The Christopher Lloyd Scholarship

The Christopher Lloyd Scholar spends a year working in the garden at Great Dixter, learning from Fergus and the team. They are paid a national living wage and are offered subsidised accommodation on-site. 

The scholarship is aimed at improving the skills within UK horticulture and is open to UK citizens or anyone who is eligible to work in the UK.


The aim of the Christopher Lloyd Scholarship is to provide gardeners living in the UK with a chance to develop a deep practical skill-set and an understanding of a ‘sense of place’ needed to manage complex, innovative flower gardens such as Great Dixter. It is hoped that the Scholars, in turn, will inspire a future generation of UK gardeners, passing on knowledge and skills.

The scholarship is primarily a practical training position: while scholars will have the opportunity to attend study days and other courses on site and beyond, applicants should be aware that learning will mostly be through hands on learning in the garden.

The Scholars are paid as a Great Dixter employee during the 12 month programme and the placement begins in September 2024. The scholars will be paid minimum wage and have the option of living in subsidised accommodation on site. 

Applicants must be UK citizens and be at least 18 years of age.

Selection Criteria

Successful applicants will have:

  • Previous horticultural training and work experience
  • Qualifications, including vocationally relevant qualifications
  • Interest and motivation to work in the sector
  • Skills that the placement would develop or enhance
  • A desire for self-development and their own goals

The Christopher Lloyd Scholarship has been generously supported by the Club 22 donors

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 placements page to find out about further opportunities.

Talitha Slabbert and Ernie Weller are our Christopher Lloyd Scholars 2023-2024

Talitha- pictured left is originally from Cape Town, South Africa, and came to the UK to complete a Ph.D. in English at Oxford University. While at Oxford she discovered a love of plants and gardening and realised that this was where her true vocation lay. She has recently completed an RHS qualification and has been working as a gardener in Oxford since 2022. 

Ernie (pictured right) has been part of the Dixter family since March 2022, as a volunteer in the garden, and more recently as a seasonal worker in the Nursery.

He has also previously worked as a gardener at Fairlight Hall, and a local nursery called Athelas Plants while studying for his RHS qualifications. He is originally from Catsfield in East Sussex. Ernie is completing a monthly diary while he is with us which you can read below. 

Previous scholars were Rob Flack, Agnes Ladjevardi, Jamie Todd, Ben Jones, Henry Witheridge, Jonny Bruce, Edward Alderman, James Horner, Rachael Dodd, Maggie Tran, Jonny Bruce and Sara Jackson.

For more information on the Christopher Lloyd Scholarship please contact [email protected] or phone 01797 334 042.

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