Trustees

The Garden House Trustees

The Garden House Trustees

Over nearly 40 years Lionel and Katharine Fortescue created a garden which came to be viewed as one of the finest in Britain. The Fortescue Garden Trust was established by the Fortescues in 1961 with the stated objectives to provide a garden for:

  • Public access and enjoyment
  • Leadership in Horticultural Innovation & Excellence
  • Education & Training

Today a Board of Trustees oversees The Garden House and actively seeks support to fulfil its objectives. The Trust also welcomes help from other charitable trusts and businesses.

Mark Brundsden

Mark Brundsden

Chair of Trustees and Buildings/Maintenance Trustee

I joined as a trustee in January 2022 and my particular focus, as a retired chartered surveyor, will be the buildings. I feel privileged to be able to support this amazing place as a trustee. I am a keen amateur gardener and live on the edge of Dartmoor near Yelverton. My interests include bee keeping and wild flowering, running and hiking on the moor and exploring various parts of the country including Spain in our campervan.

My partner (who was named after Katharine Fortescue) & I moved back to Devon from Somerset in 2015. We were already regular visitors to The Garden House as friends of the previous head gardener Matt Bishop, who developed the wonderful snowdrop collection. 

Rachel Watson

Rachel Watson

Communications and Marketing Trustee

I have been a trustee at The Garden House since June 2019, with some special responsibility for marketing and communications.  My day job is at Riverford, which grows and sells organic veg throughout the country.  I am Devon born and bred, now based back on the farm near Totnes where I started, along with my four siblings.  My mother was an avid gardener, and The Garden House was her favourite garden.  Now it is mine and though I am no great shakes as a gardener, I do love working alongside the horticultural trustees, hearing what is going on, and learning the odd thing to try to apply at home.  Gardens are places of such hope and optimism – if something does not quite work out this season, there is always another one coming along. 

Nick Lewis

Nick Lewis

Finance Trustee

I did an engineering degree and then qualified as an accountant. My career has been in construction, social housing and economic development working for a range of private sector and public organisations. I joined as a Trustee in January 2024 and see my role, alongside the other Trustees, as supporting the staff and volunteers who are the ones who make The Garden House what it is, a treasured resource to so many gardeners and horticulturists (including my partner Gillian who is RHS qualified). We have our own 2 acre garden on the banks of the Lyner river in Saltash but my role there is confined to grass cutting, weeding and a bit of hard landscaping.

David Bouch

David Bouch

Horticulture Trustee

I have been a trustee at the Garden House since May 2023. I am Head Gardener for the National Trust at Cotehele and Antony. I have always been interested in horticulture and had many opportunities to work across several of the National Trust gardens in Devon and Cornwall. I joined Cotehele as Head Gardener in 2005 and would like to think I have made a difference there! I have a keen eye on horticultural standards and always looking to improve and extend the season of interest. My other key motivation is supporting my team to be the best horticulturalist they can be and presenting the gardens at their best. I have a team of 8 gardeners and 50 volunteers covering both sites, and in total around 85 acres. I have known the Garden House for over 30 years and visited regularly over that time. For me the gardens present a real feel of how important plant combinations are and the effect they create. Such a wide range of plants are used to make this garden one of the horticultural highlights and I am so please to bring a little support to this amazing place.

Tim Upson

Tim Upson

Horticulture Trustee

I am Director of Horticulture, Education & Communities at the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) and joined as a Trustee in August 2018, continuing the long-standing association with the RHS. 

My remit with the RHS includes working with the Curators at our Gardens and whilst I am based at RHS Wisley I look to combine my visits to RHS Rosemoor with those as a Trustee at The Garden House and work particularly closely with Nick on the garden side.  The RHS Partner Gardens scheme is run from within my team, and we are delighted that The Garden House continues to be a member. My interest in plants is very wide ranging including those from Oceanic Islands and the Mediterranean. Although distance means visits are infrequent, Devon is still very familiar to me with family coming from the South Hams and Teignmouth area and the drive down over Dartmoor is something I always look forward to.

Tim Price

Tim Price

Communications Trustee

When I moved to Buckland Monachorum I was amazed and delighted to find we had one of the most beautiful gardens in England right on out doorstep.

As a regular visitor I’ve come to understand the huge effort and expertise required to keep the garden looking spectacular in every season.

I love seeing how the horticultural team work with nature to overcome the challenges of our unpredictable weather.

My own gardening experience has been slowly gained over four decades living in Yorkshire, London, the Midlands and now Devon. It has taught me to have huge respect for those who have the vision and skills to turn a patch of earth into a beautiful garden – and keep it looking good.

My career is in journalism and public relations – concentrating on farming and the countryside. I joined he trustees in 2024 and help The Garden House team spread the message about the garden and its horticultural education work through its own communications, social media and the print and broadcast media

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