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Master Gardener receives Lawrence Medal from RHS

Billy Alexander of Kells Bay was awarded for his Gold Medal-winning exhibit at RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2023



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22 April 2024

The Royal Horticultural Society has awarded the Lawrence Medal to Billy Alexander from Kells Bay, Co. Kerry.

The medal was awarded for his Gold Medal and Best in Great Pavilion winning exhibit, The Ferns of Kells Bay Gardens at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2023. 

The Lawrence Medal is awarded for the best exhibit shown to the society during the year. The Lawrence medal is the highest honour an exhibitor can receive for their display.

Billy, who has restored and developed Kells Bay House and Gardens on the Ring of Kerry since he bought it in 2006 also won a Chelsea Gold Medal in 2021.  This is his first time to receive the Lawrence Medal. 

The presentation of the award was made at the Annual RHS Awards ceremony in Lindley Hall by Mr. Keith Weed CBE, RHS President. Billy has also been appointed to the RHS Judges Panel.

For the last three decades, Billy has supplied specimen Dicksonia antarctica to every Irish Garden and Landscaper of note. From 15-foot trunks to the more popular 1– 6-foot size, these low maintenance plants, with frond-spans of up to 12-foot, make a spectacular impact on any outdoor space. 

The 2023 display included an array of native Irish ferns complemented by an unrivalled collection of Southern Hemisphere Tropical and sub-Tropical plants including Blechnums, Cyathea and Lophosoria.

Billy Alexander said: “I am honoured to receive this award, which is evidence of high standards of excellence in Irish Horticulture, and is also a recognition of the fantastic ferns which grow so happily at Kells Bay.

“We won’t be competing at RHS Chelsea 2024, but visitors are always welcome to visit them in Kerry where they are happiest.  I am pleased to report that the mild winter has ensured that the Ferns of Kells Bay Gardens in situ are in prime condition, and we are fully open to visitors.”

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