EBTS Patron & Honorary Members
Patron – The Lord Cavendish of Furness DL
Principal Honorary Member HRH The Prince of Wales KG KT
Sir Roy Strong, D. Litt., Ph.D., FSA
M Joël Cottin, Château de Versailles
Alan Titchmarsh, MBE, DL, VMH
Allen Coombes, formerly Hillier Arboretum, UK
Elizabeth Braimbridge, founder UK National Box Collection
Lynn Batdorf, former Curator US National Arboretum
Professor Brian Huntley, former director Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, RSA
The European Boxwood and Topiary Society (EBTS) is devoted to encouraging the appreciation, cultivation and knowledge of Boxwood and Topiary and to further extend both historic and scientific research in the subject.
Our aims are to encourage, improve and extend the cultivation of boxwood and to disseminate knowledge of boxwood and topiary, in all its forms, by means of publications, promotions, exhibitions, scientific research, European co-operation and exchange, conferences and visits, various meetings and other appropriate activities.
We are a European body with active membership in the UK, France, Belgium, Holland and Germany. Further relationships in Italy, Portugal and Spain are currently being developed. Each country is responsible for running its own organisation within the overall framework of our Vision and Aims. A long standing and very strong relationship with The American Boxwood Society (ABS) in Virginia, USA has been in existence for many years and which we value greatly.
The Formation of EBTS
In 1983, when Elizabeth Braimbridge opened Langley Boxwood Nursery in Hampshire, Buxus had become the ‘forgotten plant’. Her idea was to bring about an awareness of the modern range of Buxus and make it available to the public. A few years later, when heart surgeon husband Mark retired, the tables had turned. Topiary and boxwood were the height of fashion and the nursery was stretched by the demand. Having accompanied Elizabeth to the AGM’s of the American Boxwood Society (ABS), the hub of interest, new hybrids and research, Mark formed the idea of opening a parallel European society.
Modelled on the ABS, there would be a weekend AGM in a stately home known for its fine garden, with lectures, a Meet the Experts session, a fund raising auction and dinner with garden visits on the Sunday. In the autumn there would be a three day visit to Continental Europe. A European General Secretary was critical to success. Countess Véronique Goblet d’Alviella was recruited when she visited Langley Nursery. She was to become a legendary ambassador for the Society and still is today.
So the European boxwood & Topiary Society (EBTS) was born.
The inaugural meeting of EBTS was held at Dorney Court near Windsor in 1996. Lynn Batdorf attended for the ABS and an organisation for EBTS was put in place, based out of the UK.
The following summary highlights some of the key events that have taken place since the founding of EBTS:
EBTS launched in the UK
The flagship Magazine Topiarius was launched
A representation in Germany was started
The National ‘Buxus’ collection was set up at the Jardin Botanico Nacional in Cuba assisted by Mark and Elizabeth Braimbridge
Sweden formed a small group
Bruce Ginsberg took over from Mark Braimbridge as Chairman of EBTS
Operations started in The Netherlands and France
EBTS was represented at The Chelsea Flower Show and the Hatfield House Garden Show
The EBTS Handbook was compiled and issued to all members
Stand taken at The Chelsea Flower Show
EBTS France linked up with L’Association des Parcs et Jardins de la Somme creating Les Amis de Topiaires
A National Collection of Mexican boxwood was set up in Xalapa Arboretum
First Festival of Nature Flowers and Gardens launched with EBTS France at Le Touquet
Visit to China to discuss setting up a National Box collection in Shanghai
2nd European festival Naturalies at Le Touquet
Patrick Salembier appointed head of EBTS France
Dutch and Belgian EBTS form stronger group links
EBTS Holland takes a stand at the Zwolle Garden Fair
Founder member Véronique Goblet d’Alviella formally retires
Bill Seddon-Brown takes over as General Secretary
Christian Donck takes over to run the Belgian EBTS group
Wilhelm Hoenow appointed to run the German group
10th Anniversary Celebrations take place at Helmingham Hall in Suffolk, UK
Various joint meetings / visits take place in Europe
New EBTS organisational structure set up within Europe-each country responsible for their own operation within the common framework of EBTS Europe
Bill Seddon-Brown appointed Chairman EBTS Europe
Patrick Salembier appointed Vice Chairman EBTS Europe
Véronique Goblet d’Alviella appointed Honorary General Secretary EBTS
Europe – Individual Country representatives appointed
Formal EBTS Europe organisation put in place and legally registered in Brussels
Individual country organisations formulated and programmes developed