West Dean Gardens is starting a fund and seeking donations, to establish a Trainee Horticulturalist post. This is in honour of the legacy that Head Gardeners Jim Buckland and Sarah Wain have left in the gardens. The aim is to give someone at the start of their career, the chance they need to work towards managing a garden like West Dean.
Jim and Sarah have spent the last 28 years revitalising the magnificent landscape. Making West Dean Gardens one of the greatest restored gardens in the UK. They will retire in spring 2019.
Sarah Wain said: “Large gardens want people to have experience, but it’s so difficult to gain it in the first place. We want to set up a fund to help a person right at the beginning of their journey so they can one day manage large gardens.”
Through a complete annual cycle, the trainee will work with the West Dean team. They will learn about every aspect of the gardens and gain practical experience. They will be eligible to apply to the most prestigious horticultural training programmes in the country.
West Dean’s aim is to secure enough money to fund the first three years of this programme, which equates to £70 a day. The cost to deliver the Trainee Horticulturalist post next year is £17,400. This will cover their salary, membership of the Professional Gardeners’ Guild and health and safety courses.
West Dean Gardens are open to the public from February to December (Closed December 24th to January 31, 2019).