2013 RHS Awards for Outstanding Contributions to Horticulture

Thursday 11 April 2013

RHS President presents 33 honours at RHS Awards Ceremony

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), the UK’s foremost gardening charity, today presented the 2012 recipients with its prestigious awards for contributions to horticulture. The RHS Awards are a reflection of both horticultural excellence and personal endeavour and are regarded internationally as being among the highest distinctions in horticulture.

A total of 33 honours were presented by RHS President Elizabeth Banks to those dedicated to horticulture both as professionals and amateurs, and to students excelling in their horticultural studies.

The highest accolade of the RHS – the Victoria Medal of Honour (VMH) – was awarded to Nigel Colborn and Brian Humphrey. The VMH is awarded to British horticulturists, resident in the UK whom the RHS Council considers deserving of special honour. Only 63 horticulturists hold the VMH at one time, marking the length of Queen Victoria’s reign.

Nigel Colborn was a member of RHS Council from 2002–2010 and has been a member of various RHS committees including the RHS Herbaceous Plant Committee and Chairman of the RHS Tender Ornamental Plant Committee. He presented Gardeners' World on the BBC and is a regular panellist on Radio 4's Gardeners’ Question Time.

Brian Humphrey trained at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and has worked for Hillier Nurseries and Notcutts Nurseries. On leaving Notcutts he built his own nursery, propagating and growing rare and unusual plants. He was a founding member of the International Plant Propagators Society of Great Britain and Ireland and became its first President. In 1988 he received an OBE for his services to horticulture.

Peter Del Tredici, Peter Furniss, Keith Hammett, Sue Minter, Alec Pridgeon and Margaret Owen were all awarded the Veitch Memorial Medal for their outstanding contribution to the advancement of science, art or the practice of horticulture.

Andrew Mudge, Bernard Sparkes and Barry Starling were awarded the RHS Associate of Honour. With no more than 100 being held at any one time, the Associateship of Honour is presented to British nationals who have rendered distinguished services to horticulture in the course of their working life.

The Harlow Carr Medal, given to honour people who have made a significant contribution to horticulture in the North of England, was awarded to Hilary Dobson and Alan Foxall.

Other awards presented at the RHS Awards Ceremony include those associated with RHS shows. Downderry Nursery was awarded the Lawrence Medal, the Williams Memorial Medal, the Colin Spires Herb Trophy and the Mrs FE Rivis Prize, for its lavender exhibit at RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show.

Young horticulturists were also recognised with the Master of Horticulture, the Society's most prestigious professional horticultural qualification. This went to John Moore, Nick Lightfoot and Tanya Silverton.

Lucas Hatch, from St Mary’s CEVA Primary School in Woodbridge, Suffolk was awarded with the title of Young School Gardener of the Year.
Elizabeth Banks said “It has been a real pleasure to celebrate the hard work, knowledge and dedication of all these individuals today. It is so great to see not only those that have spent a lifetime dedicated to horticulture awarded in such a way, but also to award the achievements of students and those who will be the next generation to continue this exceptional work in the field of horticulture.”
 

-Ends-

Notes to editors


For further information please contact Heather Collins, heathercollins@rhs.org.uk 020 7821 3656 at the RHS Press Office.

High resolution images from the award ceremony are available on request.

The RHS presents awards annually to individuals who have made significant contributions to horticulture. These include the following:

THE VICTORIA MEDAL OF HONOUR IN HORTICULTURE – VMH

The medal was established in 1897, in remembrance of Queen Victoria’s reign. It enables the Council to confer conspicuous honour on those British horticulturists, resident in the UK, whom are deemed to be deserving of special honour by the Society. Only 63 people can hold the VMH at any one time – commemorating the years of Queen Victoria’s reign. It is the highest accolade that the Royal Horticultural Society can confer.

The Victoria Medals of Honour in Horticulture are awarded to:

Nigel Colborn served on the RHS Council from 2001–2010 and has been involved in a vast range of RHS committees and activities from Chair both of the RHS Tender Ornamental Plant Committee and the RHS Horticulture Board. He has also judged and moderated at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. He has been a presenter on BBC TV’s Gardeners' World and is a panellist on BBC Radio 4's Gardeners’ Question Time. He has written numerous books including Short Cuts to Great Gardens; he also writes a blog, Silvertreedaze, which he describes as ramblings, rants and gardenish nonsense.

