Who Are the Royal Horticultural Society

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Online RHS Courses Distance LearningIf you’ve been browsing the horticulture section of ADL’s website there’s little doubt you’ll have come across our online RHS courses.   Standing for Royal Horticultural Society, they are the independent organization that accredits these particular courses for us and the body for whom the course prepares students for their final exams.

A Brief History of the RHS

The RHS has a long and proud history.  Beginning at the turn of the 19th century it held its first meeting in 1804 as The Horticultural Society of London and was founded by John Wedgwood and Sir Joseph Banks.  The purpose of the society was to advance the cause and knowledge of horticulture by providing a place where the leading minds of the field could meet and discuss and present papers on their discoveries and activities. 

Even in this early stage, prizes were to be awarded for the most outstanding contributions to the society and it was thus by the 1820’s that the society began opening the first of its flower shows.  Despite setbacks in the 1850’s the society was reinvigorated in 1861 when receiving royal patronage, the society received a royal charter and was renamed the Royal Horticultural Society.

The Royal Horticultural Society Today

Today the Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity.  It has four main gardens around England; Wisley in Surrey, Hyde Hall in Essex, Rosemoor in Devon and Harlow Carr in Yorkshire.  It is a leading advocate for the science of gardening and a strong proponent for spreading education and knowledge of horticultural methods and ideas.

Internationally, the Royal Horticultural Society is best known for its biggest annual event The Chelsea Flower Show.  This event which takes place in London, England is perhaps the most famous of its type, attended by over 150,000 attendees every year and televised nationally over the course of its 5 day run.  The show attracts gardeners from across the world and is usually attended by the royal family as part of their association with the society.  The show awards dozens of prizes in multiple categories and is a highlight of the British, if not European horticultural year.

Beyond this and other shows, the Charity is actively involved in promoting gardening as an activity to children, with up to 2 million British School Children having received tuition and education in horticulture on behalf of the charity.  They also operate the Lindley Library, the largest collection of horticultural books and materials in the world and are active in the scientific fields of the discipline, contributing to studies and research into plants, their uses and threats to them such as parasites and fungi.

What the Royal Horticultural Society Offers.

The Royal Horticultural society shares it’s expertise through its range of courses and exams which cover everything from plant growth to garden construction.  These courses, available through ADL carry the prestigious backing of the RHS and are well regarded in professional horticulture circles opening up opportunities in a wide array of potential careers such as:

  • ·         Commercial Horticulture
  • ·         Amenity Horticulture
  • ·         Parks and Garden Design and Maintenance
  • ·         Landscape Design and Architecture
  • ·         Nursery and Garden Centre Management
  • ·         Plant Propagation
  • ·         Sports Turf Management
  • ·         Horticultural Journalism

And if you want to develop your knowledge of plants and growing them further, why not consider one of our wide range of non-RHS courses?  Though not accredited by the RHS these courses are of the same high quality and taught by our tutors and offer specialization and focus not attainable elsewhere.  

With over £2 Billion projected to be spent on horticulture alone this year and 1.85 million people in the UK involved in Horticulture at some level, it is a vast industry with plenty of opportunity for all.  Whether you choose to push for a coveted RHS qualification or just want to learn how to make the most out of your garden or vegetable patch, make this spring the one where your garden grows!

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