Collection Holders Recognised in RHS Awards

Plant Heritage is delighted to announce that four of its National Plant Collection Holders have been honoured in the RHS annual awards for contributions to horticulture. The awards are presented as a reflection of both horticultural excellence and personal endeavour, and are regarded as internationally as being among the highest distinctions in horticulture.
The highest accolade the RHS bestows, the Victoria Medal (VMH) was awarded to Chris Sanders. This is awarded to British horticulturalists deserving of special honour by the society. Chris is an expert on ornamental cherries and was instrumental in setting up the National Plant Collection of Prunus, ornamental flowering cherries, at Keele University, Staffordshire. He has also built up a collection of Deutzia, originally bred by Victor Lemoine. Chris is Vice-Chair of the RHS Woody Plant Committee, Chair of the Woody Trials Assessment Forum and a member of the Nomenclature and Taxonomy Advisory Group. He has worked at several commercial nurseries, and when he retired in 2002 was ProductionDirector for Bridgemere Nurseries, Cheshire.

Philip Baulk, who holds the National Collection of Lewisia at Ashwood Nurseries in Kingswinford, The West Midlands, was awarded the Veitch Memorial Medal for outstanding contribution to the advancement of the art, science or practice of horticulture. The RHS said Philip has made an exceptional impact in his area of expertise having won 50 consecutive RHS Flower Show Gold medals, as well as playing a significant role in establishing Ashwood’s worldwide reputation for quality and innovation.

Head Gardener at National Trust property, Mottisfont Abbey in Hampshire, David Stone, was awarded the RHS Associate of Honour, which is presented to British citizens who have rendered distinguished service to the practice of horticulture throughout their career. Mottisfont Abbey holds the National Plant Collections of Platanus and Rosa, pre 1900 shrub roses.

Chris and Lorraine Birchall of Tale Valley Nursery, Devon were awarded the RHS Farrer Trophey. Chris and Lorraine hold the National Collection for Rhodohypoxis and xRhodoxis. Speaking at the presentation of the awards last week RHS President Sir Nicholas Bacon said: “The RHS awards are a most important part of the work of the RHS by recognising the remarkable efforts that individuals have made to the furtherance of horticulture in its widest sense.”
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