown around the yard like I was I found it very interesting and quite different from the other placements.
TIPS AND TRICKS
- I encourage you to exchange some currency before you leave so you have a little cash in hand upon arrival.
- Be prepared for unexpected charges. Something I got stung by that I didn’t consider was how expensive the ferry to Ireland from Wales would be travelling with a camper van.
- Pack for all weather because it was unpredictable and varied greatly.
- Double check your placements throughout your trip, make sure things are organised and on track prior to your start date.
- Make sure transport is always available, I almost got stuck in Wales because I didn’t predict how hard it would be to get to my placement, so be wary and remember that bus/train schedules differ on weekends and weekdays!
I wish to thank BBM Youth Support and, especially my mentor Graham Ross, for your encouragement, inspiration and for believing in me. It has been honour to receive this opportunity and to embark on this life-changing journey.