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RHS prestigious awards to horticulturists

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RHS Awards recognise outstanding contributions to horticulture

11 July 2011

RHS Awards 2011

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), the UK’s foremost gardening charity, announces the 2011 recipients of its prestigious awards for outstanding contributions to horticulture. 15 prominent horticulturists were honoured in a ceremony on Monday 4 July, at Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, when the awards were presented by HRH Princess Alexandra.

Maurice Foster, Richard Webb and Giles Coode-Adams received the highest accolade of the RHS, the Victoria Medal of Honour (VMH). The VMH is awarded to British horticulturists, resident in the United Kingdom whom the RHS Council considers deserving of special honour. Only 63 horticulturalists hold the VMH at one time, marking the length of Queen Victoria’s reign.

Giles Coode-Adams is a former President and Treasurer of the RHS, and was a driving force behind the RHS Bicentenary Glasshouse at RHS Garden Wisley. Giles has a great passion for woody plants and also spent six years running the Foundation at the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, where he played a major role in the foundation of the Millennium Seed Bank.

Maurice Foster is one of Britain's most distinguished plantsmen and is a world authority on many hardy plants. He is a trustee of the Tree Register and has undertaken numerous trips abroad in search of garden-worthy plants.

Richard Webb set up and managed Webb of Wychbold's garden centres and nursery business. Richard has served on the RHS Council and many RHS committees. As well as chairing many advisory panels, Richard has taken a special interest in judging herbaceous plants.

Elizabeth Banks, RHS President, says: 'It’s an honour to be able to recognise the extraordinary contribution that these individuals have made to the gardening world. Their work has had an impact that extends into every branch of horticulture, and has not only developed our understanding and knowledge of horticulture, but shall be used to inspire and educate future generations of gardeners, like those we are reaching through the RHS Campaign for School Gardening and other educational programmes, whom I hope will pick up the baton and continue this exceptional work.'

Graham Ross, Christopher Bailes, Rosemary Alexander and Keshab Pradhan received the Veitch Memorial Medal for their outstanding contribution to the advancement and improvement of the art, science or practice of horticulture.

Graham Ross has made a significant contribution to the promotion of gardening throughout Australia. Christopher Bailes served as curator at RHS Garden Rosemoor for 22 years, and is still an active member of the RHS Orchid Committee. Rosemary Alexander has been committed to the teaching of the art and profession of garden design and botanical art both in Britain and abroad. Keshab Pradhan played an important role in developing the flower growing industry in India.

Jon Wheatley, Richard Barnard, Nigel Bishop, Alan Postill and Donald Rider will be awarded the RHS Associateship 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 service to horticulture in the course of their working life.

Syd Wilson and Susan Hoy will receive the Harlow Carr Medal which is conferred on persons who have made a significant contribution to horticulture in the North of England.

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