An English tea party was held at the Jerusalem Botanical Gardens to honour a Londoner who initiated a scholarship scheme which has enabled 100 young gardeners from all over the world to work at the gardens over the past 30 years.
Several former scholars were at the tea party, recognising the contribution of Jose Dent, founder and chair of the British Friends of the Botanical Gardens.
Scholars supported by the British Friends spend up to one year at the gardens, learning about new plants and picking up skills and knowledge in a climate and working environment quite different from their own.
Many graduates have gone on to key positions in the horticultural industry worldwide.
Among ex-scholars at the tea were Andrew Jackson, head of Wakehurst Place, Kew Gardens’ country seat; Neil Miller, head gardener at Hever Castle in Kent and Chris Warren, who headed the gardening team at the Jerusalem Botanical for several years before returning to the UK to establish a gardening company.
Katy Elton, a current UK Friends scholar, said: “Having an experience and understanding of horticulture in a different climate was one of the main things that drew me to the JBG scholarship and it is certainly delivering on that.
“It really is life and career changing for someone starting out in horticulture and I know that the gardens really appreciate the extra help that we can offer.”