Brian Humphrey OBE trained at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and worked at Hillier Nurseries and Notcutts Nurseries. He began his career as a propagator and rose to Nursery Manager, eventually setting up his own nursery raising rare and unusual plants. He is a founding member of the International Plant Propagators Society of Great Britain and Ireland, becoming its first President. He received an OBE for his services to horticulture and won both the IPPS International Award and the Rose Bowl for his outstanding contribution to plant propagation.

THE VEITCH MEMORIAL MEDAL

Instituted in 1870 in commemoration of James Veitch of Chelsea, the Veitch Memorial Medal is awarded to people of any nationality who have made an outstanding contribution to the advancement of the science, art and practice of horticulture.

Veitch Memorial Medals this year have been given to the following:

Peter Del Tredici is a Senior Research Scientist at the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University, having previously been Director of Living Collections at the Arnold Arboretum. His interests cover plant ecology, design and the rebuilding of devastated landscapes as well as taxonomy. He is an authority on the forest plants of eastern North America and has been particularly active in the conservation of endangered plants such as Elliottia racemosa.

Peter Furniss has dedicated his life to promoting orchids throughout the world. He serves on the International Orchid Commission and the RHS Orchid Committee. He was awarded a Gold Medal of Achievement from the American Orchid Society in 2002 and the Ambassador Award in 2004. One of his greatest achievements has been his involvement in the World Orchid Conference Trust which is now an internationally recognised organisation.

Keith Hammett has worked tirelessly growing, promoting and publicising dahlias. He is an international ambassador for the genus having grown them since the 1950s. The Dahlia genus, along with Lathyrus and Clivia, for which his work is world renowned, has been one of his primary research interests throughout his academic career. Keith was awarded the Reginald Cory Memorial Cup in 2009 and he was one of the scientific committee overseeing the International Trials Conference held at Wisley in 2011.

Sue Minter has served as President of the Institute of Horticulture and Chairman of the Herb Society. She was the Supervisor of the Palm House during its restoration in the 1980s at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and was the Curator at the Chelsea Physic Garden for 10 years before being appointed as Horticultural Director at the Eden Project. She is now a horticultural consultant who lectures both here and abroad with an abiding interest in economic botany, medicinal plants and public engagement with science.

Alec Pridgeon is one of the most distinguished orchid authorities working in his field today. He is a member and current chair of the International Orchid Committee and is currently the Sainsbury Orchid Fellow at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. He co-edits and contributes to Genera Orchidacearum, the most comprehensive multi-volume monograph of the orchid family.

Margaret Owen is a dedicated plantswoman who has been promoting and implementing horticultural knowledge for more than 40 years. She holds a nationally important collection of Galanthus (snowdrops) and four Plant Heritage National Plant Collections: Camassia, Dictamnus, Nerine and Veratrum, many of which she has exhibited at RHS shows. She was awarded an MBE in 2009 for her charity work in and around Shropshire.

ASSOCIATE OF HONOUR

Established in 1930 and conferred on persons of British nationality who have rendered distinguished service to the practice horticulture in the course of their working life. The number of Associates of Honour may not exceed 100 at any one time.

The latest Associates of Honour are:

Andrew Mudge has worked for the National Trust for 35 years and is one of their most respected Head Gardeners. Andrew was Head Gardener at Killerton for more than 20 years before being made Head Gardener at Cliveden in 2006. Andrew has made a remarkable impact on the quality and standards of presentation at Cliveden, much beyond expectations, and it is now a benchmark for other National Trust gardens.

Bernard Sparkes has gained international fame as a commercial tomato grower and for his work in selecting flavoursome tomato cultivars for Marks & Spencer. He has served as Chairman of the Horticulture Research International Association. He is also a member of the Alpine Garden Society and has travelled the world seeking out new tomato cultivars and making his own selections to introduce into commerce.

Barry Starling is an Ericaceae specialist. He is a retired retail nursery owner and has been extremely active in the work of the Alpine Garden Society. He has won many awards including the Reginald Cory Memorial Cup, the Loder Cup and the AGS Lyttel Trophy. He has raised and introduced the Rhododendron keiskei and is a contributor to The Plantsman, The Alpine Gardener and the RHS Rhododendron, Camellia and Magnolia Yearbook.

