Evison awarded Pearson medal at HTA Garden Futures event

Nurseryman, lecturer, author and photographer Raymond J Evison OBE VMH, was presented with the HTA Pearson Memorial Medal at the HTA Garden Futures Dinner, which took place on 12 October at Heythrop Park in Oxfordshire.

Carol Paris and Raymond Evison
Carol Paris and Raymond Evison
Evison set up Guernsey Clematis Nursery in 1984 and is responsible for introducing more than 100 clematis species cultivars in his lifetime. The Guernsey Clematis Company remains one of the largest specialist producers of young clematis plants supplying them worldwide via wholesale and retail channels.

As an author his works include ‘Making the Most of Clematis’, ‘The Gardeners Guide to Growing Clematis’, ‘Clematis for Everyone’ and ‘Clematis for Small Spaces’.

He has served with the International Plant Propagators’ Society, the National Council for Conservation of Plants and Gardens and the International Clematis Society, of which he is a founder member. In 1995 he was awarded the RHS Victoria Medal of Honour and in 2000 an OBE.

Presenting the award HTA chief executive Carol Paris said: "It is with great delight that Raymond is the recipient of this year’s HTA Pearson Medal for his outstanding contribution and services to horticulture.

"His horticultural expertise and business eye has led to the development of a one of the strongest plant brands in our industry and it is great that Raymond continues to share his wealth of knowledge with audiences in the UK and worldwide."

Speakers at the event discussed Brexit, the 2017 shopper, tomorrow’s garden centre, adapting to climate change, eLearning and the Energy Garden project.

Joshua McBain, head of innovation at Future Foundation. said consumer spending is expected to drop considerably in 2017 and only start recovering in 2020. Growers and garden centres will see a shift in seasonal employment and labour from the EU. Moving goods across borders will see a double whammy hit with both high import and tariff costs. There is one solid benefit to be had, the falling UK pound has delivered a boost for UK tourism. 

What’s trending in 2017 and the new consumer was outlined by Dominic Harrison, content director at Future Foundation. A new retail term is emerging called ‘Hygge retail,’ considered to be a celebration of simple pleasures, providing an opportunity to create stress free leisure. Could this be the antidote to pressured lives and a trend that garden retail can capitalise on?

Leonard Diepenbrock, managing director of TOX-Dübel-Technik GmbH, encouraged delegates to start something new and digital tomorrow.

The trends and opportunities that could shape tomorrow’s garden centre were explored by Paul Pleydell, Director of Pleydell Smithyman.

Climate predictions for the UK and how this will affect gardening and garden retail was examined by Dr Ross Cameron, senior lecturer in landscape management, ecology and design from the University of Sheffield. 

The Energy Garden, a city-wide community gardening and energy project, is set to transform 50 train stations across London by 2017; the stations are to become destinations for gardening and renewable energy systems.  Agamemnon Otero MBE, the founder of Energy Garden and chief executive of Repowering explained how the project can help to engage new customers while also creating social, financial and environmental benefits.  Anyone in the industry can get involved through the provision of products or as a sponsor.

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