2019 Contemporary

Landscape Planting Forum

Dr. Tim Upson
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Dr .  Ye Hang


    Tim Upson is the Director of Horticulture for the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS). With responsibility for standards of horticulture across the RHS, he works closely with the Garden Curators in developing our five gardens. This includes the Society’s fifth garden, RHS Bridgewater in Salford due to open in 2020, which aims to combine inspirational gardens with community programmes to encourage all to enjoy gardening. At RHS Wisley, their flagship garden, recent projects have included a new entrance landscape and three new gardens designed to reflect the RHS’s Science programme which focus on wellbeing, wildlife and food production. Tim leads the Horticulture team whose activities reach out across the Society and industry covering the RHS Plant Trials and Roundtable Programme, Bursary scheme, Plant Committees and key networks of Partner Gardens, Affiliated Societies and specialist plant groups.

      With over 25 years’ experience of working in horticulture and plant sciences, he combines these disciplines in the management of gardens, teaching and research interests in the diversity of wild and cultivated plants. A graduate of the Kew Diploma in Horticulture, he also has a PhD and MSc from the University of Reading in Plant Systematics with research interests in the Lamiaceae and particularly Rosmarinus and Lavandula on which he authored a monograph. Prior to joining the RHS, Tim was Curator and later Deputy Director of Cambridge University Botanic Garden for 17 years.

      He has served on a number of boards and committees and is currently Chair of the Plant Conservation Committee of Plant Heritage, Chair of the Borde Hill Garden Committee, a Trustee of the Fortescue Trust and member of the International Advisory Committee for Botanic Gardens. He also sits on the Government's Ornamental Horticulture Roundtable, is a Chartered Member of the Institute of Horticulture and an external examiner in the Department of Landscape Architecture at Sheffield University. Other interests includes the study and conservation of Oceanic Island and Mediterranean floras and he has travelled widely in these areas.