Dedicated horticulturist receives BEM

 A dedicated and highly-respected horticulturist at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE) has been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Tony Garn (60), of Edinburgh, receives the British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to horticulture and volunteering. Tony commented: “It is an honour to receive an award for working as a member of a team where our work brings so much enjoyment to our visitors. This is made possible with the support and enthusiasm of the many members of staff, volunteers and Garden Guides at RBGE.  It is a pleasure to meet and work with people of integrity who make the Garden the world renowned organisation it is.’’

Paying tribute, RBGE Regius Keeper Simon Milne MBE, said: “This award goes to a highly respected and hugely committed member of the RBGE community. I am certain that this very well deserved recognition will be warmly welcomed by all the many people who have had the pleasure of working with and learning from Tony during his 28 years’ service at RBGE.’’

Tony joined RBGE as a student in 1975 from the Savill and Valley Gardens of the Crown Estate at Windsor. Before returning as a member of staff in 1988 he pursued a number of horticultural jobs in Edinburgh and latterly at the University of Glasgow. Tony is responsible for RBGE’s vital but often behind the scenes logistical operations.

Since 2007 Tony has kept a record of the activities of the Garden’s badgers. He is responsible for applying for licences to ensure there is as little disturbance as possible to the badgers and setts.

Tony has been instrumental in nurturing and managing the Garden Guides from their inception through to their current roles and success today. This includes arranging training programmes, familiarisation visits and staff update meetings.

He is also the first point of contact for the many UK and international students who wish to gain work experience in the Garden. Horticultural students get turf care lectures and a digging master class in advance of their required cultivated plot. These skills have also been transferred to botanic garden capacity building projects overseas in China, Oman and Turkey.

The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh is a charity (registration number SC007983)