Merlin Trust - grants fro young horticulturists


Sally Petitt

Sally PetittSally Petitt began her career in 1988 as a trainee horticultural technician at Cambridge University Botanic Garden. During her career at Cambridge she has had responsibility for several sections, including alpines, and is now Head of Horticulture.

She has travelled in Europe and Asia studying plants in their natural habitat, and has twice received funding from the Merlin Trust for plant collecting expeditions to Pakistan and China. She has written for a number of publications including Curtis's Botanical Magazine and The Garden.

Currently Sally is chair of the Merlin Trust.

Katie Price

Katie Price is a former manager of the Davies Alpine House and the Woodland Garden at Royal Botanic Gardens,Bill Baker Kew. She has travelled to the Swiss, Italian and Bavarian Alps, Appalachians and Caucasus, as well as many parts of England, to study plants in their native habitats and in cultivation.

She has been on the team of three gold-medal-winning Alpine Garden Society displays at the Chelsea Flower Show. She has given lectures to a wide range of audiences, from local groups of the Alpine Garden Society and WI to Coton Manor Garden School and the International Congress of Alpine and Arctic Botanical Gardens. She has written for The Plantsman, the English Garden magazine and the Alpine Gardener. She is also a Trustee of Tête-à-Tête, a contemporary opera company, which she co-founded in 1997.

Jonathan Miller

Jonathan grew up on the family farm in Kent which sowed the seeds of his interests in horticulture and target Jonathon Chenevix-Trenchshooting at an early young age.   Later, he graduated from Oxford with a Biology degree and whilst there, participated in a plant hunting expedition to Nepal (along with fellow trustee Bill Baker) – this expedition was funded in part by an award from The Merlin Trust. 

After his studies Jonathan qualified as a Chartered Accountant whilst working for what is now PwC.   Since then he has worked in various accounting and audit roles at Reuters plc, BPB plc (now St Gobain) and now works at Hutchison Whampoa's European head office in London.  

He lives with his family in West London where a number of his garden plants suffer from the side effects of two energetic children.

Jim Jermyn

Jim Jermyn

Since 2000 Jim Jermyn has been Show Manager of Gardening Scotland, Scotland’s National Gardening Show. For 20 years (from 1978) he was proprietor of Edrom Nurseries, specialising in alpine and woodland plants.

Jim lectures widely in Europe, Canada and the USA. He has written two books for Timber Press: The Himalayan Garden, Growing Plants from the Roof of the World and Alpine Plants of Europe – A Gardener’s Guide.

Jim lives in Haddington, East Lothian with his wife Alison and gardens at Smeaton, East Linton.

Fiona Crumley

Fiona Crumley

Fiona Crumley is the former secretary of The Merlin Trust and has travelled to many parts of the world particularly to look at gardens, but also the native flora and fauna.

Fiona has always worked as a gardener since leaving school and always enjoyed working within the profession of horticulture. After completing an HND in Amenity Horticulture at Askam Bryan College, York in early 1980s she then worked as a gardener at Newby Hall in North Yorkshire before moving to spend 15 years at the Chelsea Physic Garden with 12 as Head Gardener. Recently Fiona has finished working at Chiswick House Gardens after 5 years as Head Gardener and seeing through the massive park regeneration project.  

Fiona is now London based working from home with a garden and an allotment and is currently a member of the Professional Gardeners Guild Traineeship sub-committee and the Worshipful Company of Gardeners and London Gardens Network. For the Royal Horticultural Society, she sits on the Bursaries Advisory Committee and is a judge for the Windlesham Trophy (which judges the finalists of a competition within HM Prisons).

Paul Cook

Paul is Curator at the RHS Garden Harlow Carr, in Yorkshire. He trained at the RBG Kew and during this time was Paul Cookawarded travel scholarships to work at the RBG Edinburgh and in 1987 to spend four weeks exploring the Dolomites tracking the travels made by Reginald Farrer.

After Kew Paul worked as Head Gardener at Arley Hall Gardens in Cheshire before taking over as Curator at Ness Botanic Gardens from Peter Cunnington.