Congratulations to the top Irish horticulturists honoured by the Royal Horticultural Society for their contributions to gardening science and practice.
A prestigious Veitch Memorial Medal went to Charles Nelson, former taxonomist to the National Botanic Gardens in Glasnevin. Charles has written widely on plants and plant history, with over 24 books to his name including 'A Heritage of Beauty', an essential book for any Irish gardener's shelves (look out for it in the book department of your garden centre. It's a unique encyclopaedia of all the plants grown in Irish gardens – about 3,500 cultivars, starting with the Irish yew and going on to include 1000 daffodils, 800 roses and the complete range of Irish primroses. As if that wasn't enough, Charles is an acknowledged expert on the heather family, president of the Northern Ireland Heritage Gardens Committee and a founding member of the Irish Garden Plant Society.
And four Irish candidates have been awarded the RHS Master of Horticulture, the Society's most prestigious professional horticultural qualification. John McConnell from Northern Ireland, Patrick Gardner, from Co. Kilkenny, Ben Johnson, a gardener at Trinity College in Dublin, and Philip Moreau of Glenbrook Nurseries in Co. Clare and were all praised for their 'extraordinary contribution' to horticulture.
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