RHS Lindley Library

RHS Lindley Library
Library icon Study area icon Wheelchair access icon

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.

Venue Type:

Archive, Library

Opening hours

Public lending library and exhibitions open 10am to 5pm, Monday to Friday (excluding Bank Holidays).
Research and viewing rooms bookable by appointment.

Admission charges


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.

Collection details

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
Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.
Lithops plant in flower


  • 17 March — 19 May 2017 *on now

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.

Suitable for

  • Any age


Free Admission



Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.
Rosary at Ashridge Park

Exploring Garden History

  • 3 March — 7 April 2017 *on now

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.

Suitable for

  • Any age


RHS Member: £150
Non-Member: £180



Pteris sagittifolia fern

Drop in Library tour

  • 5 April 2017 11-11:45am, 2-2:45pm

Join us for a special viewing of our exhibition ‘Potted’ presenting made-to-measure ceramic designs by students from Central Saint Martins college. The tour will include a curator’s introduction to the exhibition and the opportunity to go behind the scenes at the RHS Lindley Library to view early books and artworks from the library collections and find out more about the history of some of some our most popular exotic ferns.

Suitable for

  • Any age


Free, no need to book - just turn up!



Anne Swithinbank

My Indoor Garden

  • 26 April 2017 6-8:30pm

Indoor gardening is back in fashion again but this time around, we're as fascinated with displaying our house plants beautifully and harmoniously as with keeping them alive and healthy. In the evening talk at the RHS Lindley Library, using pictures of her own plants, Anne Swithinbank will discuss how to grow, display and enjoy a wide range of different plants.

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 Potted.

Suitable for

  • Any age


RHS Members: £10
Non-members: £12



RHS Lindley Library
80 Vincent Square
Greater London





020 7821 3050

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.