RHS – A Nation in Bloom

In this beautiful new book, author and plantsman Matthew Biggs celebrates the people, plants and places of the RHS

At a glance

A Nation in Bloom explores the new direction of the RHS, how it aims to inspire us all through plants and gardens, to improve our lives, and to encourage gardeners for generations to come. Illustrated with beautiful photography throughout, this book is the rich, varied and compelling story of how plants and gardens can transform people’s lives and help to define the culture of an entire nation, both now and for the future.

Published: 2 May 2019 | ISBN: 9780711239357

RHS A Nation in Bloom

Inside the book

From hugely popular flower shows to the inspirational Britain in Bloom campaign, today’s RHS is flourishing as never before. Matthew Biggs uncovers the beating heart of the nation’s largest gardening charity as it leads a renaissance of interest and enthusiasm for all things horticultural.

Discover the ‘new’ RHS

We may think we know the RHS through its gardens at Wisley, Hyde Hall, Rosemoor and Harlow Carr, its flower shows, including the world-famous RHS Chelsea Flower Show, its prestigious medals, awards and prizes, and its libraries, laboratories, books and magazines. But the Society is in a process of subtle, sometimes radical evolution to become more open, more friendly, more helpful, and more relevant to its members (now more than half a million) and to the wider benefit of all gardeners today. Campaigns like It’s Your Neighbourhood and community-generated work under the Greening Great Britain banner sit alongside the Campaign for School Gardening – with schools around the country encouraging the next generation to learn and grow with plants.

A connected society

Matthew Biggs also draws attention to the campaigns which emphasise the important contribution gardeners make to improving our environment, and, at a time of increasing mental health problems, stress the vast range of proven benefits of gardening on our health and sense of wellbeing. He also looks at the work the RHS does to champion horticulture as a career to be proud of.

The RHS promotes best practice through its plant science and plant trials; it recognises plants with the Award of Garden Merit (AGM); and helps give all gardeners – beginners or experienced – confidence that they can grow plants wherever they are in their gardening journey. Across the vast website, through numerous publications or engaging with it on its many social media platforms, there is a part of the RHS for everyone.

Looking to the future and the past

Some of the Society’s work will come out from behind the scenes for the first time at Wisley’s RHS Hilltop – The Home of Gardening Science. Likewise, the exceptional collections at the RHS Lindley Library are in the process of being opened up through digitisation and a new exhibition space now shows some of its rare and beautiful items.

From its small beginnings in the 19th century to the global success of the Chelsea Flower Show today, the RHS is truly part of the fabric of Britain.

Never has the work of the Royal Horticultural Society been more important or more far-reaching

Foreword by Alan Titchmarsh MBE, RHS Ambassador

Get involved

The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.