Wellington gardening enthusiast reaping benefits of Horticulture Certificate

Success Stories
julia ball

A self-titled IT geek from Wellington has jumped at the chance to leave trawling for gardening online tips behind and improve her green fingers with NZMA’s Level 3 Certificate in Horticulture.

At 44 years old Julia Ball decided to pursue what she considers an “excellent opportunity” to systematically learn to be a better gardener.

“I wanted to learn with a teacher and set assignments, rather than self-learning from YouTube.”

The 32-week online programme, which is completely free until the end of 2023, provides gardening enthusiasts or those looking to start a career in the industry with comprehensive knowledge of how to grow and manage plants, fruit, vegetables and flowers.

Julia is already applying her learnings in her own backyard.

“I’m surprised by the variety of work required to maintain a garden, and I’m enjoying doing more of it myself.

“Some of the assignments have been very simple, while others such as making compost and testing soil have required trying new skills but were well guided. I’m thinking more strategically about what I want to plant, when and why, and I’ve enjoyed drawing up a garden plan for the year ahead.”

While Julia is learning online, it doesn’t mean she has sacrificed connecting with tutors and classmates. 

“We’ve set up a Wellington study group to encourage each other in gardening, and we’ll be meeting up to visit some local horticulture operations together. My tutor is extremely knowledgeable, I’ve taken advantage of his years of experience by email and over live chats.”

Julia's studies wrap up in December and she is looking forward to using her new-found knowledge to help those around her.

“Several friends have asked me to help plan their gardens: how to layout their garden; what to grow; and how to make the most of it. I’m looking forward to sharing my skills!”

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