Out & About: Free entry in any respect four RHS gardens
Just download a voucher at the RHS website and luxuriate in the spring flowers with friends and family.
You can see the Butterflies Within the Glasshouse at RHS Garden Wisley, in Surrey, in addition to masses of crocuses and the last of the snowdrops.
At Rosemoor in Devon the already colourful Winter Garden should shine within the spring sunshine, and over the weekend there’ll be a Spring Antiques And Collectables Fair there.
Hyde Hall in Essex has daffodils galore – including a stunning display of the Tenby daffodil Narcissus obvallaris – while its Robinson Garden is filled with hellebores.
In Yorhshire’s Harlow Carr, near Harrogate, the revamped heather beds are looking superb, with snowdrops, crocuses and iris reticulata also on show.
The RHS was formed during a gathering of just seven men in March 1804 at Hatchards Bookshop in Piccadilly. Now it has a membership of 410,000.
Originally referred to as the Horticultural Society of London, it held its first flower show at its gardens in Chiswick in June 1827, where there has been “a really unpolite and ungallant scramble for the pines fruits (pineapples), melons, grapes etc”.
It is partly owing to the RHS that our national drink is tea: RHS plant hunter Robert Fortune was the primary man to take tea seeds and cultivation tips from China to India to aid establish the primary tea plantations there.
And during World War One British prisoners in a civilian internment camp near Berlin install a horticultural society supported by the RHS, which sent seeds and advice to the internees who grew vegetables to supplement their camp rations in the course of the war.
Now the RHS is investing £27million in projects that will enable it to involve, educate and encourage millions more gardeners within the country.
Happy birthday RHS!
For free RHS Gardens tickets visit www.rhs.org.uk/Gardens/Free-Day-Friday