Recognising those who are making an outstanding contribution within a plant group
The new RHS Plant Committee Annual Awards are a way for the different RHS Plant Committees to recognise and shine a light on those individuals who are making an outstanding contribution within their plant group, who might not otherwise be covered by the existing RHS People Awards.
These awards will recognise excellence in science, propagation, conservation or literature, journalism or art. There are no restrictions on the nationality of the nominee, whether they are amateur or professional.
The Orchid Committee already has an existing award, the Westonbirt Orchid Medal. The remaining six committees now have the opportunity to acknowledge those unsung heroes who have shared their knowledge, enhanced lives through plants and inspired more people to develop their passion for plants.
About the process
Each Plant Committee has selected the name of its award to honour someone who has significantly promoted plants within its remit. Nominations are requested from Committee members, and secret ballot voting is carried out. All award winners are sent a certificate and are presented with an engraved glass vase.
RHS Plant Committee Awards
Sir Daniel Hall Award
Daniel Hall was a renowned tulip breeder and author. Daniel was a member of the RHS Narcissus & Tulip Committee for many years and served on the Classification Committee responsible for producing the first lists of tulip names and their classification. Some of his tulip introductions exist today. This award in his name is awarded by the RHS Bulb Committee in recognition of significant personal achievement with bulbs and other related plants.
The 2020 Sir Daniel Hall Award was presented to Dr Jānis Rukšāns.
George Lockie Award
George Lockie was one of the great figures in post-war British horticulture. He was a longstanding member of the RHS Fruit, Vegetable and Herb Committee and was awarded the RHS’ Victoria Medal of Honour in 2004, the year before his death. This award is presented by the RHS Fruit, Vegetable and Herb Committee in recognition of significant personal achievement relating to fruit, vegetables or culinary herbs.
The 2020 George Lockie Award was presented to Kenneth Tobutt.
Alan Bloom Award
The name of Alan Bloom became synonymous with Bressingham, the garden he created by expanding the family nursery in Norfolk. He introduced over 170 new plants during his lifetime. Alan was awarded the Victoria Medal of Honour in 1971 and was made MBE in 1997. The Alan Bloom award is presented by the RHS Herbaceous Plant Committee in recognition of significant personal achievement relating to herbaceous perennials and hardy annuals.
The 2020 Alan Bloom Award was presented to Christine and (the late) David Howard of Howard Nurseries.
Jim Archibald Award
After running a nursery for some years, Jim Archibald travelled the world collecting specimens and seeds. His annual seed lists offered a range of unusual and rare plants, and their introductions were always erudite, well informed and witty. This award in his name is presented by the RHS Joint Rock Garden Plant Committee in recognition of significant personal achievement relating to rock garden and alpine plants.
The 2020 Jim Archibald Award was presented to Tim Lever of Aberconwy Nursery.
Westonbirt Orchid Medal
Provided from a fund presented in 1960 by Mr H G Alexander in commemoration of the collection of orchids made at Westonbirt. The medal is awarded by the RHS Orchid Committee to an individual for any scientific, literary, or any other outstanding personal achievement in connection with orchids.
The 2021 Westonbirt Orchid Medal was presented to Jim Durrant.
Maurice Mason Award
Although Maurice Mason was originally a farmer, he came to horticultural prominence for his plant collecting and his glasshouses – at one time he had 18 of them. During the middle years of the 20th century, he was the single most important promoter of the exotic glasshouse collection in Britain. The Maurice Mason Award is presented by the RHS Tender Ornamental Plant Committee in recognition of significant personal achievement relating to ornamental plants generally considered to be tender in the UK.
The 2021 Maurice Mason Award was presented to Stephen Jakusz; it was not awarded in 2020 and the 2019 recipient was Frank Davies.
Sir Harold Hillier Award
Harold Hillier’s remarkable collection, the Hillier Arboretum near Romsey, was assembled over many years to bring together the most comprehensive collection of trees, shrubs and hardy plants in the UK. He was awarded the RHS Victoria Medal of Honour and later made an honorary fellow, becoming a Vice President of the RHS in 1974. This award is presented by the RHS Woody Plant Committee in recognition of significant personal achievement relating to hardy trees and shrubs.
The 2021 Sir Harold Hillier Award was presented to Keith Rushforth.
You might also be interested in...
- RHS Plant Committees: Learn more about the work our committees do in naming and classifying plants into groups
- About the RHS: Find out more about us and our aim to inspire everyone to grow
- RHS People Awards: Recognising outstanding contribution to horticulture and gardening