The Gardeners

Sam Garland was appointed Head Gardener in summer 2019 and works alongside Victoria Bleksley.

Sam Garland

BA Hons, MA, PGCert, RHS Dip. Hort. 2, 3 & 4

Sam Garland took on the role of Head Gardener in August of 2019. He moved from the Royal Horticultural Society Garden Wisley where he completed RHS levels 3 and 4 and immersed himself in a world of plants. Before working with the RHS he maintained the gardens at Swannington Manor and worked as a pest monitor on fruit farms across East Anglia, whilst studying for a PGCert in International Horticulture at Writtle College. His initial field of study was philosophy, in which he read an undergraduate degree at the University of East Anglia and a masters degree at Sheffield University.

A principal focus of Sam’s is to work with the Bishop of Norwich to initiate horticultural practices that raise the garden’s environmental credentials and make the garden a beacon of success for environmentally led horticulture.

Speaking about Sam’s appointment, Bishop Graham said:

“I am delighted that Sam will be joining the team at Bishop’s House as the Head Gardener. Sam impressed the interview panel with his passion for plants, his knowledge of horticulture, his experience of working with volunteers, and his vision to showcase the garden as a place where the care for the environment is taken seriously. I’m looking forward immensely to working with him and seeing how he develops the next chapter in the long history of this famous Norfolk garden.”

Victoria Bleksley

MSc, BSc, PGCert

Vic joined the team as Assistant Gardener in September 2021. To facilitate a career change, she completed a WRAGS traineeship in horticulture and is currently studying for RHS Level 2 certificate in horticulture. Vic is passionate about promoting sustainable practises and encouraging bio-diversity. She is interested in the beneficial effects of human interactions with plants, gardens and natural environments for well-being and is taking courses in Social and Therapeutic Horticulture. Vic studied Psychology at Reading University and later completed a Masters degree in Business Psychology whilst working in corporate leadership development. Subsequently, she gained her Post Graduate Certificate in Person Centred Counselling and went on to work for a young persons charity as a youth and community worker.