“You are going to be the saviours of the horticulture industry”

  • The Committee: Liam, Lilidh, Mollie, Natalie and Abi. All photos: Jonathan at Ginger Horticulture
  • Sue Biggs addresses the YPHA

The RHS rolled out the red carpet yesterday to the YPHA, a vibrant new group for young horticulturists, telling them, “You are going to be the saviours of the horticulture industry.”

The Young People in Horticulture Association, YPHA, was formed two years ago.  Covid has delayed their first meet-up till now, but this has not hampered the group’s development.  Already there are over 200 members, all under 35. 

Co-founder Natalie Porter of Happy Plants revealed the networking powers already driving the group.  “It’s amazing,” she said in her introduction.  “Whatever horticultural or business problem you have, someone within the group will have an answer.”

Over 70 attended yesterday’s inaugural event hosted by the RHS.  Talented young people from garden centres, ornamental and edible growers, gardeners, social media influencers such as Mister Plant Geek, and breeders were meeting for the first time.

“You will always have a home here”

Before a guided tour of the gardens at Wisley, RHS director general, Sue Biggs, told the group, “You will always have a home here [at Wisley] and any other RHS garden.  Please come back any time.”

She repeated one of her biggest fears that industry and government won’t be able to solve the green skills issues and told her young audience, “You are at the vanguard of saving the industry… Be proud and act as our ambassadors.” 

She explained, “As horticulturists you talk about the environment and help with health and mental health…  If we get young people excited, that’s how we keep the industry alive…  You are going to be the saviours of the horticulture industry.”

The Committee

The committee for the Young People in Horticulture Association, YPHA.

  • Natalie Porter - Happy Plants
  • Mollie Higginson - New Leaf Plants
  • Liam Cleary- The Old Railway Line GC
  • Abi Stocker- Woodlodge Products 
  • Lilidh Matthews- Finding Roots
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Trade supporter,  4 Feb 2022:
...How refreshing. A long term view with investment in people and the future. So much nicer than the "fast buck" attitude that is so common nowadays.

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