Hello, my name is Ben, and I'm from North Carolina, USA. I am the 2013-2014 North American Christopher Lloyd Scholar. I will be spending the next 11 months living and working at Great Dixter House & Gardens in East Sussex, England, followed by a month at Chanticleer, near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the USA. I am very grateful for the opportunity to learn in and represent these two renowned gardens, and I look forward to sharing my experiences with you in the coming year.
I arrived in Northiam, England last Friday, 30 August. I appreciated having the weekend to familiarize myself with the house and gardens before the program began on Monday, 2 September. My first impressions of Great Dixter were a bit overwhelming. Prior to this scholarship, I knew this was a special place, from hearing head gardener, Fergus Garrett, speak at a symposium a few years ago, to reading books and articles about Great Dixter. However, this exposure didn't fully prepare me for the real thing; being here in person is surreal. I guess what I'm saying is: you're just going to have to come experience it for yourself!