Student placements

Christopher Lloyd established the garden at Great Dixter as a place where young and old gardeners would meet and share their excitement for plants. His writing in both books and the press stimulated gardeners all around the world.

Students come to Dixter to learn practical skills and develop a deeper understanding of the craft of traditional flower gardening. Fergus Garrett, Christopher’s friend and head gardener, continues his legacy, both in the borders at Great Dixter and through his work with students.

The Christopher Lloyd Scholarship

The first Christopher Lloyd Scholar started at Dixter in September 2010. The scholar spends a year working in the garden at Great Dixter. They are paid minimum wage and are offered subsidised accommodation on site. The scholarship is advertised around February with placements starting in September..

The Christopher Lloyd Scholarship is part of the Historic and Botanic Garden Bursary Scheme’s placement programme, which is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. As part of the scheme the scholar is expected to complete a horticultural diary, four projects and weekly plant identification tests. The Scheme funds half the scholar’s salary. As the scheme is aimed at improving the skills within UK horticulture, the scholarship is open to EU applicants only. Applicants are also expected to have a minimum level 2 qualification in Horticulture. The Scholarship is also generously funded by Goldman Sachs Gives and the Historic and Botanic Garden Bursary Scheme

Ed Alderman, the current scholar, joined Great Dixter in September 2013 from Barnsley House, Gloucestershire, where he spent around 6 years learning how to garden “on the job”. Barnsley is an important historic garden and was the home of Rosemary Verey. It is now a hotel, and the garden supplies the lions share of food for the kitchens. Ed comes from a farming background, and was destined to take on the family farm when a change of circumstances led him into horticulture. He is particularly interested in potager gardening. His diary is in the shape of a blog which you can read here.

Previous scholars were James Horner, Rachael Dodd and Maggie Tran.

Click here to read the diary Maggie kept while she was with us.

The North American Christopher Lloyd Scholarship

The Christopher Lloyd Scholarship for North American Flower Gardeners was conceived in order to provide a North American gardener with a year- long, practical education in the traditional style of flower gardening as practiced at two of the world’s most respected gardens, Great Dixter in East Sussex, England, and Chanticleer near Philadelphia, USA.

The scholarship offers a North American gardener a chance to develop a deep practical skill- set and an understanding of ‘sense of place’ needed to manage complex, innovative flower gardens such as those at Great Dixter and Chanticleer. It is hoped that the scholar, in turn, will inspire a future generation of North American gardeners, passing on knowledge and skills.

Ideally, the scholar will spend 11 months, from September to August, living and working at Great Dixter, where he or she will be immersed in all aspects of the garden’s operations. They will also attend symposiums; visit gardens, plant trials and garden shows; and travel to Istanbul’s Nezahat Gokyigit Botanic Garden for 2 weeks to experience another country well known for its rich flora. The final month of the scholarship will be spent working at Chanticleer.

The scholar will earn £12,100 per annum, paid by the Chanticleer Foundation. The Foundation will also cover air travel to and from the UK and to and from Istanbul. Great Dixter will provide subsidised self-catered accommodation for the duration of the placement in the UK and for the visit to Istanbul.

The scholarship, which is named in honour of Christopher Lloyd, who lived and gardened at Great Dixter and established close ties with Chanticleer, is open to trainee gardeners who are US citizens. The next place will be advertised in Autumn 2014, with telephone interviews taking place in December.

Ben Pick, the current scholar started at Great Dixter in September 2013, moving all the way from North Carolina in the USA. He studied for a degree in Horticulture, before working with various landscape firms, and for a nursery, spending time at Denver Botanic Garden, which he found very inspiring. Ben is keeping a blog about his time at Dixter which you can read here.

The previous scholar was Emma Seniuk who was generously funded by Barbara Baker.

The Anne Wright Scholarship

Named in honour of a great plantswoman, and friend of Christopher, the Anne Wright Scholarship is open to students studying horticultural courses at Hadlow College. The Scholar spends 6 weeks working at Dixter and living on site over the summer. Applications are handled by Hadlow College.

Other Placements

As well as formal scholarships, Great Dixter offers placements for trainee gardeners from around the world. Offered on a first come- first served basis, students are offered free accommodation and a small stipend to help with living expenses. Places are limited and book up long in advance, particularly during the summer months.

For more information about our student placements please contact Catherine Haydock. or tel: 01797 254048.