Acer laxiflorum var. longilobum

Scotland’s National Horticultural & Gardening Society

The Royal Caledonian Horticultural Society has a long and impressive history. Established in 1809 by a group of seventeen Edinburgh worthies for ‘the encouragement and improvement of the best fruit, the most choice flowers and the most useful culinary vegetables‘, the Society has continued to promote all aspects of Scottish horticulture. Current members of the Society, many of whom are experts in their field, share a common interest in gardening and horticulture.

As a registered Scottish Charity, the Society seeks to promote, encourage and support a wide range of horticultural and gardening interests, including a range of educational projects.

Whilst we cherish our history, the Society strives to maintain a modern outlook, helping to promote horticulture to the next generation of gardeners and horticulturists.

Get involved!

Spring Bulb Workshop – with George Anderson

Unfortunately we could not hold our annual Spring Bulb Planting workshop this year.  Instead we asked George to make a short film to talk you through it.  Hopefully you will feel inspired to plant up some bulbs to enter into our Spring Bulb Show in 2021.


Spring Bulb Show

The Caley holds an annual Spring Bulb Show that is open to all.  This is a fun event with a variety of categories to enter.  So, if you are an experienced exhibitor, are just starting out in your competition career or simply want to look at some beautiful blooms, join us for an interesting weekend.

We also hold an annual Junior Groups Competition. This special section is open to schools and groups such as Brownies, Cubs etc. if you would like to register your group to take part, email


Caley Videos

If you enjoyed our latest video, why not have a look back at some of our earlier offerings.

Check back regularly to see what is happening – we have great things planned!  As it looks like we won’t be able to offer practical workshops any time soon, we have a series of films planned covering a range of subjects.

All we need now is the time to film them.  Many thanks to everyone who contributes their time and skills to the making of these videos. Here at The Caley  we are very fortunate to have members with a broad range of skills and we appreciate all that they do for us.

Saughton Park Bandstand

Saughton Park

The Caley now has a new home within Saughton Park in Edinburgh.  We have an office and maintain a number of areas within the walled garden.  We also have a teaching area and demonstration beds that feature ideas that you can transfer to your own garden.  We offer a range of classes and workshops, both for the beginner and the more experienced gardener.

We are hoping to build a glasshouse within our teaching area and fundraising is well underway to raise money for this.  If you would like to find out more, please click on the button below to go to the Saughton Park page of the website.


Coronavirus (Covid-19) updates

Coronavirus is presenting us with unprecedented challenges, challenges which the Caley is taking very seriously.  We are keeping up to date with Scottish Government advice and how that affects The Caley.

The Caley has had to make many changes to its events and activities programme.  We do have a Winter programme of events planned and are waiting to see if these can go ahead.  All up-to-date information will be on the website and will also be posted on our Facebook page.


Grow & Learn

Just to let you know that we are still here and working through this period of Covid-19 restrictions.  If you have a query related to Grow & Learn, please contact Jean Gavin, our Grow& Learn Development Officer and she will do her best to help you.  Her contact details are: email –; mobile – 07397 167458.

Grow & Learn person-centred award, recognising individual progress and achievement in horticulture.  Our awards are inclusive, individualised and offer life skills based education for all.

Grow and Learn aims to address a large gap in provision in the world of horticulture by offering an alternative learning opportunity for those who find mainstream learning challenging.

A trip to the Water of Leith

Grow & Learn in Nature (GLiN)

Unfortunately, GLiN is on hold at the moment until Covid-19 restrictions are eased further.  In the meantime, if you have a query about GLiN, please contact our Grow & Learn Development Officer, Jean Gavin, and she will do her best to help you.  Her contact details are: email –; mobile – 07397 167458.

With thanks to our funders Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) (Outdoor Learning in Nature), since April 2019 we’ve been delivering outdoor learning to 5 participating local schools. Weekly sessions let pupils gain practical horticultural skills and active participation in nature-based learning.

Learning at Saughton Park enables our pupils to connect with various park groups, visitors and events at the park as well as contributing to greenspace improvements at the park.

View across the pond
Cowden Castle Japanese Garden

Caley Recommendations

Looking for gardens to visit? The nurseries recommended by the Members of the Society? Or the plants recommended for Scottish gardens? Visit The Caley Recommendations page by clicking the button below!


Gardening with Children

Gardening is a great way to get children outdoors and to develop an interest in nature and the environment. Growing and picking their own fruit and veg is a great way to encourage children to eat more of them. If you have the space in your garden, why not give them a small patch of their own to look after?  Even if you only have a windowbox, you can still encourage children to grow and look after some herbs or salad crops.

For more advice on gardening with children and some fun activities, click below to go to our Gardening with Children page.

Campanula lactiflora

Plants in Season

There is always a plant of interest to look out for in Scotland.  Whether it be for its flowers, fruits, foliage or interesting shape, there is a plant for every season.

Keep checking back to see what you should be looking out for at any given time of the year, both in your garden and in the wider environment.


Virtual Spring Bulb Show

As we had to cancel both our main Spring Bulb Show and the Junior Groups Competition and Show in 2020, we decided to hold a virtual show instead.

All of the entries can be viewed on our Virtual Spring Show page.