Willesden man wins a place at the Homebase Garden Academy

Gary Brennan, 23, wins place on gardening scheme with Adam Frost

Gary Brennan, 23, wins place on gardening scheme with Adam Frost - Credit: Archant

A green-fingered Willesden man has beaten hundreds of people for a place on a top gardening training programme.

Gary Brennan, 23, has been tending people’s gardens before signing up for the Homebase Garden Academy scheme which will give him a chance of showcasing his designs at next year’s Chelsea Flower Show.

He said: “Most of my knowledge is self-taught from maintenance work I have done over the years, and working at garden centres.

“I like being able to transform something, and seeing how it changes and develops.”

He added: “I was instantly attracted to the programme as it offers so much valuable gardening experience in one place, that you wouldn’t find anywhere else.”


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Mr Brennan, who attended North Westminster School in Marylands Road, said he always watched TV’s Ground Force as a child before maintaining his own and other family member’s gardens, mowing lawns, cutting hedges and planting borders. “Word got round, and I then attracted attention from neighbours and local people, so I have been maintaining gardens in the Willesden area for years,’’ he said.

The Garden Academy is a new scheme set up between Homebase and Adam Frost to help raise the profile of gardening as a career, at a time when there are concerns over a shortage of young, skilled gardeners in the UK.

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Over ten months, Mr Brennan will develop his horticulture knowledge alongside Adam Frost, designer of five RHS Chelsea Flower Show gold medal-winning gardens, as well as helping him build The Homebase Garden – ‘Time to Reflect’ in partnership with the Alzheimer’s Society at next year’s RHS Chelsea Flower show.

At the same time he’ll be working full-time at the Homebase store in Finchley Road to help customers with their gardening dilemmas.

“The scheme is a great opportunity for me to turn my passion into a career, and I can’t wait to learn from Adam Frost and pass on what I’ve learnt to people.”

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