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RHS – A Short History

The Royal Horticultural Society was founded in 1804 by Sir Joseph Banks and John Wedgwood with the aim of collecting plant information and to encourage the improvement of horticultural practice.

The RHS is the home to the Lindley Library – the world’s foremost horticultural collection, containing over 50,000 books, 1,500 periodicals and 18,000 botanical drawings. In addition to this outstanding collection the library is also open to the public as a reference library.  Books may be borrowed but only by RHS Members.
The Society’s has always been committed to improving the scientific aspects of gardening, beginning with it’s earliest research into fertilisers in 1840, progressing to today’s research into genetics. The Society has also developed  into a world leader into the  naming of cultivated plants, the first  publication being the classification of daffodil names in 1908; today the Royal Horticultural Society is the International Registration Authority for more plant categories than any other organisation throughout the world.
The Society’s strong commitment to the encouragement of  the sciences, art and practice of horticulture in all its branches, is prevalent throughout the Society’s activities. It is today the world’s leading horticultural organisation, with science and educational departments playing an active role in the promotion of horticulture.