David Gerald Hessayon (1928 – ) is a British author and botanist known for a best-selling series of gardening manuals – the “Expert Guides”. The series started in 1958 with Be Your Own Gardening Expert and in 2008 he celebrated their 50th anniversary and the 50 millionth copy in print. They have become the best selling gardening books in history. David Hessayon gained a Bachelor of Science degree in botany from Leeds University. In 1955, he accepted a position as chief scientist with Pan Britannica Industries Ltd (PBI), becoming chairman in 1972. It was here Dr. Hessayon formulated the idea for his “Expert” guides to gardening. A steady stream of publications followed the initial Be Your Own Gardening Expert, each maintaining the basic formula of down-to-earth writing with pictures, charts, and photographs. In 1999 he was awarded a Guinness World Records certificate for being Britain’s “bestselling non-fiction author of the 1990s”. Despite a resolve to stay out of the limelight, he has received further awards – a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Garden Media Guild, three honorary doctorates and, in 2007, an OBE.
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