Tom Hart Dyke –

A Modern-Day Plant hunter, author, T.V personality and creator of the World Garden at his home in Lullingstone, has been our Patron since 2008.

Tom Hart Dyke

Tom Hart Dyke first shot to international prominence in the year 2000, when he was kidnapped in the Panamanian jungle on a plant hunting expedition that went dangerously wrong.

Tom and his travelling companion, Paul Winder, were kidnapped while trekking through ‘The Darien Gap’, a dangerous place abandoned by all to warring guerrilla factions. Tom and Paul were kidnapped on Tom’s sister’s birthday 16th March 2000 and were held for nine months and released on 16th December 2000. During the nine month ordeal The British Embassy gave the boys up for dead, but Tom and Paul’s parents never gave up hope.

The idea for The World Garden was born in the depths of despair in the Colombian jungle. Midday on June 16th 2000, three months into their kidnap ordeal, Tom and his fellow captive Paul Winder, were told to prepare to die that night. Paul spent the afternoon of that fateful day in prayer, but Tom decided that the best course of action would be to spend his final day on Earth designing his dream garden! He spent the day drawing plans, in his diary, for a World Garden – containing the plants he’d collected from across the globe, planted out in their respective countries of origin.

Luckily for Tom, Paul and their families, the boys were not executed, but were released in time for Christmas 2000.