Alex enjoys internship at RHS Garden Wisley thanks to postgraduate bursary

Second year MA Landscape Architecture student Alex Lowenhoff has taken advantage of a bursary worth £1000 to support a three-week internship at RHS Garden Wisley.

Alex Lowenhoff at RHS Garden Wisley

Alex used the Postgraduate Advantage Scheme bursary – which was exclusively available to taught postgraduate students in the Faculty of Social Sciences – to fund his living costs, whilst working at the Royal Horticultural Society’s flagship garden during the Easter break.

Alex began his placement with Herbaceous team, where he had the opportunity to be involved with the planting surrounding the new, multi-million pound Welcome building.

Everyone here has been so supportive and gone that extra mile to make sure I get the most out of my three weeks.

Alex Lowenhoff

MA Landscape Architecture

He also spent time with the Alpine team, which enabled him to gain an in-depth insight into drought tolerant Alpine plants and how they can be used in urban settings.

The Faculty of Social Science’s Postgraduate Advantage Scheme was designed to give students the opportunity to gain work experience with organisations that may otherwise be unable to offer internships.

We spoke to Alex to find out more about his experience.

What does your PAS placement at RHS Wisley involve?

"I've been assigned to the Herbaceous team who manage the Glasshouse Borders, Seven Acres, Oakwood and the Glasshouse Landscape. When I arranged the placement with Sheila, the Garden Manager, we agreed working this part of the garden should best benefit my career aspirations and so far so good!"

How has the PAS bursary helped to support your placement?

"The PAS Bursary has completely funded my living costs, allowing me to rent a room at the student village just outside the garden grounds.

"I'm really lucky that my commute to work is a walk through the Pinetum landscape and past the misty Seven Acres lake, it makes the 7am start not so early!

"Living on campus has meant I can spend my evenings exploring different corners of Wisley with my sketchpad and camera."

What have you most enjoyed about your PAS placement?

"Everyone here has been so supportive and gone that extra mile to make sure I get the most out of my three weeks. A highlight of week one was planting and laying gravel outside the new Welcome building, which is due to open this summer.

"I also had a rewarding time propagating cuttings for stock that is scheduled to be planted next year - perhaps by another Sheffield student?"

"I was also fortunate enough to attend a deciduous tree ID walk and a lecture on 'Tree Selection in Cities' with the horticulture students, which should be really useful for my planting design module after Easter."

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