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My husband David and I have donated this button.

We bought it from Chatsworth House, and the pattern is taken from the Chinese silk wallpaper in the main drawing room there.

Our son Steven Porter is currently the Head Gardener at Chatsworth.

Born in Littleport, Steven attended the local schools. From an early age he was always much more interested in being outside, rather than in the classroom. He used to help David with all sorts of jobs, including gardening.

After leaving school at 16 Steven was successful in joining the National Trust ‘Careership’ scheme for gardeners. He trained at Ickworth in Suffolk with formal college course work at Cannington, Somerset.

He finished his training and got his first professional post as under gardener at Gendurgan in Cornwall in 1996 at the age of nineteen. After four years he was appointed Head Gardener there. This made Steven the youngest ever National Trust’s Head Gardener at the age of twenty-three.

Steven has worked at Chatsworth for 11 years.


He is married and lives on the estate with his wife and four children. In 2014 Steven was appointed Head Gardener at Chatsworth. It’s a busy and demanding role. He still finds time to look after his own garden, although he has recently bought a robotic lawnmower to cut the grass!

Part of Steven’s role at Chatsworth is to publicise the importance of Chatsworth’s historic garden to the wider public. So he often pops up on TV and radio gardening programmes. 

Steven is just a local Littleport lad, but he has become the chief custodian of one of the most important and beautiful gardens in the world.

David & Susan Porter

The Chatsworth Button

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