Alan Titchmarsh pledges ongoing support for the industry as he receives prestigious HTA Pearson Memorial Medal

Gardening's number one celebrity Alan Titchmarsh told HTA conference dinner guests in London last night that "we are all in the same business" and that he will always be on hand to help the industry if called upon.

Love Your Garden team: Image ITV
Love Your Garden team: Image ITV

Speaking after being presented with the HTA Pearson Memorial Medal by HTA president Caroline Owen, Titchmarsh said: "If the land was a patchwork quilt and everybody looked after their square they would all join up. We should encourage them to do that and give them the wherewithal, knowledge and equipment."

He added that 2012 was "challenging" for the garden trade but that gardeners were optimistic people compared to farmers and always say next year will be better, while farmers say next year will be worse.

Titchmarsh said gardeners are "at the sharp end of conservation of the environment" and that gardening was "hugely under-estimated" but "getting people into contact with plants that grow - nothing is more important".

He said gardeners can't work in isolation and that "we as an industry need to work together" adding "those days are gone" when collaboration was not necessary.

The ITV primetime Love Your Garden presenter has a new book about his Hampshire garden out in the next fortnight and said Love Your Garden will be an ongoing project for years to come.

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