The Canterbury Horticultural Society began with the colonisation of Canterbury in the 1850’s. It was originally called the Christchurch Agricultural, Botanical and Horticultural Society. In 1861 the group split and the Horticultural arm became the Christchurch Horticultural Society. This changed its name in 1898 to become the Canterbury Horticultural Society, which today is the largest horticultural club for home gardeners in New Zealand.
Its membership extends throughout New Zealand and overseas and its comprehensive programme includes garden and native garden awards, a National Garden Register of open gardens to visit, education courses, touring programmes including walking groups and providing advice to gardeners.
The Society also has a number of specialist circles, including Daffodils, Begonias, Chrysanthemums, Fruit and Vegetables, Floral Art, and Fuchsias. Over fifty Garden Clubs operate under its constitution and it also has many affiliated groups including Roses, Lilies, Alpines, Orchids, and Rhododendrons.
The Canterbury Horticultural Society Incorporated is a registered charity in New Zealand.