Leigh Hunt

RHS’s Principal Horticultural Advisor

Speaking to thousands of gardeners annually to inform our programme of scientific work

I am the RHS’s Principal Horticultural Advisor at RHS Garden Wisley. I lead a team of Assistant Advisors within the RHS Advisory Service – which answers over 70,000 questions each year from RHS Members and flower-show visitors. The questions range from common issues such as ‘Why doesn’t my wisteria flower?’ to more complex, one-off enquiries that have included ‘Why did my camellia self-combust?’.
Overall the aim is use our unique position of speaking to thousands of gardeners annually to inform our programme of scientific work. In turn, the science ensures that our advice is evidence-based and some of the best and most up-to-date available.
In addition to this day-to-day work, I lead the Society’s urban greening programme. This uses the wealth of scientific proof available to highlight the remarkable range of benefits that gardens provide in urban areas. The aim is to use this information to inspire homeowners to value and improve their own gardens and influence organisations who work in this field. The latter currently includes being a member of DEFRA’s Green Infrastructure Partnership.
I trained at the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew and worked as a technical advisor on BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine for five years.

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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.