HARLOW CARR MEDAL

The Harlow Carr Medal was established by the Northern Horticultural Society to honour people who have made a significant contribution to horticulture in the North of England.
This year the Harlow Carr Medal is awarded to:
Hilary Dodson is a member of the RHS Fruit Group Committee. She has been active in the Northern Fruit Group for a number of years and regularly lectures as well as staging scientific/educational exhibits at the Spring and Autumn Harrogate Flower Shows as well as being responsible for a display of early summer fruit at the RHS Flower Show Tatton Park in July.

Alan Foxall is a well-known horticulturist in the North West. He was formerly responsible for Sefton Council’s Parks Department and is now the sole proprietor of Simply Flowers & Foliage. He has been associated with the Southport Flower Show for a number of years as a judge and also chairs two horticultural societies including the local chrysanthemum society.

LAWRENCE MEDAL

Instituted in 1906 to celebrate Sir Trevor Lawrence’s 21-year tenure of office as President of the Society, the Lawrence Medal is awarded annually for the best exhibit shown to the Society during the year. The Lawrence Medal is awarded to:

Downderry Nursery and received by Simon Charlesworth for his exhibit of lavender at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2012.

WILLIAMS MEMORIAL MEDAL

Instituted in 1896 by the Trustees of the Williams Memorial Fund in commemoration of BS Williams, the Williams Memorial Medal is awarded for a group of plants and/or cut blooms of one genus (fruit and vegetables excepted) which show excellence in cultivation, staged at one of the Society’s shows during the year. The Williams Memorial Medal is awarded to:

Downderry Nursery received by Simon Charlesworth for his exhibit of lavender at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2012.

MRS FE RIVIS PRICE

Provided from a fund presented in 1960 by Miss AK Hincks in commemoration of her sister,
Mrs FE Rivis, to encourage excellence in cultivation, the prize is offered to the gardener or other employee responsible for the cultivation of the exhibit for which the Williams Memorial Medal is awarded. The Mrs FE Rivis Prize is awarded to:

Simon Charlesworth of Downderry Nursery has researched all aspects of lavender growing, growers and marketing. By 1996 the collection of 60 taxa was awarded National Plant Collection status by Plant Heritage (NCCPG). He then won Gold and Silver-Gilt medals at Chelsea and Hampton Court Palace Flower Shows and the Tudor Rose Award in 2005 and 2012. By 2009 the lavender collection had grown to 350 taxa and was upgraded to Scientific status by Plant Heritage, culminating in 2012 when he received the Brickell Award for Excellence in Cultivated Plant Conservation from Plant Heritage.

COLIN SPIRES HERB TROPHY

Instituted in 2004, the Colin Spires Herb Trophy is awarded for the best exhibit of medicinal and/or culinary herbs staged during the year at one of the Society’s shows. The Colin Spires Herb Trophy is awarded to:

Downderry Nursery, received by Simon Charlesworth for his exhibit of lavender at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show 2012.

WIGAN CUP

Presented by the late Mr AL Wigan in 1911 and awarded to an exhibit of roses, the Wigan Cup is now awarded to the best exhibit shown to the Society during the year by a Local Authority. The Wigan Cup is awarded to:

Birmingham City Council and received by Councillor Ian Ward for a spectacular floral display entitled 'The Best of Birmingham' at the Chelsea Flower Show. This exhibit also won a Gold medal and Best Exhibit in Floral Marquee when repeated at BBC Gardeners' World Live 2012. The team also won a further Gold medal in the National Flower Bed Competition at the RHS Flower Show Tatton Park for a display entitled 'Olympic Breeze'.
2012 was a spectacular year for Birmingham City Council Parks and Open Spaces as they were also awarded Gold and Large City Category Winner in the RHS Britain in Bloom Awards, RHS Britain in Bloom Horticultural Award for the Best Floral Displays and RHS Britain in Bloom Public Park Award for Cannon Hill Park.

REGINALD CORY MEMORIAL CUP

This cup is given to encourage the production of new hardy hybrids of garden origin. It is awarded to a raiser whose hybridization programme within a particular genus or single species has resulted in the recent introduction and availability of new hardy hybrids of merit. The Reginald Cory Memorial Cup is awarded to:

Charles Valin of Thompson and Morgan has applied a novel and innovative approach to breeding new cultivars of common species. He has developed selections that have had international success including the multi-award-winning Digitalis Illumination Pink ('Tmdgfp001') which won the RHS Chelsea Plant of the Year 2012 and the Garden Retail Awards for best perennial plant.

