Recipients of Prestigious RHS Awards Announced | Knutsford Times

Recipients of Prestigious RHS Awards Announced

By on April 26, 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.

About Lucy Thorpe

Lucy Thorpe is a freelance journalist who writes for the Knutsford Times - covering stories and news in and around Cheshire and Greater Manchester. If you've got a story to share, or would like to speak to Lucy, please email

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