Prince of Wales Trophy

The Prince of Wales Perpetual Challenge Trophy is part of the Company’s charitable activities. It is a competition run annually by the Company and it is open to all present and future professional gardeners able to demonstrate particular expertise and knowledge in the field of sustainable horticulture.

Schools of horticulture and other bodies are each invited to nominate up to two entrants to compete for this prestigious award. Nominees will be chosen from those who:

  • Are undertaking or have completed undergraduate/post-graduate programmes or level 3 courses/apprenticeships in horticulture
  • Have shown particular understanding and commitment to sustainable cultivation
  • Can demonstrate their ability in its practical applications
  • Intend to practise sustainable horticulture as part of their career

Students undertaking undergraduate/post-graduate programmes or level 3 courses in horticulture may apply. Applicants should be able to demonstrate their commitment to sustainable horticulture. Shortlisting will take account of each applicant’s knowledge and experience in this area. In addition to the Trophy, the winner will receive a cheque for £500 and a certificate, signed by HRH The Prince of Wales and will also be invited to dine with their tutor as a guest of the Worshipful Company of Gardeners in the City of London. Travel expenses are available. Application forms (see below) must be completed and returned to by email heather-b-m@waitrose.com by 21st April 2017. Shortlisted candidates will be notified by 5th May 2017 and will be invited to attend interviews on 22nd May 2017. Advance booking for travel to London is advised once you are notified that you have been shortlisted. (Travel grants available on request.) The winning student and his or her tutor (or other guest) will be advised by 26th May 2017 and invited to dine as a guest of the Company on the occasion of the Installation of the Master for the forthcoming year. This will take place on 4th July 2017 in Draper's Hall in the City of London. (A travel grant will be available on request.)

The 2016 winner was Margaret Tran who is now completing her Diploma at RHS Wisley and has been awarded an Interchange Fellowship at Longwood Gardens in the US.

The Prince of Wales Trophy
Wisley Diploma student Margaret Tran receives the 2016 Prince of Wales Award from Master Paul Rochford.

Margaret has a particular interest in small independent nurseries in Britain and the way they add to the diversity and wonderful gardening fabric of Britain. She has become concerned about their vulnerability and how this can impact British horticulture as a whole. So as part of her dissertation for her Wisley Diploma she researched and looked into sustainable business strategies including different aspects of "sustainability" from the growing medium and pots to staff well-being.

Her vision is to run a school bringing together horticulture, business, art and education. For Maggie the best sustainable systems and practice come from a holistic approach, being resourceful, being bold, having the right attitude and being creative - the best of human traits.

For entry details contact the competition administrator heather-b-m@waitrose.com

2015 Prince of Wales Trophy winner Sid Hill
2014 Prince of Wales Trophy winner Katie Benallick