The basic idea from which the Head Gardeners’ Guild association was founded came from the garden philosopher Rob Leopold (†2005) of the foundation Perennial Perspectives. The 1990s saw the start of an exchange of knowledge among the head gardeners and gardeners of the estates Twickel, Het Loo, Het Weldam and Het Warmelo, which did not go unnoticed by Leopold. He argued for a comprehensive garden culture that combines landscape architecture, horticulture and ecology. He believed that the divide between art and craftsmanship in gardening and landscape architecture should be removed and the art of gardening should be revalued. For this revaluation of the neglected horticultural perspective, the exchange of knowledge amongst colleagues is essential.

This is why twice a year the Head Gardeners’ Guild organises excursions to members’ gardens or estates, as well as international study trips with lectures and/or specialistic guided tours. The connections made during those trips provide the members with a great deal of knowledge and an lively exchange of seeds, bulbs, tubers and grafting material. This ‘cross-pollination’ encourages the head gardeners in their aim for quality and reinforces the connections between Guild members.

The Guild has recently come into contact with colleages from abroad, such as Russia. Russian estates have requested the advice of Dutch head gardeners on restoration and renovation projects. Various members of the Head Gardeners’ Guild are actively involved with schools and courses such as the natural heritage class at the HAS university of applied sciences in ‘s Hertogenbosch.