Although Goldings has been functioning as an instructional centre for Barnardo boys for over 30 years, and the gardens have existed
practically unchanged since the house was built, as a recognised class the department is the youngest in the School. Full status was
assumed when Mr. Embleton took over as Principal Gardening Teacher in October, 1945, and a nucleus, of 25 boys. Since then the
number has fluctuated between 25-35, and is now-divided into Junior, Intermediate and Senior groups. There are now 35 boys in the
The department has two major principles; to instruct students in the elementary principles and practice of the profession, yet at the
same time to supply the school kitchen with a regular flow of fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as to maintain the ornamental grounds,
sports areas, etc.
At Goldings, boys have an excellent opportunity to obtain a sound understanding of general horticulture, and gain experience; in the
cultivation of hardy fruit, green vegetables, root crops, the raising and growing of pot plants for indoor decoration, and Spring and
Summer bedding plants. The care and upkeep of sports areas is a specialized section of the work carried out, along with general estate
So many young gardeners of to-day have little opportunity to gain all-round experience of the profession, as most employers are
specialist growers. The ideal training ground of our forefathers' hey-day was the "Private" place, or Gentleman's estate, but most of
these as a result of heavy taxation have either passed into the care of the National Trust, or are highly commercialised. Such
establishments where they exist, are still to be recommended, and the boy who completes his full training at Geldings, ought to rill
any post offered with confidence, yet at the same time be suitably equipped to carry on with other lines of specialized growing.
A good memory and a keen sense of observation are two of the essentials for success to the individual, and the gardener with a
retentive brain for plant names, etc., is always sure of holding the higher paid jobs. To give some idea of the task ahead of the young
horticultural student, all plants are divided into classes and families and of the higher flowering plants, 120,000 species are recorded.
In the Daisy family (Compositae) alone, 800 genera and 10,000 to 12,000 species exist, and the specie are again divided into varieties
and hybrids. Further to this pests and diseases must be recognised and prompt methods of control clearly understood. Some knowledge
of chemistry is necessary, and with the introduction of many new insecticides such as Parathion and Azobenzene, great care exercised
in their application. These insecticides are so potent, that careless operators can lose their lives if the material is allowed to come In
direct contact with the skin. Also plants so sprayed must not be handled for several days. Furthermore great strides have been made
with plant hormones, and their uses are of special value to the gardener. Lawns can be weeded by simple spraying and the grass left
unharmed, potatoes can be dusted with another hormone in the clamp and early sprouting prevented, plants difficult to propagate can
be hastened on, and yet again apple varieties known as "early droppers", made to retain their fruit. Scientifically, horticulture is well
catered for, and students whether at county institutes or Goldings must keep abreast of discoveries to keep on top of their job.