A Fifer has finally been presented with one of the UK’s top horticultural honours.
Keith Jackson, from Falkland, received the Queen Mother Memorial Medal during a special ceremony this week.
The prize is awarded by the Royal Caledonian Horticultural Society, which was established in 1809 for the encouragement and improvement of gardening in Scotland.
The medal should have been presented at a ceremony in March but Keith was unable to attend the original event, so it was rescheduled for the Caley Spring Bulb Show during the first weekend of April.
After Covid-19 scuppered those plans, a small ceremony was arranged this week at the Caley’s home base at Edinburgh’s Saughton Park.
Although Keith’s first career was in the police service, he has over 30 years’ experience in community horticulture having founded and chaired Falkland in Bloom, leading them to success in Beautiful Scotland, then Britain in Bloom as winners of the small village category.
They won the champion of champions category two years in a row before Falkland then went on to win the European Entente Florale.
After retiring from the police he was recruited by the head of Fife parks to co-ordinate community horticulture throughout Fife until his retirement in December 2019.
During this time Keith organised Beautiful Fife which involved around 60 communities improving their local environment using a similar structure of categories and awards to Beautiful Scotland. Besides enhancing the Fife environment this experience led a series of Fife communities to further success at both Scottish and UK levels.
Keith has also chaired the Beautiful Scotland Advisory Group and chaired the Britain in Bloom Regions and Nations until the formation of a Federation in October 2013.
He was similarly involved in several very successful large scale exhibits at Gardening Scotland and Dundee Flower Festival with Fife Council, then with Jon Wheatley Associates for organisations such as Poppyscotland and the Caley.
Keith was delighted to receive his medal from Caley president David Knott.
He said: “I am extremely honoured to receive this medal and pay tribute to the hundreds of hard working communities that I have been in contact with over the past 35 years.”