In Pursuit of Plants 2015

What do intrepid plant hunters and collectors of the past and present, generous patrons and sponsors, national botanical gardens, imaginative plant breeders, avid gardeners in spaces of all sizes, arable farmers, keepers of national plant collections, specialist nurseries and garden centres, herbalists and physicians reviving lost medical knowledge, innovative inventors and scientists, botanical artists, flower arrangers, cooks, hungry humans (and animals, birds, butterflies and insects) and perhaps even stealthy murderers have in common? They are all IN PURSUIT OF PLANTS.

The Society celebrated 30 years with the Annual Open Exhibition IN PURSUIT OF PLANTS from 17 to 26 April 2015 at Westminster Central Hall, Storey’s Gate, London SW1H 9NH. Gardener, writer and broadcaster Matthew Biggs opened the exhibition and presented the awards.

As part of the educational requirement of the Society’s charitable status, 600 works were shown in all mediums, including miniatures and three-dimensional work. A selection of work by students from both the UK and worldwide participating in the Distance Learning Diploma Course, now in its 12th successful year, was shown.

Members demonstrated daily in different mediums and six members conducted their ‘top ten’ tours, explaining why they chose the ten works in the show which most appealed to them.


President’s Award for work in media other than watercolour: Penny Brown SBA for the body of collage work

Joyce Cumming Presentation Award: Gael Sellwood SBA for Hydrangea macrophylla ‘King George’

Highly Commended: Lynne Buckler AssocSBA for Pteridophytes – Fern; Tsuyako Elliot SBA for Roses; Karen Musgrave Hill for Seed of Aesculus hippocastanum; Polly O’Leary AssocSBA for Iris germanica; Sally Pond for Clematis vitalba; Pamela Taylor AssocSBA for Taxus baccata and Maya Thomi SBA for Malus ‘Everest’

Margaret Granger Memorial Silver Bowl: Margaret Eccles SBA for the body of work

Great Art Award: Beth Phillips SBA for the body of work

Derwent Award: Carmen Lyons for the body of work

St Cuthberts Mill Award: Julia Patience AssocSBA for the body of work

Strathmore Award: Linda Alexander SBA for Still Life with Figs

Honourable mentions: Sally Pond for Clematis vitalba; Katherine Tyrrell for Grey, Green and Pink in Yuma; Eiko Takano SBA for Pinus wallichiana; Dianne Sutherland SBA for Fritillaria meleagris and Doreen Taylor DipSBA for Prunus serrula – Tibetan Cherry

People’s Choice: Linda Alexander SBA for Still Life with Anemones and Lemons

Suzanne Lucas Memorial Award: Linda Alexander SBA for the body of work

Certificates of Botanical Merit: Guy William Eves SBA for Hyacinths; Maria Hebert for Cardamine hirsute – Hairy Bittercress; Yuriko Kojima SBA for Aconitum japonicum var. montanum; Beth Phillip SBA for Fruits of Magnolia sprengeri var. diva ‘Westonbirt’; Sally Pond for Clematis vitalba – Old Man’s Beard; Wendy Smith for One and a Half Cones of Scots Pine; Eiko Takano SBA for Pinus wallichiana

Sarah Caswell Award: Mary O’Neil for Study in Red