Born in 1944, Raymond Evison started his horticultural career at the age of 15 in Shropshire and quickly became the Director of his first company: "Treasures of Tenbury Ltd". A brutal winter killed a third of his mother stock and he moved the clematis operations to Guernsey, in the sunny Channel Islands near France where he set up The Guernsey Clematis Nursery in 1985, to take advantage of the milder climate and long growing season.
Production at the Guernsey Clematis Nursery
These glasshouses have been upgraded to state of the art facilities and the nursery now produces 2-3 million young plants per year and exports to 20 countries worldwide.
1977: first book published: "Making the Most of Clematis". This book is now in it's 3rd reprint and has been followed by "The Gardeners Guide to Growing Clematis" and "Clematis for Everyone".
1984: formed the International Clematis Society. President from 1989-1991 and was made an Honorary Fellow of the Society in 2004.
1985-1996: member of the Council of the RHS and Chairman of the RHS' Shows Committee from 1988 to 1995.
1980-1988: member of Council of the National Council for Conservation of Plants and Gardens. (NCCPG/Plant Heritage)
1995: Awarded RHS Victoria Medal of Honour for his outstanding service to British Horticulture and was also made the Guernsey Ambassador of the Year.
1997: the Guernsey Clematis Nursery was awarded The Exporter of the Year Award at the Nurseryman & Garden Centre Awards in London, putting the company ahead of all other exporters of horticultural products in the United Kingdom. The nursery was also joint runner up for the same award in 2004.
2000: Raymond Evison was honoured with the OBE by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for his services to Horticulture on Guernsey.
January 2005: Awarded the RHS Reginald Cory Memorial Cup for his far-reaching work in breeding and developing new clematis cultivars.
January 2008: Publication of the latest book "Clematis for Small Spaces", which was awarded "Refererence Book of the Year 2008" by the Garden Media Guild.
January 2009 - 2013: Chairman of the RHS Woody Plant Committee
January 2010 - 2013: Chairman of the RHS Plant Advisory Committee
May 2002 - May 2017
A sequence of 15 Consecutive gold medals for RHS Chelsea exhibits including the Lawrence Medal for the best exhibit staged at the 2003 Chelsea Flower Show. This medal is awarded annually for the exhibit shown to the Society during the year, it includes all Flower Shows organised by the RHS. Then (in 2010) the RHS's Williams Memorial Medal for the best exhibit of a specific genus of plants across any of the RHS shows.
Gold awards in international showcases
Over this period numerous Gold medals have been awarded for exhibits at shows and exhibitions including Chelsea, Hampton Court, Philadelphia and Toronto. At Chelsea alone Raymond Evison stands have gathered 29 Gold medals over 50 years.