Press release

Horticultural half-century of service celebrated

Published on 23 October 2022

A University of Dundee gardener who played a key role in developing one of the city’s best loved beauty spots has retired after five decades of green-fingered graft.

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Trevor Whyte started work at Dundee Botanic Garden in January 1972 as an apprentice to its first curator, Eddie Kemp. Trevor’s appointment came just a few months after the Garden’s official opening and, over the past 50 years, he has proved integral to the success of the 9.5-hectare site, helping to make it an educational and aesthetic asset to the Dundee community.

Trevor has been involved in the physical construction of the Garden’s landscape, while also planting of many of its living collections and supporting the vast array of events to have taken place there.

Speaking as colleagues and family gathered for a celebratory send off, Trevor said, “The main purpose of the Botanic Garden is as a teaching establishment. It is for any layman coming in who wants to learn about horticulture, whether they are students or members of the public and wherever in the world they come from.

“This place has been a huge part of my life. My birthday is 22 October, which is actually the date the Garden opened on back in 1971. As I turned 66 it seemed the right time to move on.”

Kevin Frediani, current curator of the Garden, said, “The Garden today is imbued with emotion from the labour and skills of many people over many years of dedicated effort. Trevor’s legacy is not only witnessed through the garden becoming a shared place with value throughout our community, but also through the many young garden staff and students he has willingly shared his skills and knowledge with over the years.

“It is rare for someone to spend so long with one employer, but Trevor’s continuity has been a significant blessing for every curator of the Garden. He has supported us all in our efforts to shape the visitor experience and relevance of the garden over a half-century of its continual development.

“His work connects the Garden’s origins to the present, and is forever embodied in the ‘spirit of place’ that mean our students, staff and visitors can enjoy a world-class Botanic Garden in the city of Dundee.”


Grant Hill

Senior Public Affairs Officer

+44 (0)1382 384768
Story category Staff