An award-winning Devonshire nursery has come fourth in the world in a competition to find the International Grower of the Year 2013.
Dawlish-based family-run wholesaler Whetman Pinks lost out to eventual winner Sheridan Nurseries, from host nation Canada, at an event at Niagara Falls organised by the International Association of Horticultural Producers and sponsored by FloraCulture International.
Whetman Pinks, specialist breeders of garden pinks and hybrid dianthus, was nominated for the prize by the NFU after winning several awards at the UK Grower of the Year event in March.
Managing director Carolyn Bourne said: “We are delighted to have been placed fourth at the AIPH International Grower of the Year Awards. We were immensely proud to have been shortlisted and to have come this far has been a reward in itself.
“It has been a brilliant experience, held at a stunning venue. Meeting other horticulturists from around the world has been a privilege and there’s nothing quite like sharing the love of plants.”
NFU horticulture adviser Chris Hartfield said: “This fourth place proved the world-class calibre of our growers and is another great reason why we should all back British farming.”
The shortlist was judged by an expert jury from across the world, which assessed the candidates against rigorous standards to ensure that a worthy winner emerged. The winner received a golden rose trophy and runners-up received silver and bronze roses respectively.