HGS Horticultural Society

Founded in 1909 the Hampstead Garden Suburb Horticultural Society has been active and present in the community for over a hundred years. It has provided a gardening community for the suburb as well as holding annual competitions in a wide variety of horticultural disciplines. 

The Hampstead Garden Suburb Horticultural Society came into existence on 20 May 1909, as the very first society on the Suburb and the only one to survive to the present day more or less in its original form.

On August Bank Holiday the first ever Flower Show is held in a marquee on Central Square and from  the following year 1910 there were, at least   three shows a year.  Shows were held in the Institute Hall, at Garden Suburb School and the Clubhouse, Willifield Way.  Since the Second World War, most shows and some larger lectures have been held at the Free Church Hall, Northway.

HGS Horticultural Society
Additional Info
Website: www.hortsoc.co.uk
Featured Collections
Horticultural Society 100th Show
Documenting the history of the Flower Shows and competitions that the Horticultural Society has been running since the early days of the Suburb. 

Detailed History
Related events
The horticultural society was the first society in the suburb, created on the 20th of May 1909. The first ever flower show was held on the August bank holiday that year.

During the first season of the Horticultural Society, several of the residents’ gardens were opened to the public, with Dame Henrietta giving a copper pot to the winners of the “Best Garden” award.

From 1910, there were three flower shows a year, and were for a short time four when there was an additional Spring Show for a few years. Now shows are held in June and September.

In 1958 the radio show BBC Gardener’s Question Time was hosted by the Horticultural Society. Both a commemorative flowerpot and a tape with the episode on are in the Society’s possession now.

In 1979, 70 years since the inception of the Society, the Queen Mother visited the gardens of several members of the Horticultural society.

In 1989, for the Society’s eightieth anniversary, a Great Apple Hunt was held at the autumn show to attempt to determine how many of the apple trees that Dame Henrietta Barnett had donated to residents had survived in local gardens. 

In honour of the centenary of the Hampstead Garden Suburb, the society was awarded a lottery grant and built a commemorative flowerbed on Willifield Green. The Society also helped the Residents Association to launch a ‘Henrietta Barnett’ rose at the Chelsea Flower Show.

HGS Horticultural Society's own centenary was celebrated. A large birthday cake was cut at a special Centenary Spring Show and Exhibition. There was a Centenary Festival of Roses - the Society took over the tired old flowerbed outside Fellowship House in Willifield Way. A Centenary Garden Buddy Scheme was also put in place.