Rick Mather David Scrase Christopher Lloyd Scholarship

The Rick Mather David Scrase Foundation have generously given £150,000 over five years to fund an annual scholarship, enabling an outstanding existing scholar to extend their study at Great Dixter beyond the first year.

Great Dixter is an inspirational garden and gives exceptional training to its Christopher Lloyd Scholars, many of whom have gone on to hold important horticultural posts.

Rob Flack is our first Rick Mather David Scrase Christopher Lloyd Scholar and and began his second year at Great Dixter in September 2023 following a year as Christopher Lloyd Scholar (supported by the Finnis Scott Foundation and Club 22).

“My horticultural experience started in 2017 where I made a hop, skip and a jump back to college to form the foundation of my horticultural career. Following here I joined Rowallane Garden on the HBGTP and then moved to Kew gardens on the KSC Kitchen Garden traineeship. Between then and now I have worked for several maintenance companies as well as a private-estate in west-London.

After I built on my experiences and qualifications I began to notice a niche in my sights. I wished to pursue a career in the sustainable management of ecologically diverse and dynamic garden spaces. Inevitably I kept coming back to Great Dixter and found myself keen to learn the ways in developing a historic ornamental garden to further encompass the environment and the ecology in which it inhabits. 

After completing my first year at Great Dixter I feel fully charged with an understanding of how this magical garden works, the importance of its history and the complexity of the design. It has been an absolute honor to work with Fergus and the team, learning in a very niche style of horticulture. For me this second year is going to add a few more layers onto that which I have already learnt. Having already grasped a good understanding of the garden, I am looking forward to adding layers onto the design aspects of this year, further building on my plant knowledge, along with getting a better sense of the seasonal logistics and developing leadership skills that will aid in slingshotting me into a senior role in the future. For me the first year was the icing on the cake, and now this is the cherry on top with the sugared dusting. I am positive that I will come out of this year with a greater understanding and appreciation for horticulture than I could ever have hoped for. I am thoroughly excited to see where this year goes, taking the new students under my wing and giving them as much as I was given in my first year.”

During his time with us as Christopher Lloyd Scholar from 2022-23, Rob kept a diary which he will continue during his second year. This can be read below

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