Latest Company News
HRH The Earl of Wessex is our new Master Gardener
HRH The Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, was installed as Master of the Gardeners’ Company at a special ceremony this summer at the Mansion House. Although a member of three other Livery companies this is his first Mastership and the first time the Company has had a royal Master in its long history.
Also appointed at the same ceremony were Nicholas Evans as Deputy Master, Stephen Bernhard as Upper Warden, Bernard Williams as Renter Warden and Paul Rochford as Spadebearer.
The Installation was followed by a banquet in the Egyptian Hall hosted by the Lord Mayor, Alderman Roger Gifford, and attended by a host of distinguished guests including HRH The Countess of Wessex.
Replica Coronation Bouquet presented to Her Majesty The Queen by the Gardeners' Company to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of Her Majesty’s Coronation
On 2nd June 1953, the new Queen carried a bouquet of flowers on the journey from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey, and every year since, a replica has been presented to Her Majesty by the Worshipful of Gardeners.
In this special 60th anniversary year, the bouquet was presented to The Queen at an Audience in Buckingham Palace on Thursday, 30th May.
The original bouquet contained flowers that were chosen by The Queen to symbolise the four parts of the United Kingdom - lilies of the valley from England, stephanotis from Scotland, carnations from Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man, and orchids from Wales.
The original bouquet was made by one of the Company of Gardeners’ Past Masters, Martin Longman, of the City of London florist, Longmans, along with other members of the Longman family.
The Company presents a replica of the bouquet on or around the anniversary of the Coronation every year which last year was made by students from Capel Manor College overseen by Past Master Tom Gough, Martin Longman’s nephew.
This year’s bouquet has been made Martin Longman’s grand-daughter Lottie Longman who flew down from Scotland for the occasion.
This year’s bouquet was presented to The Queen by the Company’s Master, Mr Rex Thornborough RD*, accompanied by the Deputy Upper Warden Mr Nicholas Evans, the Renter Warden Mr Stephen Bernard, the Spadebearer Mr Bernard Williams, the Immediate Past Master Mr Daniel Caspi, Senior Past Master David Longman and the Clerk, Major Jeremy Herrtage.
”It is a great honour for the Company to be able to present this bouquet to Her Majesty to mark this historic occasion and to show that the horticultural and floristry skills of 60 years ago are alive and well today,” said the Master.
Student James wins coveted sustainable horticulture prize
James Waterton is this year's winner of the The Prince of Wales Perpetual Challenge Trophy. He was presented with the magnificent bowl during the Installation Dinner at the Mansion House by the new Master, HRH The Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex. His prize was a cheque for £500 and a certificate, signed personally by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales.
The award is made each year to the student who best demonstrates a good understanding of sustainable horticulture whilst demonstrating sustainable practices. James’s interest in sustainable horticulture developed properly while he attended Capel Manor College. It was there that he learned good plant husbandry and, crucially, this led him to work on organic regimes.
Since 2011 James has attended Sparsholt College and has just completed his BSc in Garden Design. James is particularly interested in design, and in urban permaculture. He is a landscape consultant and a volunteer at Kew Royal Botanic Gardens and has taught an after-school club at a school. In 2011 with others he designed and constructed an Ideal Home Show Garden which won a Gold Award and received Best in Show.