The Horticultural Society of New York


Mission & History

Founded in 1900, and incorporated in 1902, with J. P. Morgan, Louis C. Tiffany, and J.J. Phelps among its earliest members, the goal of the Horticultural Society was to further the love and knowledge of horticulture through informative monthly meetings, formal lectures and seasonal flower shows.

Today, over 100 years later, we are still growing a community of urban gardeners. Our development reflects the changes in urban horticulture itself, from a focus on specimen plants and ornamental gardens viewed alone in their majestic beauty, to a holistic understanding that plants and gardens are inexorably linked to the health of people, wildlife and our environment.

At The Hort, we recognize the interrelatedness and complexity of the “green” issues in our city, and therefore the core of our efforts is to educate and inform across the spectrum. We still help New Yorkers know plants and gardens as aesthetic wonders, but now our programs and projects encompass urban farming, rooftop gardening, container vegetable production, bioremediation, storm water abatement, landscape design, vocational training, horticultural therapy and environmental literacy.

The mission of the Horticultural Society of New York (The Hort) is to sustain the vital connection between people and plants. Our social service and public programs educate and inspire, growing a broad community that values horticulture for the many benefits it brings to our environment, our neighborhoods, and our lives.

Our Apple Seed and GreenTween education programs teach plant science and nutrition to public school children, keeping their young minds focused on active learning and providing them opportunities to engage with nature.

Our GreenHouse program uses horticultural training and therapy to help Rikers Island inmates redirect their lives.

Our GreenTeam program provides vocational training and transitional employment for GreenHouse graduates and other underemployed adults.

Our Green City program creates gardens, landscapes, and green infrastructure in inner-city neighborhoods, libraries, school yards, supportive housing, and streetscapes.

Our Public Programs offer workshops, author talks, films, and forums on floral and garden design, environmental sustainability, urban agriculture, community greening, and practical home gardening.

Our 12,000-volume Barbara A. Margolis Library provides current and historic information on gardening, plants, landscape design and architecture, and great gardens.

Our Gallery presents unique exhibitions that showcase artists inspired by horticulture, botany, landscape, and the environment, including the Annual International with the American Society of Botanical Artists.

The Hort is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, and relies on the generous support of individuals to continue providing our unique services to all New Yorkers.

The Horticultural Society of New York