Kew prepares reunion party to mark diploma anniversary

A Grand Reunion Garden Party for existing and former students and staff of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew will be held this September.

It is to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the commencement of the three-year Kew Diploma in Horticulture, an extension of the two-year certificate initiated by Sir Joseph Hooker in 1859.

The diploma was made a three-year course in 1963 by the then director Sir George Taylor, making it equivalent to a degree.

Organiser the Kew Guild felt it was the perfect year to celebrate Kew's contribution to botanical horticulture internationally and hopes as many of the 860 diploma graduates and former staff as possible will attend on 7 September. Events include a mass photo of attendees on the steps of the Princess of Wales Conservatory and a grand picnic in the gardens.

The day will start at 10.30am in the Herbarium Library, where attendees will be able to view a display of Kew Guild memorabilia, followed by a bring-your-own picnic. The mass photo will be taken at 2pm, following the tradition of Kew's annual photo of staff and students. Attendees will then be able to join the Kew Guild AGM in the Jodrell Laboratory or enjoy the gardens.

For more information on the event, contact Kew Guild secretary Sara Arnold at or see Non-guild members are welcome to attend.

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