Robert John Garner was born in Fulbourn, Cambridge, in 1907. A scientist at the former East Malling Research Station from 1926 until 1972, he became an international authority on the vegetative propagation of woody plants. He was awarded an honourary MSc from the University of Reading in 1951 and the Veitch Memorial Medal by the Royal Horticultural Society for his outstanding contribution to the advancement of the art, science and practice of horticulture in 1980. Former President of the Horticultural Education Association and the Great Britain & Ireland region of the International Plant Propagators Society, and author of The Grafter's Handbook (1947) and The Propagation of Tropical Fruit Trees (1976), he also wrote numerous research papers for technical journals including The Journal of Horticultural Science and CAB's Technical Communications series published by the Imperial Bureau of Horticulture and Plantation Crops. After his death in 1993, East Malling Research Station opened the Robert Garner Laboratory in remembrance of his life's work.