Experience gathered at Cornwall’s highly acclaimed Trewithen Garden has helped a green-fingered young volunteer win an apprenticeship at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

Scarlett English, 20, will begin her three-year training in botanical horticulture at Kew, one of the world’s leading botanic gardens, in August.

Originally from Guildford, Surrey, Scarlett moved to Cornwall in 2010 to study for a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design at Falmouth University. She went on to do horticulture at Duchy College, Rosewarne, near Camborne and has helped out at Trewithen Gardens, Grampound, Truro, once a week since September.

“My experience at Trewithen has been invaluable,” said Scarlett. “I’ve increased my plant identification skills, my practical skills and my practical experience, I’ve also had the rare opportunity of helping to build medal winning show gardens and display plants at flower shows. I now know that my ultimate goal is to become the head gardener of an historic, heritage, botanical garden like Trewithen.”

Scarlett is the latest of a growing list of Trewithen volunteers whose hands-on experience under the guidance of head gardener, Gary Long, has led to a career in horticulture.

Gary explained: “The volunteering programme at Trewithen is a symbiotic relationship – we couldn’t manage without them and the experience they gain is often a springboard to rewarding careers. In the past we’ve had volunteers offered jobs at other Cornish gardens including Caerhays and Trevano Some have even gone on to start their own horticulture businesses.

“I feel privileged to have been instrumental in Scarlett achieving her placement at Kew. It’s a life-changing opportunity and I wish her success though the whole Trewithen team will miss her when she leaves.”

For more information about how to become a Trewithen volunteer, visit www.trewithengardens.co.uk or call Gary Long on 01726 883647.