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Outstanding contributions to horticulture

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RHS Awards Ceremony 2013

19 April 2013

Presentation of VMH to nurseryman Brian Humphrey

The RHS has presented its annual prestigious awards for contributions to horticulture in the RHS Awards Ceremony 2013 with Nigel Colborn and Brian Humphrey collecting the coveted Victoria Medal of Honour.

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.

RHS President Elizabeth Banks presented a total of 33 honours to those worthy participants- professionals and amateurs who have proved considerable contributions to horticulture.

Worthy awards- the Victoria Medal of Honour

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.

Further awards

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.'

Full list of awards

The Victoria Medal of Honour

Nigel Colborn
Brian Humphrey OBE

The Veitch Memorial Medal

Peter Del Tredici
Peter Furniss
Keith Hammett
Sue Minter
Alec Pridgeon
Margaret Owen

Associate of Honour

Andrew Mudge
Bernard Sparkes
Barry Starling

Harlow Carr Medal

Hilary Dodson
Alan Foxall

Lawrence Medal

Downderry Nursery

Williams Memorial Medal

Downderry Nursery

Mrs FE Rivis Price

Simon Charlesworth of Downderry Nursery

Colin Spires Herb Trophy

Downderry Nursery

Wigan Cup

Birmingham City Council

Reginald Cory Memorial Cup

Charles Valin of Thompson & Morgan

Holford Medal

The Federation of British Bonsai Societies

Peter Barr Memorial Cup

Dr Peter Ramsey

The Westonbirt Orchid Medal

David Martin

Farrer Trophy

Edrom Nursery

Gordon-Lennox Trophy

Medwyn's of Anglesey

Anthony Huxley Trophy

Hampshire Carnivorous Plants

George Moore Medal

Eric Young Orchid Foundation

EH Trophy

WS Warmenhoven

Bursary Committee: Report Prizes

Dr Christopher Whitehouse
Zdenek Valkoun

Master of Horticulture

John Moore
Nick Lightfoot
Tanya Silverton

RHS Campaign for School Gardening - Young School Gardener of the Year

Lucas Hatch

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