The Nursery scholarship

The nursery was started by Christopher Lloyd in 1954, specialising in good garden-worthy plants. Operating in a traditional way, the nursery uses skills and techniques that are no longer seen in larger or more commercial operations.

 The nursery scholar spends a year working in the nursery at Great Dixter learning from the team of friendly and knowledgeable staff.

They learn to manage propagate and cultivate annuals, perennials, ferns, shrubs and trees from the garden here at Great Dixter, take part in regular plant idents and attend on site lectures. 85% of plants grown by us are produced on site. The nursery is unusual in growing in a loam-based peat-free potting medium which we make ourselves.

Our current Nursery Scholar is Sam Walker- pictured left.

The aim of the scholarship is to ensure that these historic but effective methods are passed on to the next generation of nursery workers. Previous scholars have gone on to work at York Gate, Leeds, Kew Gardens, London, the National Trust Plant Conservation Centre, Devon, and open nurseries of their own.

Sam joins us from Leeds, Yorkshire where he has been working at a large-scale commercial nursery. He was awarded a triple distinction in the Level 3 Advanced Technical Extended Diploma in Horticulture from Askham Bryan College in York and has a range of horticultural experience in both nurseries and garden and parks settings. He’s particularly interested in learning traditional propagation techniques.  He is keeping a diary of his time with us which you can read below: 

One of our previous trainees Shaun Blower, (pictured right) has continued at Dixter as a nursery worker and is now involved in training others.

Other previous trainees were: Eleanor Machell, Shaun Blower, and Ellie Pay. 

Along with our previous deputy head of the nursery Sophie Cook, Ellie has also been instrumental in setting up a zine called the Young Propagators Society. You can follow it on Facebook and Instagram and download a copy.

For more information on the nursery scholarship please contact [email protected] or phone 01797 254048

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