Focus in on Life - George Charles Rolling Smith

How many bulbs does it take to change a landscape?

Written in January 2016. Posted in Events
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A student report of Dutch study trip, 2017. Assisted funding from Focus in on Life. As part of our Horticulture course, a trip was booked to visit some key sites of horticultural interest in Holland. Unfortunately unforeseen circumstances meant I was unable to fund the final payment for the trip. I am extremely grateful to have been offered some help from Focus in on Life allowing me to attend. The experience proved to be incredibly inspiring and allowed me to see areas of the industry I had never thought about. This is a report of some highlights as a thank you and to let them know that their help has gone a very long way! I would also recommend these places to anyone else studying or working in horticulture.

Keukenhof tulip festival.

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One of our first visits was the incredible Keukenhof Tulip festival, for the spring tulip display. It takes approximately 7 million bulbs to paint the 32 hectare show garden. A mind boggling display of colour and cultivar, the visit underlined the significance of Tulips within Holland as well as exhibiting the colossal variety available to the consumer. If you are not squeamish about tulip over-load, I would very much recommend a visit!card sales

Appeltern gardens

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Appeltern was possibly my favourite visit. The site consists of over 300 different garden designs in almost every conceivable style and taste. Exploring the traditional, contemporary and questionably silly, the Hortus labyrinth promotes almost complete freedom of thought and design, you can’t help but leave feeling incredibly inspired. I feel like I have gained courage to explore bolder aspects of design in future projects, knowing that there really are no limits to garden design, possibilities are literally endless.

Demokwekerij Innovation centre.

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By far the most enlightening visit for me was our trip to Demokwekerij Innovation Centre for Horticulture. This visit really opened my eyes to new techniques and possibilities concerning environmental protection and sustainability, particularly those regarding emission reduction and water conservation. I was inspired by The Netherlands commitment to environmental issues and although not yet perfect I see this progress as a positive step forward in the industries future. This visit highlighted my own attitudes towards environmental concerns. On a personal level this emphasised the importance in choosing a career path that promotes environmentally responsible ethos and behaviour. This is very important to me and is currently inspiring research for my dissertation.

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Not only did the experience teach me a great deal about the wider horticultural industry, it has given me a deeper understanding of where my values lie within the industry as well as the vast amount of career opportunities available. It was also great to spend time with like-minded students outside of college and I am truly grateful for the help in making the trip possible. This trip has given me the ground work to find true direction in my career and I feel incredibly lucky and humbled to have been given this opportunity. I wish the best of luck to others seeking help in the future.

Danielle Norbury, Sparsholt College.