About Us

The Professional Gardeners’ Trust was set up by professional gardeners to encourage the raising of professional standards through further education and practical experience.

It is critical to provide funding opportunities for training, both to encourage those entering the profession and to raise the skill levels of existing gardeners to meet the increasingly diverse range of demands made upon them.

The Trust is a Charity, number 1101169 and a Company Limited by Guarantee: registered No 4544242. The trustees meet twice a year, with the AGM in April.



  • Chairman, Sarah Wain – Sarah was born and raised in Australia, where she trained in horticulture. In the early 1980s she worked at RBG Kew where she met her husband Jim Buckland who was training there at the time. Since then, the couple have worked here and in Australia in public and private gardens including 29 years renovating West Dean Gardens together.
  • Hon. Secretary, Natasha Goodfellow – Natasha is a garden writer and editor and author of A London Floral (Finch Publishing). She writes for publications including Gardens Illustrated, Elle Decoration and Country Life and also curates events at the Garden Museum in Lambeth.

Helen Seal 

  • Awards Manager, Helen Seal – Helen works as a self-employed gardener and garden advisor and was Alpine and Woodland Supervisor at the University of Cambridge Botanic Garden for eight years.
  • Treasurer, Thys Terblanche – I am a Chartered Accountant, orginally from South Africa, but I have been calling the UK my home since 2011.  I have held many finance roles at major corporations.  I enjoy informal gardening and attending to my allotment.

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  • Trustee, Rod Petty – Rod is a chartered surveyor and a past Master of the Worshipful Company of Gardeners. He is also a former President of the Royal National Rose Society.
  • Trustee, Stephen Crisp – Stephen is Head of Horticulture for the United States Embassy in London where he has worked since1987.  He is a committee member of the London Gardens Network; he champions apprentices and is an RHS Britain in Bloom judge.  He is also an RHS Show garden judge and a selection panel member and was elected an RHS Associate of Honour for services to horticulture in 2017.
  • Trustee, Jim Buckland – Jim completed a Kew Diploma in 1982 and has since managed historic parks and gardens in both Australia and the UK. He has been Gardens Manager at West Dean gardens, West Sussex, for the last 26 years.
  • Trustee, Mick Brown – With a background in teaching and floristry, Mick went on to study Horticulture at Capel Manor in the early 2000’s. He is now part of the garden management team at Chatsworth House, where he leads on training and development and is responsible for the learning experiences of students, apprentices and visiting professionals to the gardens.

Rosie Atkinsv2Stephen Smith

  • Trustee, Mrs Rosie Atkins – Rosie was the launch editor of Gardens Illustrated Magazine and curator of Chelsea Physic Garden. She is Trustee of the Great Dixter Charitable Trust and on the Council of the Linnean Society as well as various RHS committees.
  • Trustee, Stephen Smith  – Stephen started as a ‘Parks Department’ apprentice in the late 70s.  He began teaching horticulture at Capel Manor in the 90s and went on to manage Grosvenor’s London garden squares until 2011.  He currently works in freelance teaching and training.
  • Trustee, Sheila Das – Having changed career in 2006, Sheila completed the Kew Diploma and then went on to work for English Heritage at Wrest Park. She is now a Garden Manager at RHS Garden Wisley with responsibility for the Students and Apprentices, the Members’ Seed Scheme and the Edibles and Wellbeing gardens.