Winners of RHS Awards Announced

Thursday 25 February 2016

• Prestigious annual ceremony (25 Feb) recognises people who make exceptional contributions to horticulture • World’s leading gardening charity celebrates the achievements and successes of those excelling in their fields

Today the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) announced the recipients of its esteemed annual awards for contributions to horticulture. Presented at a ceremony in London’s Lindley Hall on 25 February 2016, the RHS Awards recognise both horticultural excellence and personal endeavour and are regarded internationally as being among the highest accolades in horticulture.

The top award the RHS bestows, the Victoria Medal of Honour (VMH), is awarded to Mr Johan Hermans and, posthumously, to Mr Mark Flanagan. Established in 1897, the VMH is awarded to British horticulturists deserving of special honour by the Society. Only 63 medals may be held at any one time in recognition of the duration in years of Queen Victoria's reign.

Johan Hermans is a respected horticulturist, highly regarded throughout the world as an orchid scientist and taxonomist. He is a member and former Chairman of the RHS Orchid Committee and is an experienced RHS Judge. He has gained more than 100 RHS plant awards and several more for his displays of plants and photographs. Johan has described more than 75 new orchid species and two genera, and has a particular interest in the orchids of Africa and Madagascar.

Mark Flanagan receives this award posthumously. Mark was a highly knowledgeable plantsman and the Crown Estate’s Keeper of the Gardens in Windsor Great Park, The Savill Garden, The Valley Gardens and the private garden at Frogmore House. He travelled extensively in search of hardy plants, was an author and lectured widely. He joined the RHS Woody Plant Committee in 1994, becoming Chairman in 2014, and was a Trustee of the Chelsea Physic Garden. He died on 24 October 2015.

The Veitch Memorial Medal is awarded to Mrs Sarah Carey, Mrs Diana Grenfell, Mr Marco Polo Stufano, Dr Ken Thompson and Mr Ernst van Jaarsveld, recognised for their outstanding contribution to the advancement of the science and practice of horticulture. All recipients have had an exceptional impact in their area of expertise.

The Associate of Honour is awarded to Mr John Watkins and Mr Nicholas Wray. Established in 1930, the Associate of Honour is conferred on persons of British nationality who have rendered distinguished service to horticulture in the course of their working life.

Other awards, such as those associated with the prestigious RHS Shows, include the Williams Memorial Medal for a group of plants and/or cut blooms which show excellence in cultivation. The Williams Memorial Medal this year goes to Brookfield Plants for their exhibit of hostas at the 2015 RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show.

Following this, the Lawrence Medal, which is awarded annually for the best exhibit shown to the Society during the year is awarded to R. & A. Scamp Quality Daffodils for their exhibit of modern & historical daffodils at the RHS Flower Show Cardiff 2015. The nine nominees for the Medal included Birmingham City Council, Drointon Nurseries, Eric Young Orchid Foundation, Medwyn’s of Anglesey, R. & A. Scamp Quality Daffodils, Southfield Nurseries, Trewidden Nursery, Vacherot & Lecoufle and W.S. Warmenhoven.
Other awards include the Harlow Carr Medal, Wigan Cup, Eric Young Orchid Trophy and Stanley Lord Bowl. Please find a full list of all the awards and the winners below.

RHS President Sir Nicholas Bacon said: “I would like to offer my congratulations to everyone receiving an award. It is an honour to be able to recognise the extraordinary contribution that these individuals and organisations have made to horticulture.”

For more information, please contact Ellie Hanbury in the RHS Press Office on 020 7821 3691 or email

Images of the show are available on PhotoShelter. Registration is a simple process and free of charge. Please contact  to gain access.


Notes to editors

About the RHS

The Royal Horticultural Society was founded in 1804 by Sir Joseph Banks and John Wedgwood to inspire passion and excellence in the science, art and practice of horticulture. Our vision is to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener, healthier, happier and more beautiful place. We believe everyone in every village, town and city should benefit from growing plants to enhance lives, build stronger, healthier, happier communities and create better places to live.

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. At our gardens and shows and through our scientific research, publications, libraries and our education and community programmes we inspire a passion for gardening and growing plants, promote the value of gardens, demonstrate how gardening is good for us and explain the vital roles that plants undertake.

The RHS is committed to bring the joy of gardening to millions more people, inspire the next generation of gardeners and invest in the future to safeguard a £16.8 billion industry employing more than 300,000 people. We are entirely funded by our members, visitors and supporters. RHS membership is for anyone with an interest in gardening. Support the RHS and help us 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