Beechgrove Garden presenter Jim McColl, 81, was presented with the lifetime achievement award after a record 38 years and 1,000+ episodes on the TV series.
He said "everyday is a school day" in his job. Glendoick's Ken Cox presented the award.
Presenter Carol Klein, 71, said gardening had been presented as the "new rock n roll" but "we don't have to be the new anything".
The Gardener's World presenter said she would like to see gardening on TV aimed at the demographic where it is growing - "the older generation" and joked that she would like to to present a series called "Gardening with a Zimmer frame".
Lancaster, presenting an award, said he would like to break tradition and mention a plant among the garden media world's lauding of itself - the lindera. Later, former RHS director Rae, presenting another award, said Lawrence Banks VMH had recommended the same plant to him.
One of the Guild's founders, Peter Seabrook, said: "Never in my lifetime hs practical advice been more necessary." He gave the example of a teaching assistant at a school he visited not knowing what a hoe, obtained through Morrisons vouchers, was for.
Winners of the 2016 awards included:
Peter Seabrook Practical Book of the Year: Ian Hodgson's New Wild Garden.
Reference Book: Joan Morgan's Book of Pears
Garden magazine of the year and TV broadcast of the year: Gardener's World
Environmental award: Seeds Safeguarding our Future, Carolyn Fry
Columnist of the year: Sarah Price
News story of the year: Val Bourne
Trade journalist of the year: Darryl Moore
Practical journalist of the year: Terry Walton
Garden writer of the year: Anna Pavord