Home » Parks and Gardens of London » The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Lindley Library Displays 2017

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Lindley Library Displays 2017


The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Lindley Library is a treasure-trove of the history of gardening, with books, prints and botanical art from the 16th century to the present day. In 2017 the library will be staging a full programme of displays, revealing many artworks and manuscripts from its historic collections that have never been seen in public.

The forthcoming displays will include floral paintings by the 19th century flower painter Caroline Maria Applebee, key houseplants in pots designed by students at Central St

Pigments and Petals

11 January – 10 March

RHS Lindley Library, Vincent Square, London, admission free

 Caroline Maria Applebee was a 19th century flower painter from Colchester, Essex, about whom little is known. Between 1808 to1852 she painted 300 beautiful watercolour drawings of both native and exotic flowers such as pelargoniums and dahlias, which were purchased in three albums by the Royal Horticultural Society in the early 20th century. Her work spans 40 years when this leisure pastime was at the height of its popularity. The many artworks she produced cast light on the floral world that was available to artists at the time whilst keeping Caroline’s own life tantalisingly shrouded in mystery. Several of her most beautiful works will be on display, from primulas and fuchsias to strawberries and irises.



16 March – 20 May

RHS Lindley Library, Vincent Square, London, admission free

To celebrate the houseplant, ceramics students from Central St Martins are designing pots for a range of key houseplants, responding to the aesthetics of the plant, its history and origins and its cultivation needs. The resulting display will include a selection of their pots and an outline of the students’ creative processes, and will showcase key houseplants that have been significant in their relatively recent history, telling the story of their first introduction to the country and the characteristics that make them popular and ideally suited to survive indoors.

Apples Through Time

21 August – 27 October

RHS Lindley Library, Vincent Square, London, admission free

To accompany the planting of a new orchard of heritage Devon apples at RHS Garden Rosemoor, Devon, this display showcases the history of apples, from its first known cultivation in the Tien Shan mountain range in Kazakhstan to the present day. It will look at the many myths and legends surrounding apples, and how they have been used as a tool for social change by people from Puritans to modern-day Guerrilla gardeners. It will include apple growing manuals from the 1500s onwards, as well as the beautiful apple portraits of William Hooker, commissioned by the RHS from 1814-1836.

 RHS Lindley Library

The RHS Lindley Library’s headquarters are at Vincent Square, London was founded in the early 19th century, it holds unique collections of early printed books on gardening, botanical art and photographs, as well as the archives of the RHS and of notable gardeners and garden designers. It includes 80,000 books, with a rare books collection dating back to 1514; about 30,000 original botanical illustrations and oil portraits, including the world’s finest collection of orchid portraits; and approximately 200,000 photographs.

If you would like further information or book tickets, visit the Library website here

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