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RHS awards the highest honours in horticulture

by | 27 Mar 24 | Domestic Landscaping, Garden Design, News

The highest honours in horticulture, the Victoria Medal of Honour and the Elizbeth Medal of Honour has been awarded to six recipients by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS). as part of the RHS People Awards.

At an award ceremony held at Lindley Hall, London, Chris Lane and Neil Lucas received the RHS Victoria Medal of Honour and Rosie Atkins, Charles Dowding, Jan Pennings and Chipper Wichman received the RHS Elizabeth Medal of Honour.

The Victoria Medal of Honour is awarded to British horticulturists and the Elizabeth Medal of Honour is awarded to non-horticulturists who have made an outstanding contribution to horticulture and gardening.

Chris Lane and Neil Lucas have received the RHS Victoria Medal of Honour. Lane for his recognised plantsmanship, as well as his practical skills and knowledge of woody plants. He is celebrated for sharing his experience through formal training, his books and holding five national plant collections.

Lucas, a champion of ornamental grasses both as a designer and nurseryman. He is an author, exhibitor and judge and has developed Knoll Garden’s charitable foundation to increase understanding of naturalistic planting and garden wildlife.

Rosie Atkins, Charles Dowding, Jan Pennings and Chipper Wichman received the RHS Elizabeth Medal of Honour.

Founder of Gardens Illustrated magazine and chair of trustees at Project Giving Back, Atkins also became director of Chelsea Physic Garden, transforming their public engagement. She is a RHS committee member, RHS Vice-President and member of several trusts.

“Throughout my career I have been lucky enough to work with people who have been incredibly generous with both their time and knowledge. While I feel honoured to have had my individual contribution rewarded, I must pay tribute to all those talented writers, photographers, gardeners, designers and scientists who strive to celebrate and preserve nature’s bounty for future generations,” says Atkins

Dowding has researched and developed his techniques of ‘no-dig’ pioneering the concept of improving soil quality organically whilst maintaining productivity and benefitting biodiversity for over 40 years.

He continues to share his experience through lectures, courses, articles and several gardening books.

Jan Pennings is a tireless ambassador for the RHS and growers worldwide supporting plant breeders by taking up new cultivars of daffodils, hyacinths, tulips and crocuses to bring new and improved plants to the gardening world.

Chipper Wichman has dedicated his career in botany and gardens with the National Tropical Botanical Garden as the organisation’s president and chief executive officer.

At any one time only 63 horticulturists hold the VMH and 70 non-horticulturists will hold the EMH to mark the length of Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth II’s respective reigns.

The RHS People Awards are held annually and are open to everyone to make a nomination. This year’s nominations will open in June 2024.

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