FOUR north east Fife horticulturists have been recognised for their commitment to making the Kingdom look its best.
Fife Council parks and countryside manager Jim Hooton, Bert Allan of Falkland in Bloom, Pam Mansie who works at Craigtoun Country Park and Elliott Forsyth, head gardener at Cambo estate, all received awards from the Royal Caledonian Horticultural Society (RCHS) last week.
Jim, Bert and Elliott all attended the ceremony at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh, but unfortunately Pam didn’t receive her invitatation until it was too late.
Jim, who lives in Collessie, was awarded the society’s highest accolade, the Scottish Horticultural Medal.
During his time with Fife Council, Jim has raised the council’s profile at national flower shows by winning numerous gold medals.
He has also played a crucial role in developing local community partnerships and encouraging towns and villages to get involved in the Beautiful Fife campaign.
Jim, who attended the event in Edinburgh with his wife Glenise, said he was very pleased at Fife’s success in the horticultural world’s version of the Oscars.
“It was a great night and I was delighted to be given such an accolade,” he said.
“For people in this line of work, it really is our ‘Oscar’ equivalent!”
Long-serving Falkland in Bloom secretary Bert Allan said he was also delighted to receive a certificate of merit from the society.
“This award is for everyone at Falkland in Bloom who not only has worked hard to make the village a beautiful place to live, but also shared their skills and knowledge with other towns and villages,” he said.
Bert who attended the evening reception with his wife Margaret, added: “Falkland wouldn’t have enjoyed the success it has if it wasn’t for the work of everyone in the group.”
Also in receipt of a certificate of merit on the night was Elliott Forsyth who has worked at Cambo for nearly 11 years.
Elliott, who attended the ceremony with wife Susan and other Cambo gardeners, said the award was in recognition of the efforts made to develop the garden to make it more attractive to visitors and promote Scotland’s Garden Scheme.
He said: “We also provide training for young gardeners in design and plantsmanship so the award was really a combination of all these factors.
“I was really pleased to accept my award from a former lecturer at RHS Wisley, George Anderson; it made the evening very special.”
Proving that it’s not just the efforts of seasoned horticulturists that were recognised, 24-year-old Pam Marnie, from Glenrothes, said she was delighted to be named ‘Student of the year 2011’ by the RCHS.
Pam, who spent her four year apprenticeship with Fife Council at Craigtoun Country Park in St Andrews and now works there, was praised by head gardener Alan Graham for her hard work and dedication.