Matt Biggs, RHS, A Nation In Bloom, part 1
Matthew Biggs is a well-known gardening expert, regular panellist on BBC Radio 4's Gardeners' Question Time, author of several books including RHS Lessons from the Great Gardeners and RHS Great British Village Show and a former guest of The Sodshow.
A Nation in Bloom is his latest book and on this weeks episode of The Sodshow Garden Podcast he chats with Peter Donegan. This is Part 1 of 2.
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From its small beginnings in the 19th century to the global success of the Chelsea Flower Show today, the Royal Horticultural Society is truly part of the fabric of Britain. In A NATION IN BLOOM, we discover the new direction of the Royal Horticultural Society, how it aims to inspire us all through plants and gardens, to improve our lives, and to encourage gardeners for generations to come. Illustrated with beautiful photography throughout, this book is the rich, varied and compelling story of how plants and gardens can transform people’s lives and help to define the culture of an entire nation, both now and for the future.
Matthew Biggs is a well-known gardening expert and regular panellist on BBC Radio 4's Gardeners' Question Time and author of several books including RHS Lessons from the Great Gardeners and RHS Great British Village Show.
From hugely popular flower shows to the inspirational Britain in Bloom campaign, today’s RHS is flourishing as never before. In this beautiful new book, Matthew Biggs uncovers the beating heart of the nation’s largest gardening charity as it leads a renaissance of interest and enthusiasm for all things horticultural.
We may think we know the RHS through its gardens at Wisley, Hyde Hall, Rosemoor and Harlow Carr, its flower shows, including the world-famous RHS Chelsea Flower Show, its prestigious medals, awards and prizes, and its libraries, laboratories, books and magazines. But the society is in a process of subtle, sometimes radical evolution to become more open, more friendly, more helpful, and more relevant to its members (now more than half a million) and to the wider benefit of all gardeners today. Campaigns like It’s Your Neighbourhood and community-generated work under the Greening Grey Britain banner sit alongside the Campaign for School Gardening – with schools around the country encouraging the next generation to learn and grow with plants.
Author Matthew Biggs also draws attention to the campaigns which emphasise the important contribution gardeners make to improving our environment, and, at a time of increasing mental health problems, stress the vast range of proven benefits of gardening on our health and sense of wellbeing. He also looks at the work the RHS does to promote horticulture as a career to be proud of.
The RHS promotes best practice through its plant science and plant trials; it recognises plants with the Award of Garden Merit; and helps give all gardeners – beginners or experienced – confidence that they can grow plants wherever they are in their gardening journey. Across the vast website, through myriad publications or engaging with it on its many social media platforms, there is a part of the RHS for everyone.
Looking forward, some of the society’s work comes out from behind the scenes for the first time at Wisley’s forthcoming National Centre for Horticultural Science and Learning. Likewise, the exceptional collections at the RHS Lindley Library are in the process of being opened up through digitisation and a new exhibition space now shows some of its rare and beautiful items.