Brian Humphrey commenced work in local nurseries in 1954 followed by two years National Service in the Royal Air Force before taking up a studentship at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. A two-year studentship at Writtle Agricultural College (now Writtle University College) followed, and provided the opportunity to gain the Royal Horticultural Society's National Diploma (now Master of Horticulture) with Honours. Joining Hillier Nurseries in 1963 as a propagator, he became a member of the Plant Propagator's Society based in the US in 1964 and aided in the formation of the first overseas chapter of the Society, the GB and I Region, in 1968-69. He was the inaugural President of the region in 1969 and was awarded the International Award of Honour by that Society in 1993. Promotion at Hilliers lead to the position of Production Director and the opportunity to develop various aspects of the nursery, which, at that time, grew commercially the widest range of temperate woody plants in the world. Joining Notcutt's Nurseries in 1986 provided opportunities for further experience. Prior to retirement, over a decade was spent running his own wholesale nursery specialising in grafted plants. Involvement and subsequent chairmanship of the UK ornamental nursery industry research and development initiatives with the UK Ministry of Agriculture led to the award of an O.B.E. (Order of the British Empire) in 1987. In 2013, his work in the nurserystock industry and in various RHS projects was recognised by the award of the VMH (Victoria Medal of Honour) by the Royal Horticultural Society. He now lives in retirement in coastal Suffolk, eastern England and together with his wife maintains their garden with nearly seven acres of woodland and meadows of woody plants.
'This richly illustrated volume provides nearly encyclopedic coverage of every aspect of bench grafting and may well become the standard reference on the subject for the foreseeable future. In synthesizing decades of scientific literature and professional experience, British nurseryman Humphrey (awarded the O.B.E. in 1987) here outlines the anatomical and physiological principles underlying successful graft unions, and thoroughly describes the types of grafts that can be made and the materials, methods, systems, and facilities necessary to achieve them. Detailed literature reviews for 35 important plant genera, and general recommendations for grafting members of over 200 genera, provide essential information for practicing professionals. Additionally, the author raises significant questions (requiring continued scientific discovery) about the potential role grafting could play in future plant conservation efforts. This work will be of great value to professional and amateur horticulturalists alike, as well as horticulture educators and students.' --R. M. Warner, Michigan State University, CHOICE (May 2020) Summing Up: Highly recommended. All readers.