Jon is doing a First Diploma in Horticulture at Bicton College. Jon chose this course because it allows him to spend a large part of his day outdoors in the fresh air and working with nature.

Jon has developed a range of skills, including potting and bedding, as well as learning about the use of compost and fertilisers and the Latin names for plants. He has experienced the many different elements of horticulture and hopes to carry on learning, specialising in horticulture management in order to become a Ranger or work in wildlife conservation.

This clip shows Jon using water-absorbing hydrogel polymers and latin naming of plants.

With thanks to: Bicton College

Curriculum topics:

  • Plants and water
  • Water-absorbing hydrogel polymers
  • Scientific names in biology

Also in this film:

  • Working outdoors
  • Using recycled materials
  • Working with an Asperger’s diagnosis
  • Communicating using sign language

Suggested practicals:

Cloning a living organism
Many plants are propagated by taking cuttings – the resulting plants are clones of the original plant.

Estimating rate of transpiration from a plant cutting
Estimate the rate at which a plant loses water by transpiration – then you can work out how much water to give it.

Experiments with hydrogels – plant water storage crystals
Find out how much water a hydrogel can absorb – this is the ‘Swell Gel’ shown in the video.

Investigating factors affecting the rate of photosynthesis
All green plants require sunlight if they are to stay alive, in order to make the starch which is their food. Find out what else they require.