Recipients of Prestigious RHS Awards Announced

Friday 16 March 2018

Yesterday, the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), the UK’s foremost gardening charity announced this year’s recipients of the prestigious RHS Annual Awards. Regarded internationally as being among the highest distinctions in horticulture, the RHS presented 23 awards to those who have demonstrated horticultural excellence, personal endeavour and a passion to succeed within the industry.

The highest accolade the RHS bestows, The Victoria Medal of Honour in Horticulture, was awarded to three distinguished British horticulturists Charles Williams, Carol Klein and Peter Catt.

Charles Williams, a senior partner of Burncoose Nurseries, has contributed hugely to raising the profile of gardening, the horticultural industry and employment opportunities in Cornwall through his work with the nursery and as owner of Caerhays Castle Garden which is home to a Plant Heritage National Plant Collection of Magnolia.

Carol Klein works tirelessly to promote and encourage the practice of horticulture in all her guises as nurserywoman, horticultural designer, author, journalist and broadcaster.

Peter Catt, Director of Liss Forest Nursery, Chairman of the RHS Woody Plant Trials Sub-Committee, President of Liss Horticultural Society and Vice President of Liphook and Bramshot Horticultural Society is a highly skilled plant propagator. Peter has also made a significant contribution to amateur gardening and his nursery provides a valuable training place for horticultural students.

Dr Douglas C Needham, Michael Hudson, Gerald Edwards and Dr Rosemary Collier were all awarded the Veitch Memorial Medal for their outstanding contribution to the advancement of science and practice of horticulture.

Douglas Needham was formerly a professor of horticulture at Oklahoma State University, Vice President of Education at Longwood Gardens and has held positions at the American Society for Horticultural Science, the Honor Society for Horticulture and the American Public Gardens Association. Michael Hudson has made an outstanding contribution to the practice of horticulture over a period of 65 years, through woodland management as well as nurturing and building an extraordinary collection of trees and shrubs. Gerry Edwards FRICS MCIHort is Chairman of the Royal Horticultural Society's Fruit Group as well as a Vice Chair of the Society's Fruit, Vegetable and Herb Committee. He is a member of the RHS Fruit Trials Forum, an RHS Judge and regular contributor to The Garden magazine. Dr Rosemary Collier is a trained entomologist, Director of Warwick Crop Centre and an academic lead for the Warwick Global Research Priority on Food.

The RHS Associate of Honour, presented to British citizens who have rendered distinguished service to the practice of horticulture during their career was awarded to Mr David Knott. David is an outstanding plantsman, a world-leading botanic garden curator and contributor to numerous horticultural organisations and committees. He is a board member of the Plant Collections Network of Britain and Ireland and was awarded the RHS A J Waley Award for work on Rhododendrons in 2006. David is passionate about scientifically based living collections and champions their conservation and restoration.

The Harlow Carr Medal, given as an honour to those who have made a significant contribution to horticulture in the North of England was awarded to Sue France and Martin Fish.

Sue is an outstanding horticultural visionary-entrepreneur whose social enterprise, Green Estate, has transformed part of Sheffield and inspires twenty-first century creative landscape management in Britain and beyond. Martin is a former President and Show Director of the Harrogate Shows, as well as a garden writer and broadcaster, an accredited RHS Senior Judge and a garden adviser for RHS Garden Harlow Carr.

The Lawrence Medal, the pinnacle of the RHS Flower Show Awards, was awarded to Penberth Plants for the best floral exhibit seen at an RHS Show last year. Their ‘A reflection of Penberth- A Cornish Garden’ was also awarded the Diamond Jubilee Award at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in 2017.

The Society’s most prestigious qualification, the Master of Horticulture (RHS), has this year been awarded to 26 professionals who endeavour to grow their careers in horticulture. This is the highest number of graduates since the programme started over a century ago in 1913.

RHS President, Sir Nicholas Bacon, said: “I would like to offer my warmest congratulations to all the individuals who join the esteemed list of distinguished horticulturalists whose work over the years has helped to further the development of horticulture in general and of the Society in particular. It is a privilege to host an event which sees so many passionate and skilled horticulturalists recognised for their important contributions to our industry”

Please find a full list of all the awards and the winners below.


Notes to editors

For further information and images of recipients collecting their award, please contact Kate Sloan / 020 7821 3691

Notes to Editors:

Full list of awards won

Award Name

Westonbirt Orchid Medal

Isobyl la Croix

EH Trophy
Bloms Bulbs

Farrer Trophy
Kevock Garden Plants

Holford Medal
National Sweet Pea Society

Wigan Cup
Birmingham City Council

Williams Memorial Medal
Hampshire Carnivorous Plants

Mrs F E Rivis Prize
Mr Matthew Soper

Best Lindley Exhibit
Hoyland Plant Centre

Lawrence Medal Nominees

Hampshire Carnivorous Plants
Holden Clough Nursery
Medwyn’s of Anglesey
Penberth Plants
Pheasant Acre Plants
R. & A. Scamp Quality
Vacherot & Lecoufle

The winner of the Lawrence Medal is Penberth Plants.

Eric Young Orchid Trophy
Eric Young Orchid Foundation

George Moore Medal
Eric Young Orchid Foundation

RHS Orchid Trophy
Eric Young Orchid Foundation

Anthony Huxley Trophy
Hampshire Carnivorous Plants

Colin Spires Herb Trophy

Downderry Nursery

Gordon Lennox Trophy
Medwyn's of Anglesey

Stanley Lord Bowl
RV Roger Ltd

Peter Barr Memorial Cup
Harold Koopowitz

Master of Horticulture Award (MHort)
Jay Ashworth
Neil Bebbington
Andrea Benson
Alex Brenton
Christine Clemson
Robin Cure
Stephen Dunn
Stuart Eldergill
David Hand
Patrick Hayes
Emma Hill
Ed Ikin
Mei Leng Lim
Stephen Massam
James O'Connell
Ashley Parkinson
Zachary Rafferty
Leonie Raymont
Hazel Robinson
Janna Schreier
Andrew Stanley
Matthew Stowe
Ian Tocher
Holly Vincent
Katharine Watkins
Dinesh Yamana Gedara

Associate of Honour
David Knott

Veitch Memorial Medal
Dr Rosemary Collier
Gerald Edwards
Michael Hudson
Dr Douglas C. Needham

Harlow Carr Medal
Martin Fish
Sue France

Reginald Cory Memorial Cup
Aad and Kees Verwer

Victoria Medal of Honour
Peter Catt
Carol Klein
Charles Williams

For all image requests please contact

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, our flagship garden, 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

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

RHS Registered Charity No. 222879/SC038262