Meet the Gardeners

West Dean is one of the most significant restored gardens open to the public today and listed Grade II* on the Historic England Register of Historic Parks and Gardens. Our team of gardeners work hard to restore and maintain the Gardens, continuing the vision of Jim Buckland and Sarah Wain who retired in 2019 after 28 years. We are very lucky to also have 50 regular volunteers, whose help in keeping the Gardens looking as wonderful as they do is invaluable.

Sophie Norris-Wagstaff: Glasshouse Gardener - Responsible for the care and maintenance of the Glasshouse displays and collections. (Pictured bottom left)

Anne Kelly: Walled Gardener - Responsible for the Walled Garden three days a week, working alongside George. Planting, care and maintenance of the Kitchen Garden, Orchard and Beds in the Walled Gardens. (Pictured bottom right) 

George Ellis: Walled Gardener - Responsible for the Walled Garden, working alongside Anne. Planting, care and maintenance of the Kitchen Garden, Orchard and Beds in the Walled Gardens. (Pictured top left)

Will Hamblin: Landscape Gardener - Responsible for trees, grass, composting and irrigation in the Arboretum and Landscape Gardens . (Pictured second top left)

Chantal Sparrow: Senior Gardener, Ornamental - Responsible for the Beds and Borders in the Lanscape Gardens and managing our large team of wonderful volunteers. (Pictured third top left)

Tom Brown: Head Gardener. (Pictured top right)

Marie Stevens: Production Gardener - Responsible for our young nursery and production plots, growing produce for students and visitors to eat and buy at West Dean. (Not pictured)

Rebecca Corke: Wellbeing Gardener - Responsible two days a week for student accommodation gardens, course materials, college building and courtyards.  (Not pictured)

Jim Buckland and Sarah Wain's retirement

Jim Buckland and Sarah Wain were the inspirational leaders of the garden team for over 25 years, until they retired in April 2019. They brought zeal, imagination, deep horticultural knowledge and an ever-growing understanding and enthusiasm for the gardens and its history. Read the full blog.

We wish Jim and Sarah a heartfelt fond farewell from all of us at West Dean, and best wishes for their retirement.

Support West Dean Gardens

West Dean Gardens is part of a registered charity and its upkeep and care are only possible with the support of generous donors, friends and legacy gifts.

If you share our passion for the gardens and gardening excellence,
please find out how you can help support their upkeep.