The Ruth Borun Scholar spends a year working in the garden at Great Dixter, is paid minimum wage and offered subsidised accommodation on site. They are asked to complete a diary, horticultural projects and regular plant idents.  

The scholarship is aimed at improving the skills within UK horticulture and is open to UK citizens or anyone who is eligible to enter and work in the UK without a visa.

Our next round of applications will open in March 2023 to commence in September 2023. Please email [email protected] for further information.

It is very important to us that we preserve the international nature of our horticultural community here. If you live outside the UK, and would like to volunteer in the garden for between 1 and 3 months, please visit our placement page to find out about further opportunities.

Ruth Borun in her garden in the US

This Scholarship is generously funded by The Anna and Harry Borun Foundation in memory of Ruth Borun.

Ruth Borun was a friend of Christopher Lloyd. He visited her garden in Los Angeles back in the 70s and wrote about it in his book Other People’s Gardens. Mrs Borun died in May 2018 and her husband Dr Raymond Borun came from Los Angeles to Great Dixter later that year, aged 100 years old. With daughter Amy, he retraced the steps his wife had so often taken on the visits she made to Great Dixter over the years. Amy remembers her as, “a hands-on gardener who enjoyed living and working in her vibrant garden every day”. The scholarship is to honor Ruth Borun for her love of Great Dixter and to support education.

Colin Stewart Ruth Borun Scholar 2021-22

Colin Stewart (pictured) is our Ruth Borun Scholar for 2021. 

"While I initially trained as an illustrator, my interest in gardens and gardening has been ever-present, one of my earliest memories being sowing apple pips in the windows of our top floor Glasgow tenement flat. Much later, fascinated by the creativity and inventiveness of local plots, I wrote my undergraduate dissertation about front gardens and identity in south east London, before acquiring an allotment and rekindling my love of hands-on gardening. I went on to work and study with the National Trust for Scotland at Threave Garden, then spent a further year at Cambridge University Botanic Garden.

I find the layered, high intensity approach to planting at Great Dixter exhilarating, and I’m keen to learn exactly how this sense of magic is created, sustained and managed through the seasons. I’m also really excited by the recent revelation that this intensively maintained, highly ornamental garden has been proven to support great biodiversity."

The first Ruth Borun Scholar was Quentin Wallon.