HOLFORD MEDAL

Presented by the Executors of the late Sir George Holford in 1928, the Holford Medal is awarded for the best exhibit of plants and/or flowers staged during the year by an amateur or group of amateurs, at one of the Society’s shows. The Holford Medal is awarded to:

The Federation of British Bonsai Societies received by Mr Reg Bolton, on behalf of the Federation of British Bonsai Societies. He has been involved with the federation's Chelsea Flower Show exhibit since 1996. The exhibit was designed to demonstrate that bonsai culture does not need to be an expensive undertaking, and to promote the art and hobby. The trees exhibited were all grown by amateurs and had accurate histories and inexpensive origins. This is the second time the federation has won the Holford Medal.

PETER BARR MEMORIAL CUP

Presented in 1912 by the Trustees of the Peter Barr Memorial Fund in commemoration of Mr Peter Barr, this Cup is awarded on the recommendation of the Bulb Committee to someone who has done good work of some kind in connection with daffodils. The Peter Barr Memorial Cup is awarded to:

Dr Peter Ramsay for the contribution he has made to the advancement and enjoyment of daffodils as a hybridizer and exhibitor and in recognition of his outstanding long-term contribution to the work of the National Daffodil Society of New Zealand and his active participation in World Daffodil Conventions. Peter was awarded the Queen’s Service Medal in the 2007 and the Gold Medal of the American Daffodil Society in 2008.

THE WESTONBIRT ORCHID MEDAL

The medal was provided from a fund presented in 1960 by Mr HG Alexander, in commemoration of the collection of orchids made at Westonbirt. The winner of this medal is selected by the RHS Orchid Committee and is presented for the most finely grown specimen orchid shown to the Society during the year. The Westonbirt Orchid Medal is awarded to:

David Martin for Cymbidium ‘Sweet Devon Sweet’. The plant was shown to the committee at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. The plant was 1 metre across and grown in a 19cm diameter pot with 19 pendent flower spikes and an average of 26 open flowers on each.

FARRER TROPHY

Instituted in 1959 in commemoration of Reginald Farrer (1880–1920), plant collector and authority on alpine plants, this trophy is awarded for the best exhibit of plants suitable for the rock garden or alpine house staged during the year at one of the Society’s shows.

The Farrer Trophy is awarded to:

Edrom Nursery was founded around 1925 by plant hunters Edith and Molly Logan Hume. Over the years the nursery has gained a reputation for its rare and unusual plants. The Farrer Tropy was awarded for their exhibit at the RHS Malvern Spring Gardening Show 2012.

GORDON-LENNOX TROPHY

First presented by Lady Algernon Gordon-Lennox in 1913, 100 years ago. This trophy is awarded annually by the RHS Fruit, Vegetable and Herb Committee for the best exhibit of vegetables staged during the year at one of the Society’s shows. The Gordon-Lennox Trophy is awarded to:

Medwyn’s of Anglesey, received by Medwyn Williams, for its exhibit of vegetables at Malvern Autumn Show. Medwyn's of Anglesey has an impressive record of achievements, having won 12 Gold medals at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. It has been awarded both the Lawrence Medal and the President’s Award at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show twice, and this will be the 15th time that Medwyn's has received the Gordon-Lennox Trophy.

ANTHONY HUXLEY TROPHY

Instituted in 1994 in commemoration of Anthony Huxley, a Vice-President of the Society and eminent botanist, this trophy is awarded to the best group exhibit of plants normally grown for decorative effect in a protected environment. The exhibitor may be amateur or professional and may not receive it more than once in three years. The Anthony Huxley Trophy is awarded to:

Hampshire Carnivorous Plants for an exhibit at the RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show. Owner Matthew Sopher has had an interest in carnivorous plants since a young age. What started as a hobby has turned into a successful business of growing and breeding carnivorous plants. Matthew has travelled extensively in Indonesia, Malaysia, Borneo and the southern states of North America to collect seeds and photograph these amazing plants in their natural habitat. Hampshire Carnivorous Plants has been exhibiting at RHS shows for 14 years and has been awarded more than 90 Gold medals, including 14 at Chelsea Flower Show. Matthew receives his fourth Anthony Huxley Trophy.

