Societies & Associations
The Sweet pea came to the UK in 1699 so in 1899 it was decided by some prominent horticulturists to celebrate this popular flower. The bicentenary exhibition was held at Crystal Palace, London on 20-21 July 1900. It was a tremendous success and prompted the inauguration shortly after of the National Sweet Pea Society.
The society’s first exhibition was held in the new Methodist Central Hall Westminster on 25-26 July 1901. At this show the first Spencer variety was unveiled with much longer stems and larger, frilly flowers.
Over the years regular exhibitions have seen the introduction of countless new varieties. From 1905, the society decided to publish an annual booklet to record the developments of the year and this has continued (with the exception of 1941-43) every year since. The NSPS Annual includes a great diversity of articles and remains our flagship publication. Sample articles from the 2016 Annual are reproduced via links in the Membership section.
The society expanded its publications in 1939 to issue four bulletins a year. The number and size of bulletins has varied over the years but now stands at two per year.
The Society’s objects remain:
To disseminate knowledge of Sweet Peas and other Lathyrus species,
To encourage, improve and extend the cultivation of these flowers by means of scientific trials, the holding of exhibitions and displays, by publications and other actiivities.
The Gardens Trust is a UK national charity dedicated to the research and conservation of designed landscapes and to campaigning on their behalf. The Gardens Trust, as the statutory consultee in England for registered parks and gardens, plays a key conservation role, and more widely supports the County and Country Gardens Trusts in protecting and conserving our landscape heritage. The Gardens Trust was formed in 2015 from the merger of the Garden History Society (GHS) and the Association of Gardens Trusts (AGT).
The Gardens Trust brings together people from many backgrounds united by a love and concern for historic parks, gardens and designed landscapes and an interest in the factors that shaped them: the history of our garden heritage, the discovery and introduction of plants, garden archaeology and the relation of park and garden design to architecture, art, literature and society.
At Garden Organic, we are dedicated to preserving our valuable organic heritage. We undertake targeted activities to protect diversity and encourage seed conservation.
Garden Organic’s Heritage Seed Library (HSL) aims to conserve and make available vegetable varieties, mainly of European varieties, that are not widely available. We are not a gene-bank and all our collection, once we have enough seed, will become available through our annual catalogue.
We believe that the best option to protect our food supplies, environment, health and wellbeing is to use organic growing methods. These harness the natural cycles and processes that promote plant growth.
We provide practical advice for organic growers. From seed to harvest, from soil preparation to slug management – we have over 50 years’ experience in growing organically.
UK based society promoting the growing of Australian and New Zealand plants. The Australasian Plant Society started more than 20 years ago with a small group of individuals meeting to discuss growing Australian plants in the Northern Hemisphere. After two years, it was decided to start a formal society, and so the Australian Plant Society was formed.
Formed in 1938 with the object of furthering interest in cultivation of the Fuchsia.
Historic Roses Group – Founded in 1990 by members of the Royal National Rose Society (RNRS) with a particular interested in roses of historical importance, including those no longer widely grown and rose species and their hybrids.
The Group publishes the Historic Rose Journal twice yearly, mounts exhibits relating to the history of the rose at horticultural shows, arranges garden visits both in the UK and abroad and organises conferences. Currently it is engaged in a project to establish a national collection of British bred roses.
Membership of the Group can be independent of the RNRS.
What are the benefits of joining The Historic Roses Group ?
Meeting other historic rose enthusiasts – sharing their knowledge, ideas and ways of using historic roses in a garden setting.
Receiving twice yearly the Group’s Historic Rose Journal containing a wealth of informative and interesting articles by internationally acknowledged authors on the history of the rose – plus the annual Group Newsletter.
The opportunity to join fellow members on tours of outstanding rose gardens in Europe and the UK.
The opportunity to attend conferences with a wide range of expert speakers on all aspects of the history and cultivation of the rose
Opportunity to assist on the HRG stand at horticultural shows.
The National Begonia Society was formed in 1948 the Society has members throughout the United Kingdom and overseas. We have representatives based throughout the country who organise Area Shows & Meetings and are available to offer advice to members.
Promote and encourage the more extended culture of begonias. Though there are thousands of begonias (species and hybrids) known and grown throughout the world there is no doubt that in the UK the most popular one grown is the large flowered tuberous double. The Society wishes to encourage many more members to cultivate a much wider range of begonia species and hybrids.
The National Dahlia Society was formed in 1881 and for over a century has given unbroken service to gardeners interested in this wonderful flower. We are now a registered charity, which seeks to promote the dahlia by means of exhibitions (shows), trials and conferences. We are the world’s largest all-dahlia society and annually hold our main exhibitions at RHS Wisley and the Great Yorkshire Showground in Harrogate, Yorkshire, with reduced admission for members of course!
Twice a year – with our Winter Bulletin and summer publication, The Dahlia Annual – we keep members informed on every aspect of dahlia news, with items covering culture, trials, shows, cultivar selection, etc. These books are issued free to members, and in addition, on enrolment, our current Classified Directory (containing lists of recommended cultivars) and ‘Dahlias For You’ by Ted Collins are also sent free of charge to the new member.
Other events are organised annually, like our conferences, held around the country in March. Mention must be made of the Society’s unique information service, that helps members with any problems they might have and provides for personal contact with our representatives in Wales, Scotland and Ireland. We also have linking contacts with international dahlia societies, this forming a chain of information for our members that spans the globe.
The British Cactus & Succulent Society promotes the study, conservation, propagation and cultivation of cacti. Discover the beauty of cacti and other succulents with the BCSS! Whether you are an expert grower or a novice – or are just thinking of starting up the hobby – the Society will guide you all the way. With over 80 branches throughout the UK meeting monthly you will have the opportunity to meet other enthusiasts and to learn more about growing these amazing plants.
The British Clematis Society (BCS) exists to promote the cultivation and preservation of clematis. In particular, we aim to encourage all gardeners to grow and enjoy clematis – with the emphasis being on enjoy! Find out where you can see clematis or perhaps use the society to help you get the most from your garden plants.