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 two years 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, and attends study blocks at Wrest Park where he is taught by staff from Capel Manor and will eventually gain a level 3 qualification in horticulture. 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

Jonny Bruce started work at Great Dixter as the Christopher Lloyd Scholar in September having spent a formative year at Aberglasney Gardens in Wales. He grew up in Oxford before studying Art History at Cambridge University. At university he set up Girton College’s first student allotment and it was on this plot he fostered a passion for horticulture. He continues to explore the relationship between art and gardens in a small and free publication called The Germ.

Jonny bruce pic for web

If you are interested in receiving a copy of The Germ contact Jonny at

Click here to see a review of The Germ.







Previous scholars were Edward Alderman, 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 North American Christopher Lloyd Scholarship was conceived in order to provide a North American gardener with a year-long, practical education in the traditional style of ornamental 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 deep practical skills and an understanding of the ‘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.

The scholar will spend 11 months, from September to August, living and working at Great Dixter, immersed in all aspects of the garden’s operations. The individual will also attend symposiums and visit gardens, plant trials and garden shows. The final month of the scholarship is spent working at Chanticleer.

The scholar will receive $1740 per month, paid in U.S. dollars by Chanticleer. Chanticleer will cover air travel to and from the UK and some additional travel while on the Scholarship.   Great Dixter will provide accommodation for the duration of the placement in the UK. The scholar will be expected to contribute £50 per week to cover energy and water costs.   The Scholar will stay in Chanticleer housing during the month at the garden.

The scholarship, 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 U.S. citizens. Applications must be submitted by 30th November 2015. A group of finalists will be selected by Fergus Garret (CEO and Head Gardener at Great Dixter), Erin McKeon (Public Programs Manager at Chanticleer), Jeff Lynch (Grounds Manager at Chanticleer) and Catherine Haydock (Education Officer at Great Dixter), who will conduct interviews by Skype on the 17th December to choose the scholar.

To apply please complete the application form and send with a CV and cover letter to: Catherine Haydock, Great Dixter Charitable Trust, Northiam, Rye, East Sussex, UK, TN31 6PH or by email to .

Applicants must be U.S. citizens.


New scholar Susan Quinn started at Great Dixter at the start of September, following a period at Chanticleer.

Previous scholar Ben Pick (shown above) kept a blog while at Dixter which you can read here.

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.