Documents: Special Interest: Gardening In England:

RHS Exhibits Innovative Digital Botanical Artwork
by RHS
September 30, 2012

Visitors this autumn to the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) garden in Surrey, RHS Garden Wisley, will have the chance to get a closer view of the plant world with an exciting exhibition that takes an innovative approach to botanical art. Taking a Closer Look by Niki Simpson will run from 4 September - 9 December 2012 at the RHS Lindley Library, Wisley.

Niki Simpson is an internationally acclaimed and award-winning artist. Developed from traditional botanical art, her innovative, largely photographic work, aims to combine the best of the old with the technology of the new.

The exhibition consists of 14 portraits of numerous plant species, all of which have grown at RHS Garden Wisley. Each composite illustration displays all parts and dissections to give an accurate botanical reference of the plant portrayed.

Fiona Davison, Head of RHS Libraries and Exhibitions, said, ‘The RHS is committed to preserving our horticultural heritage for all gardeners and garden-lovers to enjoy.

This new exciting collection of works on display is a fascinating reminder that history never stands still, and that new technologies can go hand in hand with traditional techniques to create not only historical records, but also beautiful pieces of art.'

Taking a Closer Look will run until 9 December 2012, and is available to all RHS Garden Wisley visitors. The library is open from 11am - 4pm daily. For more information please visit

For more information please contact Charlotte Paton on 020 7821 3126 or email About the Artist

Niki Simpson worked in the RHS Botany Department for many years, and managed the Herbarium Image Collection. Niki holds the prestigious RHS Gold Medal (1998) for her traditional botanical watercolour paintings and, in 2003, she began exploring digital techniques for botanical art. Her digitally created botanical illustrations received RHS Gold Medals in 2007 and 2008.

Niki's work is held in a number of major collections, including the RHS Lindley Library, London, the Picture Collection of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and The Linnean Society of London archive. Her illustrations have appeared in numerous publications including Curtis's Botanical Magazine (Kew), The Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society and The Plantsman (RHS). Her work has been exhibited internationally, notably with the RHS and in solo exhibitions at the Berlin Botanical Garden and Botanical Museum, Germany, and The Garden Museum, London. The RHS Lindley Libraries are the largest visual and written resource on horticulture in the world. Collections including books, art, photographs and archives span 500 years of Britain's gardening heritage. Designated as an outstanding collection in 2011, the Lindley Libraries work to safeguard Britain's gardening heritage, promote access to our collections and share information on all aspects of gardening. RHS Garden Wisley Woking, Surrey GU23 6QB 0845 260 9000

RHS members Free Adults £10.50 Children (5 - 16yrs) £4.50 Children (under 5yrs) Free

March - Oct Mon - Fri: 10am - 6pm Sat & Sun: 9am - 6pm Nov - Feb Mon - Fri: 10am - 4.30pm Sat & Sun: 9am - 4.30pm

Open all year except Christmas Day

The garden opens at 9am on Bank Holidays. Last admission is one hour before closing.

About the RHS

The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK's foremost gardening charity, helping and inspiring millions of people to garden. We do this at our gardens and shows and through our scientific research, publications, libraries and our education and community programmes. We are entirely funded by our members, visitors and supporters.

RHS membership is for anyone with an interest in gardening. Support the RHS and secure a healthy future for gardening. For more information call: 0845 130 4646, or visit

photo courtesy Niki Simpson

  • New Eden
  • Kids Garden
  • Plant a Row Grow a Row