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This Week’s Guest Blogger is Scott H Smith, Head Gardener at the National Trust for Scotland, studying for his MHort (RHS)

Celebrating 10 years in horticulture 🍾🎊☺️⏳

Back in early 2012 I had failed and my life was over. Despite all my efforts in school to gain 8 highers (A-levels) to get into uni and get my degree so I could do well in life : I’d picked a course I hated and consequently failed. Life was over. Resigning myself to a life of servitude, I took the first job I could get at the job centre: a seasonal gardener at Kellie Castle with the National Trust for Scotland. Little did I know it was a job that was about to change my life. I knew absolutely nothing about gardening but my hero in horticulture, Mark Armour the head gardener; would give me a chance in life and inspire me so much to continue in horticulture that I would pursue it as my career. He not only took me in and inspired me but also helped me land the apprenticeship that secured my future. Heroes can just be ordinary people and he’s one of them 💪

Through the power of courage, determination, study and sacrifice I’ve gone from strength to strength and am now proudly head gardener of not one but two prestigious heritage sites and still growing. I am proud to represent an RHS partner garden and am currently diligently studying for the RHS Master of Horticulture award. Through horticulture I’ve met some truly weird, wonderful, talented and inspirational people from a huge range of backgrounds. I’ve been lucky enough to meet Prince Charles and Chelsea gold medal winning designer Chris Beardshaw whose plan I co-project managed and implemented at Pitmedden Garden. I was even lucky enough to meet my wife who came up to me and asked what a particular plant was (thank goodness I knew it was Carum carvi!) 🌿

I can’t stress enough to young and older people alike the brilliant power that horticulture has to allow us to grow as individuals and I’ve been truly blessed in life to have fallen into the field by accident at a tender age of 21. I can but one day hope to have inspired someone the way Mark inspired me and to have brought another soul into the beautiful world of horticulture. If I can do it anyone can! All the best to fellow plant enthusiasts and all future enthusiasts 🌱☺️

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