Alan Titchmarsh MBE,VMH, DL has been awarded the Pearson Memorial Medal at the HTA Garden Futures Conference dinner held at St Ermin's Hotel in London (9 October), in recognition for his outstanding contribution to the horticultural industry.
HTA Director General Carol Paris said, "Alan has played an invaluable role in communicating his passion for gardening to such a wide audience and I can think of no better or deserving recipient for the Pearson Memorial Medal for services to the industry. He is a great ambassador for gardening and has always been very supportive of the industry. There can be no doubt that his television programmes have had and continue to have a huge impact and help so many people discover gardening for the first time."
On receiving the award from HTA Vice-President Stan Green Alan Titchmarsh commented, "This is a great honour for me and I am delighted to follow in such auspicious footsteps. This award really matters as it is from the horticultural industry. We are all in the same business across all the branches of horticulture. We all want to encourage people to green their surroundings and this begins with the environment outside the back door - the garden. The industry provides people with the knowledge and where with all to do their bit."
Titchmarsh went on to thank the industry for their support for 'Love Your Garden'. "We couldn't have achieved what we did without you. Thank you for coming to our aid for the greater good and to help encourage more people to garden," he said. Love Your Garden is set to return to ITV in 2013 for a third series.
Following early interest in growing things in the back garden, Alan's horticultural career started at fifteen as an apprentice gardener at a local nursery after which he began full time training at horticultural college and the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew. After a spell as Supervisor of Staff Training at Kew he became a horticultural journalist, first as an editor of gardening books, then as Deputy Editor of Amateur Gardening magazine before becoming a freelance broadcaster and writer.
Alan has appeared on radio and television both as a gardening expert and as an interviewer and presenter. Since 1983 he has presented the BBC's annual coverage of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and he hosts his own radio show on Classic FM on Saturday mornings. For seven years Alan was the main presenter of BBC2's Gardeners' World, which came from his own garden - Barleywood in Hampshire - and took gardening on to BBC1 with the hugely popular Ground Force, which, at its peak, pulled in 12 million viewers.
During the course of the series, Alan designed over 60 gardens, including one for Nelson Mandela. In 2011 and 2012 the two series of Love Your Garden have proved immensely popular as has his popular daytime chat show on ITV, The Alan Titchmarsh Show, which has just begun its 11th series. Alan is also an accomplished author with more than 50 titles under his belt.
The Pearson Memorial Medal for outstanding service to the garden industry has been awarded by the HTA on an annual basis since it was instigated in 1930 in memory of the HTA's first General Secretary, Charles Pearson.
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