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In 1848 John Pascoe Fawkner convened a public meeting at the Queen’s Head Hotel to elect a committee and formally institute the Victorian Horticultural Society. The Superintendent of the colony, Charles La Trobe, was Patron and the President was Mayor Henry Moor.

In 1862 the Society established the Richmond Trial grounds. Over a period of 40 years the Society established, trialed and distributed many thousands of plants throughout Victoria, Australia and further afield. The Society was the first to send fruit successfully to Europe with an early shipment coming from a member's garden located near the Block Arcade area in Melbourne. It was a critical moment in the development of early Victoria. In October 1885 the Society was granted a royal charter by Queen Victoria and became the Royal Horticultural Society of Victoria (RHSV). In 1891 the Society transferred the Richmond Trial grounds to the State of Victoria where it became the Burnley Horticultural College.

For over 165 years the RHSV has existed as an autonomous society for those who appreciate horticulture at both an amateur and professional level. In the early years monthly meetings were held as seasonal shows at which members could display their flowers, plants and fruit to the general public. The Society standardised general judging and conducted horticultural judge training schools within the State.

Community service and contribution to major community activities has been the foundation and the achievement of this great organisation.

Many horticultural organisations, garden clubs and specialist societies throughout Victoria and Interstate are now affiliated with the RHSV. In many cases these organisations started as a section of the Society.

Today the Society continues to fulfil the needs of home gardeners, specialist growers and a variety of horticultural clubs and related organisations throughout Australia..

It remains the most senior and largest Horticultural Society in Victoria providing services and leadership for other such groups.

The history of the Royal Horticultural Society of Victoria is now available in the publication “A Seed Is Planted”.  This is a complete, definitive and accurate history of the Society's  journey and reveals the many ways in which it has contributed significantly to the history of Victoria. The Society continues to be as relevant today as it was in 1848 and the journey continues. Please contact The Secretary for more information.

A listing of the Awards for Service to Horticulture presented by the Society RHSV Service Awards.

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