Tristan's off to a green and pleasant land

THE Chelsea Flower Show beckons for a Warrnambool teen with a life-long passion for gardening.

Horticulture apprentice Tristan Krepp scored the trip to one of the world’s most popular garden events after being awarded a scholarship and four-week study tour on Saturday night.

The 19-year-old received the Big Brother Movement’s Sir John Pagan Horticulture Award at the Australian Institute of Horticulture National Awards ceremony.

Tristan is a horticulture student at TAFE and works at Deakin University as a groundskeeper through an apprenticeship with Westvic Staffing Solutions.

Even yesterday, amid tending to the flower beds and golf course fairways at Deakin, Tristan was still processing the news that he’s off to the UK.

“It’s very very exciting,” he said. “I’m still trying to take it in.”

He attributed his green thumb to his late grandfather, who passed away when Tristan was just starting primary school.

“As a young kid, we always walked around the garden at my grandparents’ house. He gave me my love of plants.”

Tristan was entering gardening competitions — and winning — soon after. As a 14-year-old, he was working at a nursery and by 16 he had left school to begin his horticulture studies and apprenticeship.

He hopes to learn much on his UK trip.

“I’m hoping to get some work experience in some gardens over there.

“There are some gardens in England that are 200 or 300 years old — we don’t have that in Australia.”

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