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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!

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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.

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Coronavirus (Covid-19) updates

Whilst the Scottish Government has recently moved us out of the levels system for restrictions, Edinburgh Council still has some restrictions in place covering the use of its buildings and greenspaces. We are not yet back to “normal” working but are offering a range of outdoor events and activities where we are able to.  All up-to-date information will be on the website and will also be posted on our Facebook page.

To keep up to date about our activities, make sure you sign up for the e-newsletter and updates.

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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 schoolspringshow@rchs.co.uk.

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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.

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Virtual Flowers Shows

We have expanded our range of virtual flower shows to include more than just our annual Spring Bulb Show.

All of the shows can be viewed on our Virtual Flower Show page. Thank you to everyone that sent in entries and to our fantastic video editor, Pam Whittle, for all of her hard work.

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Caley Videos

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

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.

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Grow & Learn Awards

The Caley’s flagship award, recognising individual progress and achievement, in horticulture. Our awards are inclusive, individualised and offer life skills based education for all. 

Learn about

  • Seasonal, practical horticultural activities.
  • Other topics that interest you, such as cooking, arts and craft, garden maintenance or biodiversity, the list is endless.
  • Developing personal life skills and setting your own goals. 

What you achieve

  • Awarded The Caley’s ‘Certificate of Horticultural Achievement’.
  • A portfolio of your work to evidence all you have achieved.

Contact caleygrowandlearn@gmail.com to find out more.

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Grow & Learn in Nature (GLiN) Award

A project-based award, helping you to make your outdoor space more nature friendly. An award that can be achieved at a gardening project, at home, on a balcony or sunny window ledge. 

Learn about

  • How to make your outdoors space more nature friendly.
  • Developing your skills in biodiversity, plant care, soil health, propagation and so much more. 

What you achieve

  • Awarded The Caley’s GLiN ‘Certificate of Achievement’.
  • A portfolio of your work to evidence all you have achieved.
  • Gain new gardening skills that work in harmony with nature.

Contact caleygrowandlearn@gmail.com to find out more.

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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!

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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.

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