Societies & Associations
Gardeners’ Royal Benevolent Society is the UK’s only charity dedicated to helping people who work in horticulture when times get tough. A charitable organisation helping disabled or retired gardeners for over 160 years. We provide free and confidential advice, support and financial assistance to people of all ages working in, or retired from horticulture.
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.
In 1927 Hilda Leyel founded the Society of Herbalists, which would later become the Herb Society, with the aim of supporting the practice of herbal medicine in Britain.
The Herb Society is an educational charity which aims to encourage the use and delight in herbs for all ages. To this end we work with a number of school and community groups throughout the year to support their herb related activities, whether it be creating a garden or herb use in cookery.
The North of England Horticultural Society (NEHS) is a leading gardening charity set up more than 100 years ago to support and promote horticulture across the north. The society organises and runs the twice yearly Harrogate Flower Shows, widely regarded as the biggest and most prestigious independent shows in the gardening year.
Both the spring and autumn events host a range of ‘shows within a show’ enabling dozens of specialist gardening groups to hold their annual shows, promote their work and recruit new members, free of charge. From dahlias to daffodils and bees to bonsai, the specialist societies have become an integral part of our events, including the National Vegetable Society (NVS) and the National Association of Flower Arrangement Societies (NAFAS).
Profits from the Harrogate Flower Shows are handed back to the NEHS, to enable the charity to continue its important work in promoting horticulture. In 2012 the society launched a new grants programme to provide funding for community projects in the north of England. More than 70 groups have since benefited from grants, adding to the range of financial support already provided for gardening organisations, such as the Chartered Institute of Horticulture’s ‘Young Horticulturalist of the Year’ Competition.
Ewell Horticultural Association (EHA) has been supporting and serving the local community of Ewell and the surrounding areas since 1865, offering residents encouragement and companionship in the enjoyment of their gardens. EHA has over 1,300 members and is thought to be amongst the oldest and largest Horticultural Associations in England.
The Association offers an annual programme of talks and trips for members, as well as interested guests. We offer regular openings of the Potting Shed, behind Ewell Court House, on a Sunday morning for the purchase of horticultural goods at lower than retail prices as well as plant sales at the Shows and an annual sale of bedding plants for pre-order. Newsletters on our activities are sent to members 6 times per year.
East of England Apples and Orchards Project is working to ensure a future for local orchard fruits and orchards. There are around 250 local varieties of apple, pear, plum, and cherry that come from the seven counties of our region – Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Lincolnshire, Norfolk and Suffolk. These varieties and their orchard habitat need to be preserved for their local significance, genetic diversity, as local food sources and for their landscape and wildlife value. There are also hundreds of ‘lost’ fruit varieties known only from written records. Maybe you can help us find them? There are many ways to help us. You could become a member; buy our fruit trees; sign up for a workshop; come to an Apple Day; buy local-grown fruit or help us survey orchards.
Hardy Plant Society – We love hardy perennials for their variety, colours, shapes, sizes and longevity. We help each other to grow them better, to try different species and we exchange and spread information about them.
Most of us are in the UK but some garden outside it. Some of us are experts, like our President, Roy Lancaster, the renowned plant explorer, some of us are beginners and most of us are somewhere in-between, but we all want to learn more to make our planting more satisfying and to enjoy our gardens more.
Being members of the Hardy Plant Society gives us more opportunities to meet others, in local groups and special interest groups focusing on a particular plant family or growing conditions; to attend National Society events; to obtain a wide range of perennial plants and take part in our Seed Distribution Scheme and, by being involved in our Conservation Scheme, help keep garden-worthy plants in cultivation by as many people as possible.
Joining the National Hardy Plant Society means you can join other members in a wide range of gardening activities.
Once you’ve joined us we’ll invite you also to join the local group or minigroup nearest to you. There are over 40, so one will probably be reasonably close by. Each group sets its own programme but will usually include talks by local or national speakers, garden visits and plant sales. Some also organise plant sales open to the public and short garden tours. Most produce a newsletter.
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 Pelargonium and Geranium Society, was established at the start of 2009. The Society was borne out of the amalgamation of The British Pelargonium and Geranium Society and the British and European Geranium Society.
The Society welcomes all persons who are interested, or would like to become interested, in the fascinating genera of plants named Geraniaceae. Members receive four quarterly copies of the Society’s Journals per year plus have access to expert advice and can enter or just visit Society shows and events.
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.