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My Horticultural Apprentice Experience

I’m Millie Wykes, the apprentice for Trewithen and I started collecting house plants during lockdown. Since then, my obsession for plants and gardening hasn’t stopped growing! So how did I end up working for Trewithen as an apprentice?

Three years ago, I started working on the Trewithen Estate in the Tea Shed, the Café in the gardens. When I was working, I always heard customers and other members of staff mentioning how beautiful and lovely the gardens are. I came up with the idea that maybe I’ll do my work experience placement for school working there. 

During my five day work experience, Gary, the head gardener, set up daily plant identifications where I learnt five plant names and got to grips with some proper gardening. I loved it. Initially I was going to do A-levels but working for the gardens sounded much more fun and interesting! 

Millie Tours Tuesdays

I work for the gardens four days a week (with one being in college) and I help to prune plants, tidy up areas in the garden, pot up plants and recently I’ve been heavily involved in the progress that we’ve done in the Silent Space Walled Garden. 

I have been awarded a Cornwall Garden Society bursary which will help me travel to many different gardens in Cornwall (including the Great Gardens) and this will help me to understand more about the history of them and the plants that they have. 

Furthermore, I now do tours of the garden which run on the first Tuesday of every month starting at 11am, and this is something that I am proud of because I’ve learnt a lot of the plants and some of the history of the gardens.

I’m also currently the youngest member of the CPGG, the Cornwall Professional Gardeners Group, and I think that this is an achievement.

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Walled garden lavender work

Back in October, I did a talk for the Hypatia Trust about horticulture and it made me realise that not many young people know of horticulture as being a potential career path, so I want to inspire them. There are endless things to do in horticulture, it isn’t  just weeding, and I look forward to expanding upon this and encourage more people into the profession.

I run a gardening Instagram account @millie.gardening and here I post about what I get up to and what plants I’ve been learning. 


Millie first lecture