Royal Horticultural Society

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The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) was founded in 1804 in London, England as the Horticultural Society of London, and gained its present name in a Royal Charter granted in 1861 by Prince Albert. It is a charity and exists to promote gardening and horticulture in Britain and Europe. This is done through a series of flower shows and through many model gardens that are open to the public. The society celebrated its bicentenary in 2004.


RHS Gardens

The RHS has four flagship gardens in England: Wisley Garden, near the village of Wisley in Surrey; Rosemoor in Devon; Hyde Hall in Essex and Harlow Carr in Harrogate, North Yorkshire.

The Society's first garden was in Kensington, from 1818–1822. In 1821 the society leased part of the Duke of Devonshire's estate at Chiswick to set up an experimental garden; in 1823 it employed Joseph Paxton there. From 1827 the society held fêtes at the Chiswick garden, and from 1833, shows with competitive classes for flowers and vegetables. In 1861 the RHS (as it had now become) developed a new garden at South Kensington on land leased from the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 (the Science Museum, Imperial College and the Royal College of Music now occupy the site), but it was closed in 1882.[1] The Chiswick garden was maintained until 1903–1904, by which time Sir Thomas Hanbury had bought the garden at Wisley and presented it to the RHS.

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