Benjamin William Pope
After studying and working in horticulture for the last 21 years, Ben is currently enjoying leading a team to maintain and develop a private garden in West Sussex. The role includes caring for a large walled kitchen garden, herbaceous borders, shrubberies, topiary, ornamental lawns, a floral meadow, water features, woodland and hedges. Ben’s team propagate, grow and store fruit, vegetables and cut flowers for the house, whilst maintaining the garden to a very high standard. …. and in his spare time, he looks after the onsite apiary.
Ben has always enjoyed gardening, though it was not until after his formal education that he decided to make his career in horticulture. Ben completed an NCH in Propagation and Nursery Practice and the RHS Diploma in Horticulture, attaining awards for best practical student in both and best overall student at Wisley. He then travelled to different countries, studying the various flora and garden styles, before returning to the UK to utilise his artistic training whilst in the employment of Arabella Lennox-Boyd Design. There he was horticultural adviser, attending site visits, liaising with garden staff and working on planting designs. A strong desire to be outside with the plants led Ben to leave the design practice in 2007 and become a Head Gardener.
Alongside his role as Head Gardener, Ben enjoys lecturing at the Chelsea Physic Garden for The English Gardening School and West Dean College of Art and Conservation. He has recently gained the RHS Master of Horticulture and is a member of the RHS Herbaceous Committee. He also regularly writes for Gardens Illustrated and other publications.
Outside of work Ben enjoys visiting gardens and plant nurseries, as well as travel, art, cooking (and eating!), keeping fit, photography and botanical painting. When out and about he is often accompanied by Geoff and Mavis, his beloved dogs.