New Head Gardener Appointed

The regeneration of the 18th century Chiswick House Gardens has come a step closer with the appointment of Fiona Crumley as the new head gardener.

The regeneration of the 18th century Chiswick House Gardens has come a step closer with the appointment of Fiona Crumley as the new head gardener.

Fiona, who was the first woman head gardener of Chelsea Physic Gardens, said: "With all the regeneration work at hand, this is an especially exciting time to join the team at Chiswick House Gardens. It’s such an expansive and beautiful estate with major historic, architectural and landscape significance. With long straight alleys leading to unexpected views, it’s unlike any other public park!"

The position became available due to the generosity of the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) which has earmarked £7.6 million (as well as awarding a £281,000 development grant) as part of the £12.1 million restoration project to revitalise and restore the historic gardens, landscapes and paths. Chiswick House and Gardens Trust, a charitable trust set up between English Heritage and the London Borough of Hounslow, will drive forward the improvements.

Janie Burford, a trustee and member of the interview board, said: "We are very excited to welcome Fiona on board. It’s the first time in many years that we have had such an experienced and enthusiastic horticulturist on site. Her early priority is to work closely with the contractors and Goosefoot Volunteers to improve the presentation of the park and gardens. Fiona will play a crucial role within the team driving forward the renaissance of Chiswick House Gardens."

With 14 years experience working at the Chelsea Physic Garden, three years at the privately owned Newby Hall garden in North Yorkshire, and a one year placement with London Borough of Enfield Parks Department, Fiona is certainly well qualified and experienced for the job.

Her passion and enthusiasm for gardening and the outdoors is obvious. In her free time Fiona is the secretary to the Merlin Trust – Grants for Young Horticulturists, she is a member of the Royal Horticultural Society Herbaceous Plant Committee, member of the RHS Herbaceous Trials Committee, Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Gardeners, member of the Twickenham & Thames Valley Beekeeping Association and much more.

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