About us…

Together, British gardens account for an area five times the size of Greater London. These gardens, and the activities of millions of gardeners, have a significant impact on our environment and on the wildlife that inhabits it.

We believe that not only should gardens be beautiful to look at, they can also act as ‘mini reserves’, offering refuge and food for wildlife. A working partnership that benefits ourselves as well as our wildlfe.

Traditionally British gardens have been based on moulding our individual domestic green spaces into visually pleasing areas through a mix of form, colour and texture. Rarely does this acknowledge the native context within which the garden sits, or the bio diversity (a collective term for all living things), value our gardens can bring to both humans and wildlife.

Based at Knoll Garden’s four-acre show garden in east Dorset, the Knoll Gardens Foundation helps UK gardeners to make their gardens more low impact and wildlife-friendly by reducing reliance on scarce natural resources.

Knoll Gardens has championed the naturalistic style of gardening in the UK for many years. The Knoll Gardens Foundation takes this a step further by making its horticulture and garden design techniques available to both professional and domestic gardeners.

Established in 2008, the concept behind the charity is really quite simple.
The first step is to understand that whilst each garden may be unique, the basic principles for successful gardening remain the same; the need to look at the garden first; then discover its needs and plant accordingly. This creates a truly long lasting, sustainable garden.
The second step is to begin to understand that whilst many plants can create a sustainable garden, some are more worthy than others in terms of the wildlife they support and their contribution to biodiversity.

Finally we need to understand that the garden is a living community, a group of individuals all working together to create a harmonious whole. Using plants that are best suited for any individual site will always result in the highest levels of success and satisfaction and the lowest cost to both the environment and the gardener.

We welcome visitors to the garden and hold regular free open days supported by like-minded charities including the RSPB and Dorset Wildlife Trust.

Who are we?
The Knoll Gardens Foundation is run by a team of trustees and supported by some wonderful volunteers.

The Knoll Gardens Foundation Registered Charity number 1159390.

Our trustees:

  • Peter Gear – Chair of the Foundation
  • Neil Lucas MI Hort– RHS Council member and judge, plantsman, and author
  • Amanda Walker FRSA – Specialist in horticultural marketing and owner of Phoenix 2
  • Ross Humphrey – Nursery Manager, Knoll Gardens
  • Bob Sweet, Horticultural Director, River Street Events
  • Andrea D’Souza
  • Rowena Jecock – Retired public health policy adviser. Botanist and microbiologist.