All at sea with Miscanthus – the Glasshouse Borders at RHS Wisley

The Glasshouse at Wisley with Miscanthus Beech and Sarcococca a brilliant balance of still, mass, movement, green, rich and pale gold …
Miscanthus by the lake at Wisley
The Glasshouse and lake at RHS Wisley
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Glasshouse Border
Glasshouse Border

A rather blustery day yesterday at the RHS flagship gardens at Wisley and the Glasshouse borders were taking a battering. The Miscanthus outside the Glasshouse, large beds anchored by golden Beech monoliths and circling flat-topped islands of Sarcococca, became a seething maelstrom of dry-gold, sometimes illuminated and back-lit by shafts of sunlight. In moments of calm, it was quite unscathed, unbowed and unbent. I stood and watched for about 10 minutes!

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Miscanthus and a rare blast of sunlight
Veronicastrun Fascination
Veronicastrun Fascination and Miscanthus

4 thoughts on “All at sea with Miscanthus – the Glasshouse Borders at RHS Wisley

  1. Thanks for this beautiful post. I especially liked the video. I have been to Wisley in May, but never in the autumn, which must be the peak for this garden. Tom Stuart-Smith did a wonderful job linking his garden to the Oudolf double borders. In May, I have questioned to myself the choice of beech for the pillars because they haven’t leafed out and look pretty ratty. I thought if all the late perennials and grasses haven’t peaked yet that yew might have been a better choice. I wouldn’t say that in November! It looks stunning. I am curious to see what James Hitchmough’s meadow looks like now. I must be spectacular. It looks a bit sad in May , in my opinion. The strategic placement of the Prairie-steppe ( I understand the soil is dry and sandy, another good reason) at the far end of the garden allows for the dormant season that theses kinds of gardens require. Do you have any recent photos of the James Hitchmough part of the garden?

    1. Thank you for taking the time to comment and I quite agree about the beech sentinels – and the excellent Glasshouse Borders linking down from the ever-evolving Piet Oudolf double borders leading up to the Mount. I do have some photos of the South African meadow and the prairie meadow planted by James Hitchmough – neither are looking great (the former at least has some colour still) but to my mind, the Prairie meadow, down by the Glasshouse, has always looked scrubby whatever time of year! I’ll try and get a Wisley update sorted in the next day or so. Best wishes, Martin

      1. Thanks, Martin. I look forward to seeing your photos of the Prairie Meadow. I am very interested in Hitchmough’s work and approach. I don’t know where the South African meadow is, can you tell me? I’d like to see the Wisley website do a better job explaining where the borders around the Glasshouse begin and end. I am under the impression that Oudolf is not entirely pleased with how his borders are evolving. Penelope Hobhouse expressed similar frustration (at the Gardens Illustrated lecture last May) about the development of the Country Garden she designed there. Thanks for all your excellent posts. I am really enjoying them.

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