The idea to form a Society whose members would illustrate the planting in the Botanical Gardens, Sheffield was first proposed in 1995, about the time the Chelsea Physic Garden Florilegium Society was formed in London. It was hoped something similar could be established in the north and Sheffield seemed to be the most suitable location, using the talents in botanical art that were beginning to emerge from The University of Sheffield.
Early in the new millennium the idea became a reality, resulting in the successful launch of the Florilegium Society, with Valerie Oxley as Chairman, at the Sheffield Botanical Gardens in April 2002. Supportive letters were sent from the Vice Chancellor of The University of Sheffield, Professor Robert Boucher, the Director General of The Royal Horticultural Society, London, Dr Andrew Colquhoun, the Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Professor Sir Peter Crane and the Curator of Art and Principal Research Scholar at the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation, Pittsburgh, Mr James White. The 'supporters' became our first Patrons.