Behind the CHScenes: CHS Apprentice turned Gardener – Mr Scott Dennison (CHS Gardener)

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Meet Scott!

Scott began his journey at Cheadle Hulme School last July as an Apprentice Gardener. A year later, and he’s due to finish his apprenticeship this Autumn and be appointed as a Gardener here at CHS!

As part of our series, Behind the CHScenes, we’re chatting with the staff around CHS who are often busy in the background but are extremely important in keeping things running smoothly!

We caught up with Scott to learn a little bit more about his apprentice journey at CHS, his passion for gardening, and get a little bit of insight into his musical side…

How did you realise your passion for gardening? Did something spark your love for it?

“I’ve always enjoyed the outdoors and being in natural spaces. I was in the scouts when I was younger, and we were always out camping or hiking outdoors. I think from there my love of nature flourished and sparked some kind of fascination with plants, trees, birds, insects etc. I got more interested in recent years and spent time learning about it by reading books and watching Monty Don on Friday evenings. I started volunteering at Dunham Massey National Trust a few days a week during lockdown and realised I could make gardening my full-time job. It’s great moving with the seasons and watching things change through the year.



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What about your passion for music? How long have you been making music?

My passion for music started when I was younger and my dad would play a mix of music at home from Frank Sinatra, The Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, Billy Joel, disco among others. From there I learned the saxophone, drums, harmonica and then self-taught myself the guitar at 16. I started a band in college and then went solo during Uni. I’ve been writing and releasing music since around 2013. I started out recording it all myself but now I work with a producer. I’ve released 6 EPs and 2 albums. My second album came out in May this year. The music sounds like folky, pop/rock, a bit like Bob Dylan, The Coral, Paul Weller, Richard Hawley etc. 

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Scott’s 2nd album ‘Waterlands’

Do you keep these two separate or do they link in anyway?

Music and gardening are just two big passions of mine. They compliment one another nicely as gardening is very physical and hands-on, but song writing is very introspective and uses a lot of creative thinking. I’ve found that my creative juices have been flowing more since I became a full-time gardener. They go hand in hand for me.

Why did you choose CHS to begin your apprentice gardener journey?

CHS seemed to have a great community atmosphere. In some gardening jobs, you’re very much isolated as a gardener and don’t have many people working around you. CHS has a busy buzz that keeps things interesting. Also, with the new additions of the living walls, the green path, and the junior allotment, it feels like it’s right up my street in terms of nature friendly gardening.

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Is there a gardening project at CHS you’re most proud of?

I think the junior allotment garden is going to go from strength to strength. It’s only been going for a few months but growing vegetables with the students and then giving it to the kitchens to use in the school meals has been really fun and interesting. I haven’t done much vegetable growing in the past, so it’s an enjoyable learning curve for me. I think it’ll be very rewarding for everyone at CHS and getting the kids interested in gardening / nature is always a good thing.”


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Junior gardeners tending to their patch!