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Growing with the garden

Millie Woodley, garden apprentice

Hi, my name is Millie and I am the new garden apprentice! Fulham Palace currently has three garden apprentices who work and study over an 18 month period before moving on to other gardens and sites around the country with our new knowledge.

I have just completed my first year of full time practical horticulture training at Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, and I did a little bit of volunteering at Nymans National Trust a few years ago during college. Now I have the exciting opportunity to work at Fulham Palace. Even after the short time that I’ve been here, I can already tell it’s a really special place.

I did so much and learnt a lot in my first week in the garden. Some tasks included potting Tulipa and Narcissus bulbs in Victorian pots for displays and to sell next year in spring, working in a nursery for the first time pricking out seedlings, working with the garden volunteers and my fellow apprentices on team tasks in the garden, and of course giving Palace cat Edmund some TLC.

Potting bulbs in the vinery
Hedge trimming

It’s great that we have the ability to really get involved with the public here, whether they are shopping at our market barrow or asking me about my work in a certain bed or plot around the garden. I enjoy that we garden apprentices can use our horticultural knowledge to enthuse others with our blog posts, and it’s a great learning opportunity that keeps our brains buzzing when we are studying at home, too!

The atmosphere at Fulham Palace is wonderful. All the staff members and volunteers have been very welcoming, and I can tell they’re really proud of what they do. I’m excited to be a part of this team, and I know I’m going to come out of this apprenticeship with so much more confidence in my skills!