A STRATFORD woman has secured her dream job as a horticulturalist and bee keeper at Kew Gardens in London – one of the most important botanical and research institutions in the world.
Amy Newsome, aged 28, had a top marketing job in the city with a luxury fashion brand but she yearned for the outdoors and decided to re-train as a horticulturalist and – right on cue – she landed her new role at Kew in September.
The former Stratford Girls’ Grammar School pupil was already drawn to a job working in a natural environment before she made her big career change because of her granddad – Brian Pickett – who was head groundsman at the NFU. Amy loved spending time with him at his cottage tending the flowers, garden and bowling green.
When she moved to London to pursue her marketing career she wasted no time in growing her own fruit and veg and even became an urban bee keeper.
By this stage she had been bitten by the horticultural bug and from once being a graduate of art and history at Edinburgh University and Berkeley University in California she turned her focus on getting top qualifications with The Royal Horticultural Society to get to where she is today. But it has involved a lot of hard work and volunteering.
“One of the three gardens I volunteered in whilst training was Raymond Blanc’s Le Manoir Aux Quat’ Saisons in Oxfordshire, under the fabulous head veg gardener Jennifer Pryke, growing for the Michelin restaurant and for their first show garden at RHS Chatsworth which won the People’s Choice award. The other two gardens were Soho Farmhouse under Anna Greenland, who used to be the head veg gardener at Le Manoir, where she helped set up Kew’s Kitchen garden for the BBC television series Kew on a Plate, and lastly Rockcliffe gardens near Stow on the Wold, which was recently on the cover of Gardens Illustrated,” Amy said.
Despite a career in horticultural not paying as much as she used to earn, Amy now works in one of the most prestigious institutions in the world with some of the top experts in their fields.
“It’s been a long, hard slog but I’m absolutely loving it. To be an expert in bee keeping and gardening is my goal and one day I’d like to have my own stand at the Chelsea Flower Show,” said Amy.