New centre for horticulture

New centre for horticulture

The RHS has secured £4 million from the National Lottery towards a five-year project at its flagship garden at Wisley in Surrey

Pics: World Food Garden. Caption: An artist’s impression of the new World Food Garden. Wildlife Garden. Caption: The new Wildlife Garden.

The world’s first National Centre for Horticultural Science and Learning will open to the public in 2020, with state-of-the-art research facilities enabling it to conserve and showcase over a million nationally important scientific and heritage items. More than 86,000 herbarium specimens, 24,000 insect specimens, 30,000 pieces of botanical art, 250,000 photographs and 100,000 books will be moved to the new centre.


Three new gardens covering almost three acres will surround the centre, acting as ‘living laboratories’: a World Food Garden (see main image for an artist’s impression), a Wildlife Garden and a Wellbeing Garden. In addition, Wisley’s iconic Grade II-listed laboratory will be restored and opened to the public in 2021, with interactive learning areas bringing its research to life.

How the new Wildlife Garden will look – one of three ‘living laboratories’ at Wisley, Surrey

RHS Director General Sue Biggs says, “For more than a century, RHS scientists have been working away behind closed doors in our modest laboratory, conducting ground-breaking research that impacts us all.


“Over the next five years, thanks to National Lottery players, we will reveal incredible horticultural treasures to the public, so people can experience the wonders of gardening and see why we need everyone, everywhere, to garden and grow plants for the good of people, plants and the planet.”

Find out more at


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Steve Ott

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