The Royal Horticultural Society is experiencing a big upturn in its fortunes, according to its boss.

RHS director-general Sue Biggs

Director-general Sue Biggs told AG the RHS had achieved its highest-ever membership of 375,464.

Sue said it had been a bumper year at the RHS’s four main gardens: Wisley in Surrey, Hyde Hall in Essex, Rosemoor in Devon and Harlow Carr in Yorkshire.

Visitor numbers are up by 18 per cent this year, compared to attendance in 2010.

It is a far cry from 2009 when the RHS experienced its annus horribilis: falling membership, a redundancy programme and the resignation of director-general Inga Grimsey.

Sue (pictured) said: “Interest in gardening and garden visiting is booming.

“It’s been spurred a bit by people’s interest in growing their own food. This often happens in times of recession. People turn back to things that matter most in life. If you’ll pardon the pun, people want to go back to their roots.”