Craig Rudman – Head Gardener
Having been raised on the veg patch I have always been surrounded by horticulture in one form or another. My love of all things edible was quickly augmented by a fascination for the weird and wonderful. Orchids, carnivorous plants and succulents were just some of the plant groups that drove my interest in the plant kingdom.
With no encouragement towards a career in horticulture from school I joined the ranks of professional gardeners at the age of 28. That was in 2003. Oxford University gave me my first opportunity, working in a small team at Balliol College. I supplemented this hands on experience with studying for the RHS General Certificate in Horticulure in my spare time.
Horticulture is such a massive, multidisplinary subject and the next stage in my education was to study for three years at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. This was the most amazing time. I had access to a seemingly endless collection of plants, many weird and wonderful, as well as the leading scientists and botanists in their field.
Since graduating in 2009 I have worked for the National Trust and Hugh Fearnley- Whittingstalls River Cottage HQ before heading up the gardens here at Cottesbrooke Hall. I have a dedicated and passionate team and together we hope to create a lovely, inspiring environment for the resident family as well as our visitors.