Garden Centre Geek – RHS Wisley Plant Centre





Lewisia cotyledon (above)


Clematis alpina Frankie (above)


Leucadendron Jack Harre



Abutilon x suntense Flowering Maple


Epimedium Orange Queen




I wanted to see see what was looking good at the plant centre at Wisley – I hadn’t been there for several weeks and expected it to be filling up with new stock. I was not disappointed – every corner, every row, groaning with new herbaceous plants, shrubs, climbers, roses, herbs and early bedding, neon alpines…

There was a collection of Proteas – I bought Clark’s Red – and other Southern Hemisphere plants like the gorgeous Restios and Leucadendrons. The hardy geraneum collection filled at least six benches – maybe it was eight? A comprehensive selection by any standard. I drooled over the tree peonies – but at price tags of up to £100, declined to be tempted, rare though many of them were.

These photographs, while not Gardens Illustrated standard, might at least give a stranger to the centre, an idea of the scale of the place.

I bought, together with the Protea Clark’s Red, several West Country Lupins ‘Masterpiece’ and a ‘Persian Slipper’, four of the Hardy Osteospermum ‘Weetwood’, one Geraneum ‘Nimbus’ and a Geranium subcasulescens ‘Guisseppi’ – and had to walk away!

Time I did not have to go around the gardens – and in any event had already had my treat, seeing the flowering cherries at Kew – but was not hard done by in the least being restricted to the plant centre.

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