Exhibition: Collecting in the Clouds

Exhibition / Festival

RHS Lindley Library

RHS Lindley Library


80 Vincent Square


RHS Lindley Library, London


  • Member

    Free admission

  • Non-member

    Free admission

  • Free admission


  • Event times

    Mon-Fri: 10am - 5pm

  • Subject

    Exhibition / Festival

  • Topic

    Plant Collecting

Plant collecting is a practice almost as old as exploration itself, however, as recently as a century ago there were still vast regions of the world whose botanical potential had yet to be seriously investigated. The mountainous interior of Western China was one such region. The explorations of individuals had provided tantalising glimpses of the botanical richness of this area, and when access opened up in the early 1900s there was great excitement across the plant collecting community.

This exhibition at the RHS Lindley Library tells the story of four key collectors who were exploring the eastern-most edge of the Himalayas 100 years ago; George Forrest, Reginald Farrer, William Purdom and Frank Kingdon-Ward. During their expeditions into uncharted terrain, they faced delight and danger in equal measure.
This exhibition, presenting publications and photographs from their trips and herbarium specimens from RHS Garden Wisley, will explore the significance of their work and the lasting impact of their contributions to our gardens.

Image: Plant specimens being pressed under large rocks at George Forrest’s campsite in the Lichiang Range. Image courtesy Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and RHS Libraries.

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