The Perennial Farm’s Rick Watson Honored for Horticultural Excellence

Rick Watson Professional Achievement Award web

George May, Executive Director of the Maryland Ag Ed Foundation; Rick Watson, founder and President, The Perennial Farm; and John Murphy, owner Murphy John’s, Inc

During its annual meeting in January, the Maryland Nursery Landscape and Greenhouse Association (MNLGA) celebrated horticultural leaders Steve Black of Raemelton Farm and Rick Watson from The Perennial Farm for their contributions to the green industry.

Black was honored with the J. Landon Reeve, IV Visionary Award, an accolade recognizing exceptional innovation and leadership in the field. Under Black’s guidance, Raemelton Farm, once a modest dairy operation, has flourished into a leading wholesale B&B production nursery. A pioneer in sustainable horticulture, Black’s adoption of organic practices led to a significant milestone: the farm’s USDA organic certification. His approach replaces synthetic fertilizers and broad-spectrum pesticides with an effective Integrated Pest Management program, demonstrating his commitment to environmentally responsible practices.

“Receiving this honor is more than a personal achievement; it’s a reflection of the dynamic and evolving world of horticulture,” Black says. “I am proud to be part of an industry that passionately pursues sustainable and innovative solutions.”

Watson received the MNLGA’s Professional Achievement Award, recognizing his enduring impact on the green industry. Beginning his journey in a small garden center in Towson, MD, Watson, a University of Maryland alumnus, transformed his passion for perennials into a thriving enterprise. Today, The Perennial Farm stands as a beacon of success and sustainability, greatly influencing the industry with Watson’s innovative approach to growth and business acumen.

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“This award is not just a testament to my efforts but also to the collective spirit of innovation and growth that drives our industry,” Watson said. “I am honored to be part of a community that continually strives for and achieves excellence.”

For more information about the MNLGA and its initiatives, click here.

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