19-year-old Inez Williams, from Mount Hawke, got a taste for garden history when she started working at Trewithen, near Probus, three years ago as part of her Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award and is now heading into her second year of a degree in Garden Design, Restoration and Management at Writtle College in Essex.
"I have been fascinated by the house and garden at Trewithen ever since I started working here," said Inez. "I realised that working on historical estates is what I want to do as a career so after I finish my degree I want to go on to do a Masters and Doctorate before getting a job restoring historical estates."
Inez now works at Trewithen three days a week after applying for a bursary through the Merlin Trust. She works alongside Head Gardener Gary Long to enhance her plant knowledge whilst also researching the history of the Water Garden, which was never finished properly 300 years ago. Her aim is to create a plan to develop and enhance the area as an added attraction.
She said: "Gary has been instrumental in helping me decide what I'd like to achieve and coming up with the specifications for my project work. He is a fantastic tutor and hugely inspirational.
"I really enjoy working at Trewithen, everyone is so lovely and friendly and by being able to gain experience here, it really has made my career path happen."
Trewithen has had great success with its volunteers, something that Gary is keen to promote.
He said: "Earlier on this year Scarlett English won an apprenticeship at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and there have been jobs offered to volunteers at other Cornish gardens including Caerhays and Trevarno.
"Inez is a fantastic example of what can be achieved. She will leave a lasting legacy here and we'll help her on her way as much as we can."
For more information about how to become a volunteer at Trewithen, visit www.trewithengardens.co.uk or call Gary Long on 01726 883647.
Ends 13 August 2012
Media enquiries: Sue Bradbury PR Tel: 01872 863863