Councillor Perry said: “During Wolfgang’s time at Sir Harold Hillier Gardens, his genuine passion for horticulture has shone through, not only on projects requiring his plant knowledge and expertise but in how he’s worked with colleagues to transform the gardens into the world-renowned landmark that visitors enjoy today.”
Wolfgang’s interest in horticulture began as a child, with his career taking him to locations including the World Conservation Monitoring Centre, Ness Botanic Gardens and the National Botanic Gardens of Wales, before arriving at the Sir Harold Hillier Gardens in 2004.
Wolfgang explained: “There have been many highlights including redeveloping the Centenary Border, welcoming Sir David Attenborough to open the Education Garden and showing HRH The Duchess of Cornwall around when celebrating the Gardens’ 60th anniversary. My proudest moment was when HRH Duchess of Cornwall agreed to be our President.
“One of the more challenging yet rewarding projects was the Centenary Border, which required clearing the area to install the new design and enriching the plant collection with many more plants. It’s great to see so many visitors enjoying the Border which is now such a special landmark in the gardens.”
“The gardens have an exciting future ahead, and it’s one I shall watch with interest. I shall miss the team of staff, volunteers and supporters but know they will continue doing fantastic work.”
Councillor Perry added: “We thank Wolfgang for his work over the last 14 years. The legacy he leaves behind is clear, with the gardens now attracting around 200,000 visitors every year. We wish Wolfgang the very best on the next step of his career.”
Wolfgang will leave the Sir Harold Hillier Gardens at the end of August before starting as Director of the Botanic Gardens and Garden Parks in Christchurch, New Zealand, next month.
Hampshire County Council intends to appoint a new Director to continue leading the prestigious and award-winning work at Sir Harold Hillier Gardens – more information is available at www.hants.gov.uk/jobs/careers/hilliersrecruitment
In 1977 Sir Harold left the Gardens under the sole trusteeship of Hampshire County Council who now run the gardens as a charity to promote horticulture, conservation, education and recreation.
Find out more about the Sir Harold Hillier Gardens near Romsey.