Richard Jackson has been awarded the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award at the Garden Media Guild’s Awards held at London’s iconic Savoy hotel, in recognition of his contribution to the garden media industry.
The celebrity-seasoned audience stood in a standing ovation for gardening presenter, writer, author and horticulturist as he wove his way through the crowded dining hall at the sell out event. Dubbed as Horticulture’s very own Oscars ceremony, the Garden Media Guild Awards are the highlight of the gardening media calendar and the Lifetime Achievement Award a coveted accolade that marks a truly worthy candidate for the title.
Momentarily Richard was lost for words as his award came as a total surprise to him, but he quickly regained his composure to address the 300 strong audience made up of the top garden media professionals.
The tribute to Richard was led by John Ashley, the current Chairman of the Greenfingers Charity, which Richard founded in 1998. The garden media guests heard how Richard’s horticultural career started with him growing strawberries with his grandparents and starting out working at Hillier’s learning from the great Roy Lancaster. He moved to Fisons where he learned all about fertilisers and compost, something that would serve him well later in life and gave him the knowhow and contacts to create his own, professional plant food for amateurs. His career spans over four decades and includes not only television and radio presenting, but also setting up a joint venture with Camden council to recruit and rehabilitate long term unemployed youngsters and ex-offenders. It was a great success and Richard is still in contact with some of them now.
Richard, rarely lost for words, was clearly taken by surprise. “I am extremely honoured to receive this award.” He said. “I’ve simply love working in and being a part of this wonderful industry. I’ve had the real privilege to work with some amazing people and I’m so grateful for their encouragement, help and friendship over the years. Thank you to all of them.”
Clare Foggett, current Chairman of the Garden Media Guild said, “Richard has been a dynamic driving force behind so many good things in the gardening industry – the Garden Press Event is a firmly-fixed date in all of our diaries now and, since he launched it in 2006, has developed into an event you’d be mad to miss. And of course we are all aware of the great work done by Greenfingers, the charity he founded – but in my short time at the helm of the Garden Media Guild, I’ve discovered that Richard’s just as helpful and generous with his time on a personal level too. Winning our Lifetime Achievement Award is thoroughly deserved, on every level.”
The Garden Media Guild Lifetime Achievement Award is Awarded to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution throughout their lifetime to the profession, voted for by Garden Media Guild members and gifted by the GMG Committee.
Richard is in very good company and becomes the 26th person to receive the award. Some of the previous worthy winners include Christopher Lloyd (1997), Roy Lancaster (2002), Alan Titchmarsh (2004), and Jekka McVicar (2012).