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Elsa Morgan
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60Personal Statement for Elsa Morgan, HHSS trainee at Dyffryn Gardens:

 I currently work as an HHSS (Heritage Horticultural Skills Scheme) trainee at National Trust Dyffryn Gardens where I am learning a whole host of valuable heritage horticultural techniques and practices from preparing ground and sowing seeds in the kitchen gardens, to pruning, hedge trimming, planting hedges, bedding plants and glasshouse care.

I have also gained a broad familiarity with the plants in the gardens through regular plant idents.

What I love most about Dyffryn is working in such a uniquely beautiful and historical setting and the idea that I am learning how to preserve this history for future generations to enjoy.

The landscape architect Thomas Mawson designed Dyffryn gardens in the late eighteen nineties for John Cory, a wealthy industrialist. The gardens are an excellent example of Edwardian design, featuring a series of garden rooms, kitchen gardens based upon Edwardian gardening principles, an impressive arboretum and a glasshouse displaying orchid and cacti collections. As Sandra Durant, the Assistant Head Gardener described it ‘we have everything here at Dyffryn’.

As well as volunteering for two years at National Trust Trengwainton in their walled kitchen gardens near Penzance in Cornwall, I also have a background cataloguing artefacts in a museum. In 2010, I obtained a degree in Humanities through the Open University and it was the history part of my degree that led me to become interested in heritage horticulture.

After I leave Dyffryn Gardens I am hoping to find a career that will compliment both my interests in horticulture and history.

I have already gained a tremendous breadth of knowledge and most importantly good practical skills. The whole experience will hopefully give me the foundations to go forward with confidence as a professional heritage horticulturalist.


April 2014