During the years we have been developing the gardens within the olive grove at La Mouissone, we have learnt a huge amount.
From formal teaching, from experience, from friends and visitors, from other gardens and botanic organisations and from volunteers who come to work in the garden to gain experience and knowledge as interns. The gardens we can present today would not have been achieved without this broadening of understanding and learning from many different sources.
It is my firm belief that there is always something new to know just waiting to be taken up, and for this reason I very much welcome the contribution gained from visiting gardeners, and gardening students.
My Internship Offer is ideal for people who have gardening knowledge, and who have a few months to spare and would like to learn about the specific Mediterranean way of gardening.
La Mouissone is eager to offer an Internship to students and graduates of horticulture and related subjects, for a minimum six month placement in a Mediterranean garden of seven acres in Grasse, France.
La Mouissone has been developed over the last ten to fifteen years as a series of gardens within an Olive Grove. The garden was opened to public visits in 2012, and the short term aim is to apply for the French label of recognition as 'Jardin Remarquable'.
The experience provides an opportunity to work in different gardens set out in a steeply terraced Olive Grove on the edge of natural forest. While using basic gardening skills and techniques the student will have a unique opportunity to experience adapting to the particular constraints offered by the climate and the terrain. Under the guidance of Lady Lockett, the student will work alongside an experienced gardening team. La Mouissone's French Head Gardener (a fluent English speaker) and his assistant are very skilled and much can be gained by being observant and communicating with them to learn more about horticulture as a career.
The period of work experience gives the participant who is considering making his or her way into a horticultural or related career an opportunity to actively learn about the challenges of gardening and living in the Mediterranean; and this may add to their future employability.
The work is:
- General gardening, covering maintenance, propagation and planting, upkeep of turfed areas, hedges, stone walls and steps, and irrigation system.
- Planning and upkeep of a vegetable garden for year round cropping.
- Extensive tree-work and woodland clearance, which is undertaken in the mid-winter months.
Areas of horticultural interest cover:
- The management of olive trees for maximising olive production.
- Drought management - irrigation techniques and the selection of drought resistant plants for a presentable garden.
- Bamboo garden, Prairie garden, Woodland Walk, Exotic Beds, Mass plantings of bulbs
- Autumn Flowering Sage Garden, in conjunction with small gardens of Garrigue plants, Southern Hemisphere plants, and the introduction of garden plants into wild slope and cliff area to blend with surrounding maintained area.
- Development of new theme of introducing or highlighting plants throughout the gardens, which are pertinent to the perfume industry for which Grasse is world renowned.
Every year two consecutive unwaged placements of a minimum of six months are available for horticultural students seeking to supplement their studies. Accommodation and support (bed and board) is provided on the property, with the shared use of a car. The applicant should be aware there is a strict non-smoking policy within the company and the property.
Applications can be made at any time of the year. Some previous practical experience would be preferable. The application should contain the following information:
- Personal details
- Education details from secondary school onwards
- Horticulture Course details, and areas of special interest experienced on the course
- A brief description of any previous gardening experience, and reasons for seeking a career in the field
- The applicant's future aims in horticulture
- A clean driving licence?
- A reference or statement from the Course Director
- A second referee
Applications may be sent to Lady Lockett by email or letter.