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I think that it is about time we introduced two of our valuable team members.... the students.

Jessica Redhead (on the left) and Hannah Philips (on the right)

Both started here in September 2012 and will be with us until the end of August 2013. They alternate week by week between the formal gardens team and the landscape gardens team. This enables them both to get a real feel for estate and garden work and puts them on the right route for their further career aspirations.

Jess is halfway through a degree in Countryside management at Harper Adams University and this is her placement year. Hannah has just completed a Foundation degree in Horticulture at Bicton college. They are both here to gain some hands-on experience and practical skills, something that very few colleges offer these days.

In return for their hard work they get free accommodation on site and a small amount of pay.

We are only a small team of 6 gardeners so adding two new students every year massively changes the dynamics of the team. They are both a pleasure to work with, and with two female students this is the first time that the team has been 'girl-heavy' which is refreshing!

Part of the joy of having students is tapping into their renewed energy and enthusiasm for the subject. They remind us oldies about why we wanted to start this profession in the first place. All the gardens team are keen to impart all of their knowledge onto them and Jess and Hannah are like sponges!

We set them a plant identification every week and they have to learn all the Latin names of between 5-10 plants, so they very quickly get to know the garden and understand the seasons.

And they are keen to please and they have quickly learnt how to please the gardens team with their baking skills!

Well done girls- you are doing a cracking job! Just keep asking us all questions and learn as much as you can....... and keep baking!!!!

Hestercombe Gardens aerial Pawel Borowski DJI 0038

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