RHS Lindley Library
The RHS Lindley Library is the world’s leading horticultural library. Covering over 500 years of gardening history, the library collections include historic and contemporary books on gardening, botanical artworks, photographs and the personal archives of a number of notable gardeners and garden designers. The main library collection is held at the RHS Lindley Library in London but materials can also be accessed via the garden libraries and reading rooms at all of the RHS gardens sites across the country.
The public lending library in London now includes a dedicated exhibition space hosting a continuously changing programme of small displays showcasing rare and significant items from the collections.
Public lending library and exhibitions open 10am to 5pm, Monday to Friday (excluding Bank Holidays).
Research and viewing rooms bookable by appointment.
The collection in London comprises over 50,000 books ranging in date from 1514 to the present, over 300 current periodicals as well as many older runs, 22,000 botanical drawings, the country's largest collection of horticultural trade catalogues, and the Society's archives. Members may borrow books from the Library, by post as well as in person.
Agriculture, Fine Art, Natural Sciences, Archives, Social History, Design
Key artists and exhibits
- William Hooker
- Nellie Roberts
- Claude Aubriet
- Georg Dionysius Ehret
- Lilian Snelling
- Anna Paoletto
- Kate Nessler
- Graham Stuart Thomas
Pigments and Petals
- 11 January — 10 March 2017 *on now
Discovering 19th century flower painter Caroline Maria Applebee, this exhibition explores some of the mysteries surrounding her life and art. Applebee was a little-known artist, but one who had access to some of the most fashionable plants of the time. Looking at the range of native and exotic flowers she painted and presenting new research into her works, this exhibition will explore her dedication not just to art but also to horticulture itself.
- Any age
- 17 March — 19 May 2017
Celebrating the humble houseplant, this exhibition presents a series of ceramic designs by students from Central Saint Martins college. In a collaborative project with the Lindley Library, the students have created made-to-measure pots for a variety of well-known and well-loved house plants. The ceramic designs and accompanying displays explore both the characteristics that make these plants perfectly suited to the home environment, and the striking aesthetic qualities that have ensured their continued popularity among indoor gardening enthusiasts.
- Any age
Pressed Flower Monograms
- 9 February 2017 6-8pm
An evening workshop creating a framed floral letter design using a selection of beautiful pre-pressed flowers. This workshop is ideal for beginners, providing an introduction to the craft of flower pressing and the opportunity to create your own artwork. Guided by professional florist Helen Cranmer you will create a finished and framed design; perfect as an addition to your home or as a unique personalised gift for someone special.
The workshop will take place in the RHS Lindley Library, including the opportunity for a late evening viewing of the public library and the exhibition 'Pigments and Petals'.
- Any age
RHS Member: £35
A Natural Curiosity
- 24 February 2017 6-8:30pm
In this evening talk, botanical artist Helen Allen will take us on a journey through her creative process. With curiosity as a starting point, investigation leads to inspiration as she combines line, form, pattern and colour to complete the final pieces. Exploring each aspect in detail, Helen will discuss both botanical convention and her own personal approach to creating her elegant and dynamic artworks.
The talk will take place in the RHS Lindley Library, including the opportunity for a late evening viewing of the public library and the exhibition 'Pigments and Petals'.
Free admission - advance booking required
Exploring Garden History
- 3 March — 7 April 2017
This course is the ideal introduction to British Garden History in the special setting of the RHS Lindley Library. Over six weeks, participants will be taken on a chronological journey through the main themes of over 500 years of garden history with the unique opportunity each week to see at first-hand relevant original material from the library’s special collections and archives.
The course takes place every Friday for six weeks. Two instances of the course will be run and attendees can choose either morning sessions from 10:30am - 1pm or afternoon sessions from 2pm - 4.30pm.
The course will be held in the RHS Lindley Library, with expert Library staff will be on-hand to guide you through the material and answer your questions.
- Any age
RHS Member: £150
RHS Lindley Library
80 Vincent Square
020 7821 3050