Fiona Davison – The Lindley Library


April 4, 2019


In 2012, while working at the RHS library, Fiona Davison came across a book of handwritten notes that dated back to 1822. The notes had been written by young gardeners in support of their applications to be accepted into the Society’s garden in Chiswick. Among them was an entry from the young Joseph Paxton, who would go on to become one of Britain’s best-known gardeners and architects. But he was far from alone in shaping the way we garden today.

In this talk, Fiona Davison – the Head of Libraries and Exhibitions at the RHS – will describe how her chance discovery in the archives led her to trace the stories of a group of forgotten gardeners who trained at the Society’s garden in Chiswick almost 200 years ago. She will reveal how these young, working-class men helped to shape the history of British horticulture and continue to influence how we garden today.


Lindey library
80 Vincent Square