GEORGE MOORE MEDAL

Presented by the late George F Moore in 1926, this medal is awarded to the exhibitor of the best cultivar of a grex of Paphiopedilum, Selenipedium, Phragmipedium or intergeneric hybrid between these genera. The George Moore Medal is awarded to:

Eric Young Orchid Foundation, Jersey, received by director, Chris Purvers, for Phragmipedium Peruflora’s Cirila Alca ‘Le Vier Fort’. This hybrid was first registered by Peruflora in 2007. It is one of the most attractive primary hybrids shown to the committee with the new species Phragmipedium kovachii as a parent. The flower was a dainty pink colour with pale yellow inside the pouch, and it had excellent shape, size and substance. This is the 20th time that the Eric Young Orchid Foundation has won this award.

EH TROPHY

Provided from a fund bequeathed in 1961 by the late WJM Hawkey in memory of his grandmother, Elizabeth; mother, Ellen; and wife Emma Hawkey. The EH Trophy is awarded for the best exhibit of cut flowers shown to the Society during the year. The EH Trophy is awarded to:

WS Warmenhoven, received by Peter Warmenhoven for its exhibit at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2012. This year Warmenhoven will be showing its 25th consecutive exhibit at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. It has won more than 50 RHS Gold medals.

BURSARY COMMITTEE: REPORT PRIZES

Recipients of an RHS Bursary are required to provide a detailed report on their horticultural projects. Each year two prizes are awarded. One to the most outstanding report, while another to the person who has gained the most from their bursary opportunity. The Best Bursary Report Prize is awarded to:

Dr Christopher Whitehouse: RHS Principal Scientist, Botany for his report on an expedition to South Africa last year in search of Kniphofia in the wild. The expedition’s aim was to understand where they grow and how the variation in the species relates to the plants as grown in gardens. Christopher hopes to use the knowledge and experience gained to publish a guide to red hot pokers in cultivation.
RHS Bursary Most Gained Prize is awarded to:
Zdenek Valkoun: Gardener and Propagator at The Dorothy Clive Garden. Zdenek undertook a week’s Rhododendron Propagation specialist placement at both Loder Plants & Glendoick Nurseries. He is currently using the knowledge and experience gained to propagate rhododendrons for the Dorothy Clive Garden in order to preserve and expand the existing collection of rhododendrons.
MASTER OF HORTICULTURE (RHS)

The Master of Horticulture is the Royal Horticultural Society’s most prestigious professional horticultural qualification. It is of degree level, and holders of the award may use the designation MHort (RHS) after their name.

The Master of Horticulture is awarded to:

John Moore is the Head of Grounds & Gardens and Health & Safety Manager at Churchill College, Cambridge.

Nick Lightfoot is the Garden and Countryside Manager at the The Vyne, a National Trust property in Hampshire.

Tanya Silverton is the Head Gardener, at Wellington College in Crowthorne, Berkshire.

RHS CAMPAIGN FOR SCHOOL GARDENING - YOUNG SCHOOL GARDENER OF THE YEAR AWARD

This award is presented to a young person, aged 5–16, who demonstrates exceptional gardening knowledge and skill beyond their years. The winner will be a young person whose gardening journey at school has shaped him or her into someone who cares deeply about the environment, sustainability and his or her local community.

The Young School Gardener of the Year is awarded to 11-year-old Lucas Hatch from Suffolk.

About the RHS
The Royal Horticultural Society was founded in 1804 by Sir Joseph Banks and John Wedgwood for the encouragement and improvement of the science, art and practice of horticulture. We held our first flower shows in 1820, were granted a Royal Charter in 1861 and acquired RHS Garden Wisley, the first of our gardens, in 1903. From our first meetings in a small room off London’s Piccadilly, we have grown to become the world’s largest gardening charity.

Today the RHS is committed to providing a voice for all gardeners. We are driven by a simple love of plants and a belief that gardeners make the world a better place. 209 years on we continue to safeguard and advance the science, art and practice of horticulture, creating displays that inspire people to garden. In all aspects of our work we help gardeners develop by sharing our knowledge of plants, gardens and the environment.

RHS membership is for anyone with an interest in gardening. Support the RHS and secure a healthy future for gardening. For more information call: 0845 130 4646, or visit www.rhs.org.uk/join  

RHS Registered Charity No. 222879/SC038262

 


 

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About the RHS

The RHS believes that gardening improves the quality of life and that everyone should have access to great garden experiences. As a charity we help to bring gardening into people's lives and support gardeners of all levels and abilities; whether they are expert horticulturists or children who are planting seeds for the very first time.

RHS membership is for anyone with an interest in gardening. Support the RHS and secure a healthy future for gardening. For more information call: 0845 130 4646, or visit www.rhs.org.uk

RHS Registered Charity No. 222879/SC038262