In the early years of his career Chris worked as a junior foreman at Hilliers Nursery. In 1986 he embarked on his career as Lecturer in Horticulture at Sparsholt College where he continues to inspire students today.
Chris has a lifelong interest in plants, and has worked with many organisations including Plant Heritage, RHS and National Trust. Since 1998 he has co-ordinated Sparsholt College’s display gardens at RHS Chelsea Flower Show. He has provided students with the opportunity to demonstrate their advanced technical skills. His results include seven gold medals, and four best in category awards, a testament to his guidance and skill. He has been described as a dedicated lecturer, passionate about horticulture and student-focused. He is also funny, knowledgeable and extremely hard working.
He became part of the team of highly motivated, experienced horticulturists who authored the The Fundamentals of Horticulture published in 2014. Chris took responsibility for editing it. Now it is an essential guide for Level 2 and 3 horticulturists.
Chris joined the Institute of Horticulture (now the Chartered Institute of Horticulture) in 2002. A past member of the South West Committee described him as ‘a great asset and valued member’. He was instrumental to the Branch YHoY successes, helping to increase participation numbers in the heats and the finals and helped re-establish links with local horticulture colleges. He used his contacts to get some great venues to host the branch finals with plenty of interest for contestant’s families and supporters.
Chris became an integral part of the national organising committee and is a great supporter at every final. He is a brilliant photographer and has a calming influence on all who come into contact with him.
On a personal note, I have worked with Chris in the Institute for many years. He has been incredibly supportive of all that we do, and it gives me immense pleasure to present this award to him in recognition of his contribution to horticulture.
Susan Nicholas FCIHort, Immediate Past President