Adam Greathead Award application open

Unique opportunity for an aspiring horticulturalist to spend twelve months working John Massey and Fergus Garrett.

Path towards heart shaped leaves

Adam Greathead was head gardener to Ashwood nursery owner and renowned horticulturist, John Massey. In the three years that Adam worked alongside John, they formed a very close bond as he had an instinctive understanding of John’s vision for the garden. Tragically in 2017, he died in his sleep, aged just twenty-seven. A young life cut tragically short and loss to horticulture. “He was an excellent gardener, who loved colour and exciting plant combinations, a young Christopher Lloyd”, said Massey.

In his honour and as a lasting tribute, the Adam Greathead Award, was established to provide a young horticulturist the incredible opportunity to spend twelve months working and learning in two of Britain’s much-loved gardens; John’s Garden and Great Dixter. Sponsored in part by the Ashwood Charitable Trust, the aim of the programme is to teach good gardening practices and a love of plants.

The training with John Massey, will include planting, maintenance of shrubs, trees, conifers, herbaceous and alpines, propagation, creating and maintaining plant displays, plant association and transparency pruning. The applicant will also spend time at Ashwood Nursery to learn about the production of the nursery’s speciality crops including cyclamen, lewisias, hepaticas and hellebores. 

Subsequently, the second six months will be spent at Great Dixter in East Sussex working with Fergus Garrett. Working alongside the team, training will involve: layering the long-seasoned borders; meadow management; bio-diversity; sub-tropical gardening; weather reactive working; the production of plants to feed the garden and to understand how a garden like Dixter is managed.

The first recipient, Matthew Padbury is currently nearing the end of his twelve months training and the application process for the next award recipient is currently open. Deadline – October 31st 2023.