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Henry Cole
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Henry Cole (HHSS Student 2013/14) - Personal Statement

 I am currently a horticulture student on a 14 month secondment with Newport and Cardiff Parks department, where my studies are based around developing specialised heritage horticulture techniques.

 I have a background in practical based jobs, and prior to starting my HHSS placement was employed as a landscape gardener for a small firm in Cardiff, where I primarily worked in private and residential gardens. My reason for starting the scheme was to broaden my horticultural knowledge and experience working at historic gardens, where I'd be able to learn traditional heritage skills.

 I am currently working towards the RHS Level 2 Practical qualification in horticulture, and the recognised certification in practical gardening skills, such as Mowing, Brushcutting, Spraying etc.

 Since starting the scheme I have benefited from working alongside a team of experienced gardeners at not only Newport and Cardiff Parks dept, but also at other gardens involved with the scheme, such as St. Fagans national history museum, Dyffryn gardens, and Aberglasney gardens. I have found the opportunity to work with other horticultural professionals very beneficial, as I have been able to make contacts within the sector which has led to work at the RHS Chelsea Flower show for Topiary Arts, and the Wales in Bloom 50th anniversary garden at the RHS Show in Cardiff.

 My work within the Parks department has been very varied and alongside the general maintenance work, I\'ve been able to design bedding schemes, redevelop neglected areas, design planting schemes, and work in a busy Nursery developing propagation techniques.

 Once I have completed my placement and studies I am quite flexible regarding my future employment. I would like to find a horticultural job where I can continue to develop the skills I have learned and would be keen to work in either the private or public sector.

 On a personal level my main interest in horticulture is in creative pruning techniques, and one of my ambitions is to travel to Japan to learn the art of Niwaki and Bonsai.