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In 2011 I was elected a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Horticulture. It was a great honour to join the ranks of Peter Seabrook and Alan Titchmarsh.

I have been a member of the Chartered Institute of Horticulture since the 1990s and have always supported the great work that they do.

Under the Chartered Institute of Horticulture’s guidelines, fellowships are awarded to individuals who have ‘achieved a significant profile in their professional capacity’. It should be ‘in a field of expertise which contributes to the charitable objectives of the Institute.’

Horticulture for young people

In particular, I support the Institute’s work promoting horticulture among young people. Over the last decade I have worked with local horticultural colleges to give students hands on experience building show gardens.

I also pioneered the Young Gardener of the Year competition in conjunction with the Prince’s Foundation for Building Community, to give young gardeners a platform to bring their own designs to life.

In 2014 I took part in the Young Horticulturist of the Year competition as Question Master, putting young gardeners’ knowledge to the test. Take part in my quiz to see how you score!

I also support the work of Grow Careers, an initiative set up by the horticultural industry to promote the careers and opportunities our field has to offer to young people. I’ve always believed in the Chartered Institute of Horticulture’s emphasis on encouraging young people into horticulture and its drive to promote our industry.