Gardens future secured by lotto grant

An historic garden and former home of one of the UKs best-loved horticulture experts is set to receive almost four million pounds in funding.

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) will invest £3.79 million in the Great Dixter Trust as part of a larger funding package that will also give money to St James Priory in Bristol and the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh.

Great Dixters 57-acre garden and 15th century timber-framed house were once occupied by Christopher Lloyd – a revered gardener who was known for his passion for learning and sharing horticultural knowledge.

The HLF award will help the trust to care for the site and allow it to continue to offer training opportunities to novice and professional gardeners.

Fund chairperson Dame Jenny Abramski said the awards would help fund places that people enjoyed visiting – something that is vital during the recession.

"During these tough economic times we still need to enjoy the things which enrich the quality of our daily lives – whether its a beautiful garden, a gallery full of wonderful paintings or a much-loved historic building," she said.

With the funding in place, gardeners from all over East Sussex may look to the attraction for inspiration to take back to their own greenhouse.

The Scottish National Portrait Gallery is currently displaying the Homecoming and Portrait of the Nation exhibition, which lasts until April 5th.