Facts about the RHS

About the RHS

Since our formation in 1804, the RHS has grown into the UK’s leading gardening charity, touching the lives of millions of people. Perhaps the secret to our longevity is that we’ve never stood still. In the last decade alone we’ve taken on the largest hands-on project the RHS has ever tackled by opening the new RHS Garden Bridgewater in Salford, Greater Manchester, and invested in the science that underpins all our work by building RHS Hilltop – The Home of Gardening Science.

We have committed to being net positive for nature and people by 2030. We are also committed to being truly inclusive and to reflect all the communities of the UK.

Across our five RHS gardens we welcome more than three million visitors each year to enjoy over 34,000 different cultivated plants. Events such as the world famous RHS Chelsea Flower Show, other national shows, our schools and community work, and partnerships such as Britain in Bloom, all spread the shared joy of gardening to wide-reaching audiences.

Throughout it all we’ve held true to our charitable core – to encourage and improve the science, art, and practice of horticulture –to share the love of gardening and the positive benefits it brings.

We are solely funded by our members, visitors, and supporters.

For any further queries please contact [email protected] 



Director General: Clare Matterson, from 2022.
President: Keith Weed, elected at the RHS AGM in 2020.

RHS Members

The RHS has over 600,000 members.

RHS members receive free access to RHS Gardens and over 220 RHS partner gardens.
At shows and events, members enjoy access to exclusive members’ days and discounts for public days.
Members receive exclusive access to the Garden, the RHS members’ magazine. They can also take advantage of an exclusive advice service from our horticultural experts and order seeds harvested from RHS Gardens and borrow from the RHS Lindley Library. Members also receive access to a variety of exclusive offers in RHS Shops and Plant Centres.

Membership contributions help support all aspects of our work, from supporting community gardening groups to conducting world-class horticultural science.

RHS Gardens

From local garden shows, to scientific research, to community work and educational opportunities, the 5 RHS gardens showcase all of our different work strands.

RHS Garden Wisley

The RHS was gifted Wisley in 1903, opening to the public in 1906 and attracting 6000 visitors in its first year. The RHS’ flagship garden in Surrey, RHS Garden Wisley covers 240 acres, attracting around 1 million visitors a year. Home to spectacular glasshouses, vibrant garden inspiration and world-class horticultural science at RHS Hilltop.

RHS Garden Hyde Hall

Located in rural Essex, RHS Garden Hyde Hall was acquired in 1993, now covering 365 acres with highlights such as the Dry Garden with its host of drought resistant plants and stunning Wildwood.

RHS Garden Rosemoor

Found in North Devon Torridge Valley, Rosemoor was gifted to the RHS in 1988, now covering 65 acres. Rosemoor provides year-round interest from its spring cherry blossoms to its frosty winter garden.

RHS Garden Harlow Carr

Initially established in the Yorkshire countryside by the Northern Horticultural Society, RHS Garden Harlow Carr has been open to visitors since 1950. Now covering 58 hectares, Harlow Carr hosts an extensive plant collection with a variety of growing landscapes.

RHS Garden Bridgewater

Our newest garden, RHS Garden Bridgewater opened in Salford in summer 2021. Found in the grounds of the former Worsley New Hall, Bridgewater embraces the sites heritage with strong connections to the local community.

RHS Shows

RHS Urban Show
2024 Show Dates: 18 - 21 April

An exciting new plant show that focuses on urban gardening and houseplants comes to the North.

RHS Urban Show, set in the heart of Manchester, celebrates your own oasis. Don’t miss the chance to be a part of this new immersive gardening experience. It’s a departure from the traditional RHS show, not least because it will be housed entirely indoors, in the vast industrial space of a former railway. It’s an opportunity to focus on the growing movement of urban and city gardeners, and the increasing connection between horticulture, wellbeing and sustainable living.

RHS Chelsea Flower Show
2024 Show Dates: 21- 25 May

Since 1913, the Royal Chelsea Hospital has hosted the world-renowned Chelsea Flower Show, showcasing world class gardens, peerless exhibitors, glorious floristry, and innovative and educational science exhibits. The show is held every May and up to 168,000 visitors are expected each year.

RHS advisors provide gardening advice to over 4,150 visitors during the show, a benefit normally reserved for RHS members.

The BBC began television coverage in 1958. Originally, just one programme, coverage now extends through the whole week and reaches millions of viewers.


Find information for press and media about RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2024 here.

RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival
2024 Show Dates: 2 - 7 July

The flower show at Hampton Court Palace was first organised by Adrian Boyd in 1990. The RHS took over the running of the show in 1993 and has held a show on the parklands ever since.

Recently relaunched as a festival, it attracts artists, performers, chefs and more to the many varied stages and eateries. Approximately 130,000 visitors attend the show each year, in 2021 numbers were capped at 100,000 for Covid safety measures.

RHS Flower Show Tatton Park
2024 Show Dates: 17 - 21 July

The RHS Flower Show Tatton Park was first held in 1999 in the magnificent parkland of Tatton Park, Cheshire. The show hosts around 80,000 visitors every year with features such as the National Young Garden Designer Competition, Show Gardens and Floral Marquee.

Community Gardening

The RHS supports a huge variety of community projects and initiatives to help promote collective well-being, support schools and build horticultural skills.

Britain in Bloom

Britain's nationwide gardening competition seeks to build communities and encourage local residents to improve their neighbourhood environments. Around 3500 groups participate across 16 regional and national competitions every year to transform their local community, creating wide-ranging social and environmental benefits.

It's Your Neighbourhood

It’s Your Neighbourhood is a non-competitive scheme for community groups who want to ‘green up’ local areas –adding some colour to your community, making new friends and getting active in your local area.

Campaign for School Gardening

The RHS Campaign for School Gardening and Green Plan It scheme supports over 38,000 schools and youth groups. Inspiring young people through the power of plants, offering free resources, projects and guidance to get them growing with benefits such as improvements in mental and physical well-being, increased confidence, developed sense of responsibility and knowledge about biodiversity and sustainability.


The RHS’ founding purpose was to improve the science, art and practice of horticulture. We continue this with ground-breaking horticultural research, improving the health and people and nature.

RHS Science Strategy 2020-2025

The RHS five year science strategy focuses on examining the horticultural challenges of today’s gardeners, delivered along three key themes:

  1. Promoting garden plant diversity

  2. Plant health: healthy plants, gardens and wildlife

  3. Environmental gardening for wellbeing

RHS Hilltop - The Home of Gardening Science

Opened in June 2021, RHS Hilltop is the UK’s first dedicated horticultural scientific centre of excellence, costing £35 million to build. The site at RHS Wisley includes exciting new spaces:

  1. Three purpose built laboratories to support research
  2. A herbarium and digitisation suite
  3. Two learning studios and a teaching garden
  4. Three new gardens: The World Food Garden, Wildlife Garden and Wellbeing Garden.

Sustainability and the Environment

The RHS is committed to environmentally-friendly practices to help create a more sustainable future for gardening.
Gardens have a significant role to play in helping to offset carbon emissions and improve biodiversity in the UK. The ONS estimates that in 2015 1.4 million tonnes of air pollutants were removed nationally by woodlands, plants, grasslands and other vegetation, saving the UK around £1 billion in avoided health damage costs and averting 1,900 deaths.

RHS Sustainability Strategy

The RHS is striving to become a more planet-positive organisation across all of our activities. We will enact this through our sustainability strategy, becoming a net positive for nature and people with ten targets to reach by 2030:
  1. Climate positive by 2030
  2. Biodiversity positive by 2025
  3. Biosecurity neutral by 2025
  4. Water neutral by 2030
  5. Circular plastic by 2030
  6. Zero waste to landfill by 2030
  7. Enable more people to enjoy the benefits of gardening
  8. Design a new evidence-based wellbeing Garden Blueprint by 2025
  9. Develop and embed sustainable horticulture within education, research and training
  10. Accelerate equality, diversity and inclusion

Planet-Friendly Gardening

We are encouraging all gardeners to participate in the Planet-Friendly Gardening campaign, with 10 ways for everyone to be more sustainable in their gardens:

  1. Plant a tree to help trap carbon.
  2. Switch from mains to rains in your gardens to save carbon. Over 10.96 million litres of mains water have already been pledged.
  3. Switch to peat-free compost to protect precious carbon-storing peatlands which provide valuable eco-systems for plants and animals and help to prevent flooding.
  4. Make your own compost to save carbon
  5. Pull up paving slabs and replant with perennial plants
  6. Help bees and butterflies by planting pollinator-friendly plants
  7. Grow your own or buy UK-grown cut flowers to save carbon from buying imported bunches
  8. Electrify your garden to offset carbon emissions, harmful particulates and noise pollution caused by petrol-based power tools
  9. Help map UL garden plant diversity by adding your garden plants to RHS My Garden online
  10. Eat more home-grown Uk, local and seasonal fruit and vegetables

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.