Triad Fellowship

Once in a lifetime opportunity

There's always lots to learn, even for experienced gardeners

There's always lots to learn, even for experienced gardeners

We're one of the partners in an exciting new, once in a lifetime project for gardeners to learn their trade. The new Triad project recruits experienced gardeners to spend four months in three of the world's leading gardens in Gloucestershire, Pennsylvania in the USA and Awaji in Japan.

Students gain valuable experience from the gardens they work in as well as sharing knowledge from their own countries with the gardeners they meet overseas.


It's a really special project and something very new for the National Trust. We've already got connections with Japan and America so this will bring us even closer together

Mike Beeston, General Manager


Hedgecutting is an essential autumn task © Paul Harris

Hedgecutting is an essential autumn task

Working in the historic garden at Hidcote, students will spend time learning how to trim the miles of hedges with precision and patience. Hedge cutting is an essential task in autumn and winter. It's never as easy as it looks.

Students will also get dirty with border clearance as the beds are prepared for the following season. It doesn't stop there as thousands of bulbs will need to be planted ready for the spring display.


Exhibiting at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show is very exciting © Mark Bolton

Exhibiting at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show is very exciting

It's not all work, work, work. Students will get the opportunity to visit lots of prominent gardens across the country, experiencing for themselves breath-taking borders, world-class planting schemes and outstanding garden design.

Lucky students may even get the rare chance to work on a show garden at the prestigious RHS Chelsea Flower Show.


Spend a week at another garden to see how they do it © Paul Harris

Spend a week at another garden to see how they do it

Students won't just be spending their time at Hidcote. They'll be able to experience what it is like working at another garden with one of the week-long placements that we've arranged. There's the Royal Botanical Gardens Kew or Christopher Lloyd's garden at Great Dixter to name but a few. Wherever it is, students will be learning from some of the country's most renowned horticulturalists.

Longwood Gardens

The conservatories at Longwood Gardens in America are huge © Longwood Gardens

The conservatories at Longwood Gardens in America are huge

Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania have some of  the largest indoor planting arrangements in the world. Students will experience gardening on a grand scale first hand as they work with the team of gardeners to create stunning indoor displays.

Longwood Gardens

Conservatory planting on a huge scale at Longwood Gardens © Longwood Gardens

Conservatory planting on a huge scale at Longwood Gardens

Famous for their immaculately presented conservatories, Longwood Gardens offer an unforgettable work placement. Displays change constantly to give visitors the elusive wow factor.

Fortunate students will spend time studying conservatory planting methods, learning the tricks of trade along the way.

Longwood Gardens

Discover what it is like to work at an arboretum in America © Longwood Gardens

Discover what it is like to work at an arboretum in America

As well as working at Longwood Gardens, students get the chance to travel and visit other great American gardens and arboretums. They'll get to understand more about the plant kingdom in the prestigious research and educational institution at the Arnold Arboretum in Boston.

There will always be something new to learn and share as the Triad fellows travel around America.


Students can expect world class learning facilities  © ALPHA

Students can expect world class learning facilities

Students can immerse themselves in Japanese culture as they enjoy world class learning and study facilities at Awaji in Japan.

As well as formal study, there's also a unique opportunity to spend time with a bonsai master and a chance to learn the ancient art of Ikebana or Japanese flower arranging.


Zen gardening is popular in Japan © Hidcote

Zen gardening is popular in Japan

Students can explore the ancient art of Japanese rock or zen gardening during their time at Awaji. They'll learn how these miniature landscapes can help meditation through the careful arrangement of rocks, water features, immaculately pruned trees and moss.

This is a truly unique opportunity to become totally immersed in Japanese culture.



Students will get a chance to visit and work in the Royal Temples © Hidcote

Students will get a chance to visit and work in the Royal Temples

Students will only find royal temples in Japan so they won't get this opportunity anywhere else on their fellowship. Visit, work and learn all about gardening at these special temples.

This years' fellows


Christina is one of the first students on the new fellowship scheme © Longwood Gardens

'I'm a recent conservation biology student from the SUNY - College of Environmental Science and Forestry. I've conducted research, gardened private estates and I'm currently studying greenhouse production.

I believe through the skillful use of plants, a horticulturalist can help reconnect people to their environment. My goal as an inspiring horticulturalist is to create this connection and inspire people through garden design.

The Triad fellowship is ideal as it offers to combine my expertise in conservation with my passion for horticulture.'


American fellow Nicholas is enjoying his years’ placement © Longwood Gardens

'I used to be the Indoor Display Intern at Longwood Gardens. Both Hidcote and Awaji are gardens that offer unique learning experiences. Working in both of these great gardens will provide me with a new global perspective, an invaluable asset to help me pursue a career in public horticulture.

As a student I travelled to Italy to study Renaissance Gardens and was greatly influenced by all that I experienced. I developed an interest in the history of garden design. I want to study how different gardens around the world have evolved or developed, influenced by their unique culture and history.'


The Triad fellowship is a great opportunity for gardeners to learn more © Hidcote

'For the past 18 months I've been working as a gardener for the Trust. During this time I have undertaken a wide range of tasks including hedge cutting on a large scale, border work, pruning and propagation. I have also worked closely with the volunteer gardeners.

During my time at Pershore College I was given the opportunity to help in the building of a roof top garden which formed part of the college's exhibit at the 2007 RHS Chelsea Flower Show. I was thrilled when we were awarded a bronze medal!'


Triad fellows share their skills and knowledge © Hidcote

'I stumbled upon the simple pleasure of gardening five years ago and was hooked from the moment I opened my very first seed packet. After volunteering, I decided to retrain as a gardener under the Trust's Academy scheme at Chartwell in Kent, where I developed a broad range of practical horticultural skills whilst studying for a number of qualifications.

I work at my best when I'm being challenged to develop new skills. The Triad fellowship will enable me to further develop my horticultural interests and skills through examining the way plants are displayed, used, cared for and interpreted in three distinctly different cultures and types of garden.'


The Japanese fellows will experience show gardening © Hidcote

'My dream is to be able to show and teach people all about the green world around us. I like to meet new people, discovering new techniques in the fields of landscape and horticulture and to pass it on to others.

I've been learning about landscape design and management at graduate school.

The Triad programme is giving me a golden opportunity to learn more about the techniques used in horticulture as well as management approaches in the three internationally known gardens.

When I return to Japan, I want to share my training experiences with others and teach them the importance of the green world.'


The Triad fellowship attracts gardeners from around the world © Hidcote

'Since the age of 18, I have cultured and made bonsai models. In 2002, I became a director and organiser of the Gendai Bonsai Office which writes, researches and lectures on contemporary bonsai. By introducing contemporary bonsai using convincing words and pictures, people can enjoy this specialised art form.

Since 2009 I have been in charge of the planning and publicity for Nippon Bonsai Taikanten, the biggest bonsai exhibition in western Japan.

I specialise in bonsai right now. However, I hope to work in Japan, as well as overseas, as a researcher and curator who can deal with all plants.'

How to apply

The ideal candidate will hold a diploma or degree in horticulture, and also be a passionate plants person. Recruitment starts each February so check out our jobs page then to apply. Can't wait to find out more? For an informal chat, call us on 01386 439802 or drop us an email