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Primary ITO: Knowledge to grow

News & Features

Hort apprentices create hidden gardens

2 December 2021

Callum - Apprentice at Otari-Wilton's Bush

Wellington City Council (WCC) horticulture apprentices are showcasing their skills by creating seven themed gardens as part of the capital city's Hidden Gardens Project taking place from 20 November until 15 December.

WCC currently has 28 apprentices training through Primary ITO, looked after by Training Adviser Anne-Maree Michael. The apprentices are completing their NZ Certificate in Horticulture Level 4, with the apprentice gardeners completing the amenity strand.

(Photo: Apprentice in Horticulture Amenity Services, Callum, at Otari-Wilton's Bush).

Training Adviser Jonathan Gradwell is part of the judging panel, which will visit each garden to help decide the winner, together with the public vote.
Planning for their gardens began in November 2019, with each apprentice gardener choosing a theme and crafting their garden to fit. Themes include a BBQ herb garden, a Victorian style garden and a 1970's themed garden.
As these gardens are hidden, the Council will be posting hints on their website over the month to help the public find the gardens. The public can then vote for their favourite in the People's Choice Award.

WCC Apprentice coordinator, Leanne Killalea says the apprentice's Hidden Gardens are a real labour of love.

"Each garden reflects their personalities and where they are at on their gardening journey. The project learning process is immense, and this is also while they are studying and training for their NZ Certificate in Horticulture qualification."

The apprentices each spend four months rotating around Otari-Wilton's Bush, Wellington Botanic Garden, and the Horticulture team during the different seasons. They learn from experienced trainers what it takes to look after all of the beautiful gardens and parks in Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington.

Apprentice in Nursery Production, Corrin, at the Nursery in the Begonia House at Wellington Botanic Garden