Senior gardeners group together to offer top-level experience

A select group of Britain's most experienced gardeners have got together to pool their wisdom and help fund training for new generations.

Senior Garden Advisors' founder Alan Mason
Senior Garden Advisors' founder Alan Mason

Between them, the professionals who make up the Senior Garden Advisors have hundreds of years’ experience, and they include the former head gardeners from Chatsworth House, Castle Howard, Harewood House and Hardwick Hall.

Now they are offering their skills as consultants on a new website,, which lists their achievements, location and fee range.

Founder Alan Mason, former gardens manager at Harewood House and presenter of TV series including Le Manoir and Gardens without Borders, said: "There are so many people who are now set up as landscapers or garden designers it’s often very confusing for people to find someone who is respected in the industry, who has genuine experience and who has worked at a high level.

"We are people who have spent a lifetime in the profession and we will give genuine, honest advice without trying to get a colossal contract out of it."

Mason said that he thought the seniors’ key clientele would be "manor house owners", which once had several gardeners but are now likely to only have one full-time gardener.

As well as trees, shrubs and flowers, many of the senior gardeners are also experienced in growing glasshouse produce.

The Professional Gardeners Guild offers trainees a year’s practical experience in each of three major gardens in the UK, learning all aspects of open and glasshouse gardening, with complementary training provided by local colleges.

Waddesdon Manor, Buckinghamshire, Chatsworth, Derbyshire, Osborne House on the Isle of Wight and the National Botanic Garden of Wales all participate.

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