"I left gardening college and came to work at the Royal Horticultural Society."

RHS Wisley
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeRHS Wisley - Credit: Adam Greig
Britain's Royal Horticultural Society was founded in 1804 by Sir Joseph Banks and John Wedgwood. The goal of the society was to "collect plant information and encourage the improvement of horticultural practice."

In the 1820s, the society held the first of its popular flower shows at the Duke of Devonshire's estate in Chiswick.The 1850s saw a decline in membership and the society was forced to sell the contents of its library which contained many rare volumes and drawings.

In 1861, Prince Albert, the society's president, revived its fortune by rewriting the charter and renaming the organization The Royal Horticultural Society. The society began a new garden in Kensington, which remained its home until 1888. Its funds replenished with help from the royal family, the society was also able to purchase John Lindley's collection in 1866. The Lindley Library is now the world's foremost horticultural collection, containing over 50,000 books, 1,500 periodicals and 18,000 botanical drawings.

The Royal Horticultural Society is perhaps best known for its annual event, the Chelsea Flower Show, which has been held in the grounds of the Chelsea Hospital since 1913. Wisley is the Society's flagship garden.

"The Royal Horticultural Society continues to encourage the science, art and practice of horticulture in all its branches. It is now the world's leading horticultural organisation, with extremely active science and educational departments."

from - Royal Horticultural Society