Director general Sue Biggs said the fifth garden, to add to Harlow Carr, Wisley, Hyde Hall and Rosemoor could be announced "maybe within a month" with a mix of three public and private sites in the Bristol-Manchester corridor under consideration. Biggs said she felt horticulture was "gathering a head of steam" around the country this year.
The society will have 'Greening Grey Britain' campaigning exhibits at all its shows this year, which Biggs said was about putting back planting into front gardens. She said she was "digging up her own drive to get rid of Tarmac grey. Biggs said on the RHS increasing wages by 5-10 per cent this April that the society "didn't want to seem reckless" and that she hoped "bit by bit they will nudge up" at other gardens.
Also at RHS Tatton Park and Cardiff shows, the award of garden merit will be promoted for the first time. Horticulture head Tim Upson said there was "growing awareness" among heritage and plant collection gardens that pay needed to go up.
He added that architects Wilkinson Eyre were developing a brief for Wisley's planned science building.