National Gardens Scheme (NGS) chairman Penny Snell said: "I have known Joe Swift for several years and over that time I have seen what a strong supporter of the NGS he is. The admiration he shows for amateur gardeners and their achievements is incredibly genuine — he loves all the gardens, from the tiniest urban spaces and allotments to the rolling countryside landscapes. As our president, I know Joe will be an inspiration to both garden owners and visitors."
One of Swift's first duties as president will be to host the launch of The Yellow Book 2010 at the Royal Festival Hall on 3 February.
He said: "I am extremely honoured to become president of the National Gardens Scheme. The sheer variety of the gardens and the hard work of the garden owners never ceases to amaze me. I've seen a lot but still have a lifetime of visiting ahead of me to see even a quarter of them. I remember one garden in London where I could literally stand in the middle and touch the walls — a garden packed full of plants and inspiration for anyone. And, at the end of the day, what a great cause — the money raised makes a real difference to people's lives."
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