Horticultural award for south west garden consultant

The Edwardian house at Overbecks, Salcombe, Devon, glimpsed beyond the exotic planting in the garden
Published : 01 Mar 2017 Last update : 02 Mar 2017

Every year the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) presents its highest accolades for gardening excellence. This year, we’re delighted that Ian Wright, our garden consultant in the south west, has been awarded the prestigious ‘Associate of Honour’ during a ceremony held at the RHS’s headquarters in London.

With no more than 100 of the awards held at any one time, it is presented to those who have given distinguished service to the practice of horticulture.

A 35 year career in horticulture began for Ian when he trained with the RHS at Wisley before working at the famous Tresco Abbey Garden on the Isles of Scilly. In 1987 Ian began working for the National Trust as the head gardener at The Vyne in Hampshire. 

Now Ian is the lead garden consultant for the south west helping to care for 50 of our important gardens and managing a team of conservation specialists. 

Ian Wright (left) at Lanhydrock with the head gardener and general manager
Ian Wright at Lanhydrock with Head Gardener Tommy Teagle and Rebecca Brookes Sullivan GM

During his time with the Trust, Ian has lead on our work to help prevent the spread and impact of new plant diseases on gardens and plant collections. His guidance, developed in partnership with the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), is still widely used by our gardening teams today as well as by other organisations. 

After receiving his award, Ian said: ‘I was surprised and honoured to receive this award. It means so much to me and makes me even more resolved to promote horticultural careers, which I highly recommend to all.

‘I continue to greatly enjoy working, visiting and giving something back to horticulture by supporting the people in our great gardens.’

Mike Calnan, head of gardens, said: ‘I am delighted that the RHS have recognised Ian’s major contribution to British horticulture. He is a fantastic ambassador for the National Trust and a tireless advocate for our gardens and gardeners.’ 

National Trust gardeners at work at Cotehele, Cornwall

Careers in our gardens 

We've been training gardeners for decades and have launched two courses designed for those wishing to develop careers in heritage gardening.

Garden conservation

Find out more about the work that goes on behind the scenes by our talented garden teams to restore and conserve the gardens you love to visit