22 September 2014 By Billy Hawkins
Earlier this month we had the pleasure (and honour) of being invited to the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew at the annual presentation of the Kew Diploma and prizes to final year students. This event is an intimate affair and a celebration and acknowledgement of the students’ achievements.
As George Loudon, a Kew Trustee commented, it is a heart warming event which indicates a positive future and celebrates three to four years of hard work. Which is all the more reason Laura Bradley, the Alitex representative, felt privileged to be there along with the families of the students.
Our partnership with Kew is an on-going relationship which allows us to remain at the cutting edge of advancements in horticulture. It is at events like this we truly appreciate the valuable role Kew plays in creating an environment for the nurturing of gardening talent which will go on to be the custodians of our horticultural future – fusing education with science and creativity. All our lives are effected by plants therefore the value in their conservation and protection is imperative – this was illustrated by Professor James Hitchmough, Head of Department of Landscape at the University of Sheffield whose address was read by Martin Stanforth, Acting Principle of the School of Horticulture. The students were encouraged to “think the unthinkable in the horticultural world”, and armed with a passion for plants “to challenge the world”.
Alitex sponsor the award “Growing under Glass”, which was won by a hugely successful student Hans Mackrodt – who I hope will be sharing his experiences in this blog space soon. The Kew Diploma continues to be the very best grounding for a life in horticulture, but this “crop”, of final year students have been at Kew during a busy three years for the gardens as Richard Deverell (Director of Kew) noted in his introduction. The flower rings which celebrated the Olympics, events including Incredible Edibles and Grow Wild and not one but three orchid festivals. Funding has been secured for the restoration of the Temperate House whilst the Gardens came through one of the biggest storms for decades (St. George’s Storm).
On behalf of Alitex, Good Luck with the next stage of life to all the Kew Final Year students – we hope to meet again.