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Awards for outstanding contribution to horticulture

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RHS honours top horticulturists

7 June 2012

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) has announced the recipients of its prestigious awards for outstanding contribution to horticulture. The 15 horticulturists will be honoured at a ceremony at this year’s RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show (3 – 8 July).

Victoria Medal of Honour - the highest accolade

This year there are four recipients for the Victoria Medal of Honour (VMH). This is the highest accolade the Society awards. Only 63 horticulturists hold the VMH at one time, marking the length of Queen Victoria’s reign.

This year the recipients are:

  • Professor Stephen Blackmore from Edinburgh
  • David Clark from Suffolk
  • Professor John Parker from Norfolk
  • Viscountess of Merton, Alice Boyd from Cornwall

Stephen BlackmoreProfessor Stephen Blackmore was nominated for his work as Regius Keeper at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. He has overseen the growth of the botanic garden, including the development of a field station at Lijiang in Yunnan, China. He was awarded a CBE in 2011 for services to plant conservation and is the Queen’s botanist.



David ClarkHorticulturist David Clark has contributed substantially to the British nursery trade, the RHS and specifically the Notcutts company which he joined in 1967 as a garden centre director. He is known around the world as a nurseryman and was the first British president of the European Nursery Stock Association (1999-2002).



John ParkerProfessor John Parker has had a wide ranging career in horticulture. He was a director of the Cambridge University Botanic Garden until 2010 and while there he developed the current education programme and accreditation of the horticultural trainee scheme. John has served as a trustee of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and also served on the Council of the RHS.



Lady Alice BoydAs an Honorary Fellow of the RHS, Lady Boyd has given exemplary service to the charity for many years. She has served on a number of committees and was on the RHS Council for 10 years. She was also President of the Cornwall Gardens Society between 2007 and 2009.

Veitch Memorial Award - for outstanding contributions to horticulture

The charity has also announced the Veitch Memorial Awardees. This Award is given to those who it is felt have made outstanding contributions to the advancement of the art, science and practice of horticulture.

There are five recipients this year:

  • Susyn Andrews from Surrey
  • John Elliott from Singapore
  • Chris Lane from Kent
  • Hugh McAllister from Cheshire
  • Beverley McConnell from New Zealand

Associate of Honour - recognising service to horticulture

This Award is conferred on those of British nationality who have given distinguished service to horticulture in the course of their working life. This year the awards are given to:

  • Jim Blythe from Suffolk
  • Jim Buckland from Chichester
  • Richard Fulcher from Devon

Other awards

The Harlow Carr Medal has been awarded to Anthony Lane from Leeds and Maurice Jeffrey of Harrogate for their significant contribution to horticulture in the North of England.

Ian Butterfield from Buckinghamshire has been awarded the Reginald Cory Cup for his hybridisation programme within Pleione which has resulted in the recent introduction and availability of new hybrids of merit.

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