Meet the Team

Emma Lainchbury

Production Manager

Emma studied BSc Conservation Biology and Ecology at Exeter University and a Cert.HE in Rural Land Management at the Royal Agricultural University. After this she took the decision to specialise in Horticulture. She spent time training on the Studley College, Elizabeth Hess Horticulture Scholarship before moving to Cambridge University Botanic Garden to work under the Certificate of Plantsmanship and Horticulture. This allowed her to train in all aspects of practical and theoretical horticulture and plant sciences.

She has spent four years working at Tresco Abbey Gardens managing the Kitchen Garden to produce fruit, vegetables and cut flowers and has also worked at Trebah Garden in Cornwall. Emma has a passion for working with plants, preserving the heritage of species and is a big advocate of working in harmony with nature.

Mark Twyning

Assistant Production Manager and Dahlia Breeder

Mark has been working for Greenyard Flowers (formally Winchester Growers) since 1977 and started working with the National Dahlia Collection in 1999 when the collection was acquired by Winchester Growers and moved from Duchy College Rosewarne to Varfell Farm.

Mark worked closely with David Brown, the National Dahlia Collection founder, while the Collection was established here. Mark continues to work full time at the National Dahlia Collection and is responsible for the production of rooted cutting and show and sales plants.

Mark has raised over 20 new dahlia cultivars which are registered with the Royal Horticultural Society, some have received the coveted Award of Garden Merit (AGM).

Mark is also a very keen photographer and has taken almost all of the photographs published on the website.

Lorraine Anthoney

Quality Assurance Supervisor

Lorraine has worked at Winchester Growers, now known as Greenyard Flowers for 18 years. She started working on the nursery working with potted bulbs and cut flowers, notably, daffodils and lilies. Lorraine now works as a Quality Assurance Supervisor on the full range of products that the company produce.

Lorraine has worked with the National Dahlia Collection team for over 10 years. Providing an integral part of the team at various RHS Flower Shows, Show Gardens and during the Dahlia Garden Open Day. Lorraine is also a great support behind the scenes taking cuttings during our busiest times.

Gaston le Hardy

Sales and Procurement Coordinator

Gaston has studied Business and Finance in Brussels and did a Master degree in Rural Estate Management at the Royal Agriculture University of Cirencester.

Gaston has been involved working on Sales and Marketing side of the National Dahlia Collection for approximately 1 year.

He has a passion for nature and plants, being involved in farming operations from an early age and travelled through different places around the world to learn different farming management techniques he is very keen to support the NDC on future projects. Being also involved in the Daffodils and summer flower side of the business Gaston makes a good link between these various products and our customers.

Sarah Thomas


Sarah is our administrator and will be your first point of contact with the National Dahlia Collection.

She has been with the Dahlia Collection since it moved from Duchy College in 1998 and seen the great progress it has made in the last 21 years. Sarah has a wealth of knowledge and experience about Dahlias and is the perfect point of contact for ordering your Dahlias and asking any questions you may have about growing tips and advice. After a brief break from the collection to spend time with her family Sarah now back at the National Dahlia Collection where we are delighted to have her back on board.