Professional Gardeners’ Guild award for Head Gardener

November 27 2023 | Garden

Head Gardener Neil Miller has been presented with an award from the Professional Gardeners’ Guild for his work in the industry.

Neil was presented the award for “Loyal and Outstanding Service South” by Secretary of the Guild, Iris Lynch in acknowledgement of his “outstanding” work at Hever Castle and being an ambassador for the industry in the area.

The awards were announced at the Guild’s AGM on Saturday 23 September at the Mercure Hotel in Shrewsbury but Neil was away so Iris came to Hever Castle to present it in person.

Neil said: “I was really chuffed. It’s thanks to the support of other people around me, family, staff.”

He has worked at Hever Castle since February 2002 and became Head Gardener in 2006.

Hailing from an insurance brokerage background, Neil was made redundant from his city job in the early 90s and decided to turn his passion for gardening into a career.

He leads a varied team of gardeners, ranging from trainees to experienced professionals, who work hard to maintain Hever Castle’s award winning 150 acre grounds. Neil can also regularly be found giving talks to local gardening groups and loves sharing his enthusiasm and knowledge with others.

Highlights of the gardens include the Pompeiian Wall and classical statuary in the Italian Garden; the giant topiary chess set and the fragrance of over 5,000 rose bushes in the quintessential English Rose Garden.

The Loggia, overlooking the 38-acre lake, is the perfect spot to relax before exploring the many cascades, grottoes and fountains. A stroll through the Tudor Garden, Blue Corner or Rhododendron Walk, provide colour and interest throughout the year.

Wander further afield and enjoy Sunday Walk and Church Gill Walk that follow the course of a stream through peaceful woodland or Anne Boleyn’s Walk, with its impressive collection of trees planted more than 100 years ago.

The Professional Gardeners’ Guild has been around for over 45 years and brings professional gardeners together to share ideas, learning and skills.