PERCY PICTON MEMORIAL LECTURE
Each Autumn the Percy Picton Memorial Lecture is given by a notable personality in the gardening world. The Percy Picton Memorial Fund is a registered charity, initiated by the society as a tribute to the work of their late President.
The charity gives financial support to local students at Pershore Horticultural College. A special ticket must be purchased for the Percy Picton Memorial Lecture
31st Percy Picton Memorial Lecture 2017
2nd October 2017 -The Life and Times of a Gardener – Christine Walkden
Tickets cost £12 each and include the cost of a pre-lecture reception. Tickets can be purchased from John Godwin Estate Agents, Colwall and The Old Court Nursery, Colwall or through the Society.
PERCY PICTON MEMORIAL FUND
Percy Picton came to Colwall in the late 1940’s to manage and re-generate Ernest Ballard’s nursery, following the deprivations of the war years. He had spent 15 years working at Gravetye Manor, in Sussex, for William Robinson, under the famous head gardener, Ernest Markham. Here Percy met many of the great gardeners of the day and gained a wide knowledge of plants, especially Clematis. He helped Walter Ingwersen set up Birch Farm Nursery, on the Gravetye estate and this great plantsman inspired the young Picton into a lifelong love of alpines. The examples set by Robinson and Ingwersen made Percy aware of the importance of passing on the knowledge of plants and how to grow them.
Eventually, Percy Picton became the owner of Old Court Nurseries. He also became a TV personality with Percy Thrower and “Gardening Club” and later in “The Garden Game”, which was chaired by Norman Painting ( best remembered as Phil Archer). In the 1970’s Beth Chatto met Percy in Wales and her description of him fits his personality to perfection. “Sitting in a chair beside me, hands clasped over a comfortable rounded tummy, this man began to talk with the gentlest encouragement and then went on to entrance the audience with his knowledge and passion for plants – this man was Percy Picton”.
Percy always encouraged young people to further their interest in plants. He inspired John Massey of Ashwood Nurseries and John Richards of Mathon, both of whom are now well known and respected in the horticultural world.
When Percy Picton died his friends wished to create a fitting memorial and the Wyche and Colwall Horticultural Society founded The Percy Picton Memorial Fund in 1987, to provide grants to students of horticulture. Over the years many students have received aid with expenses connected with their courses, such as books and tools. With the widespread use of the internet theoretical knowledge is widely available via the computer. The trustees of the fund ascertained that a number of students needed help to gain “hands on experience” and have been able to co-operate with Ashwood Nurseries, Great Dixter Gardens, John Richards Nurseries and Chris Pattison with short term working/learning placements.
Each year, at Pershore College, the student who presents the best dissertation receives an award of £50 from the Percy Picton Memorial Fund.
The trustees would like to express their most sincere gratitude to the members of The Wyche and Colwall Horticultural Society for their continued, generous support of the charity through the annual lecture and various other events.