A newly-qualified horticulture apprentice is making career progress in a West Midlands garden and in the mountains of Southern Greece.

Josh Tranter, a gardener at Ashwood Nurseries in Dudley is off to the Peloponnese next month to study the autumn bulbs of Greece.

The 19-year-old was an apprentice at Birmingham Botanical Gardens, gaining a horticulture qualification at Matthew Boulton College.

“I feel lucky to have landed these opportunities so close together,” said Josh. “It’s a great way to set me up for the future.”

Josh’s 10-day tour is organised by the Alpine Garden Society and funded by The Merlin Trust. He will travel from the seaport town of Nafpilo through to Tripoli, exploring thousands of plant species around the Corinth Canal, olive groves of the Mani Peninsula and the mediaeval fortress of Monemvasis

There is an additional academic side to the trip as Josh will write a report for The Merlin Trust about what he has learned.

“I’ll have lots to write about and pictures to take,” said Josh. “We grow some of the autumn-flowering bulbs here in the garden so it will be interesting to compare the two climates. It will give me a better view of how the plants actually grow in their natural habitat.”

While in the UK he can rely on the internet to help him identity various flora, Josh will have to take a more traditional approach to his research when he’s putting his report together.

“Google isn’t an option when you’re in the high peaks of Greece with no broadband for miles around,” he said. “That’s why I will be taking guide books to help me identify all the plants.

“I can’t thank everyone enough for the support they’re giving me,” he added. “I will definitely be making the most of the trip and will go back to work with much more knowledge.”

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