Tom Hart Dyke

Modern Day Plant Hunter, TV Presenter & Author
© Vikki Rimmer

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Tom fell madly in love with plants as a small boy.  It was this that lead him on an epic plant-hunting trip around the world over several years in his early twenties.  During this trip, in the year 2000, he was kidnapped by suspected FARC guerilllas in the Darien Gap, Panama, while hunting for rare orchids.  He was held captive for nine months and threatened with death.  During his incarceration he found solace in the creation of a design for a garden containing plants collected on his global plant hunting trips.  On his release and return to the UK, this dream became reality, laid out in the shape of a world map according to the plants' continent of origin, and can now be seen at Lullingstone Castle. 

Tom's lifelong passion, nurtured by his grandmother, has lead to him becoming the UK's favourite plant hunter.  After publication of his bestselling memoir, The Cloud Garden (Transworld Digital, 2011), he presented To the Ends of the Earth, a documentary with Keo Films for Channel Four.  In the tradition of Victorian and Edwardian British plant hunters, Tom risked life and limb to acquire rare species of plant all over the world.  Following this he was the star of the BBC 2 series, Save Lullingstone Castle and Return to Lullingstone, which followed the creation of his dream World Garden. Tom regales his audiences with fantastic stories from his boyhood at Lullingstone Castle and his great passion for plants, particularly orchids, that led him into the Darian Gap.  Tom's eccentric enthusiasm is infectious and compelling in equal measure and his experiences entirely unique!


Adventure, Adversity, Sustainability & Environment

Slideshow Items

  • 'Tom Hart Dyke is quite an exotic hothouse hybrid himself: the Lara Croft of flowers….a sweet twenty-first-century David Bellamy.’

    Kathryn Flett

  • ‘Tom Hart Dyke is surely England’s most extraordinary gardener.’

    Daily Mail