A rainy day at Wisley – but read on – there’s Cherry, Camellia, Rhododendron, Magnolia & more…

An exceptionally damp day, last Friday, at RHS Wisley in Surrey but undeterred was I, with my Driza-bone coat, wide-brimmed hat, umbrella and camera – it was business as usual …

Much opportunity for photography with ornamental cherries and Magnolias in blossom and looking fine; Camellias dotted throughout Battleston Hill and Seven-acre Wood; likewise some exceptionally bright Rhododendrons, stands of Fritillary Imperialis, the last of the Daphnes and plenty of bulbs illuminating the ground and many planted containers. I ventured into the Alpine House too and will cover that particular treasure box in a separate entry.

The fresh young foliage of the Acers – see the Katsura coming up – are a beautiful feathery feature of these woodlands. Paths meanders around two sides of the hill, either side of the wide grass path up to the top of the vista leading up from the double herbaceous borders at the heart of the gardens, and then on into the wilder parts where Hellebores clothe the understory still and the Camellias, Magnolias, Rhododendrons, Corylopsis and a few more cherries have sway.

The Rhododendron shlippenbachii (wonderful name) was almost cherry-blossom-like in colour and form, a bright delight in the woodland. The Amelanchiers have a pure white starry blossom set against the emerging soft, bronze leaves and love the deep, acidic earth and the shelter. Magnolia Phelan Bright has huge, pristine white blossom while Butterflies has spiker, smaller and lime-yellow flowers.

This large swathe of Erythroniums deserved closer inspection …

Meanwhile I continued on through these winding paths, in the direction of the Alpine House – more woodland delights before that though –

This last clump of Beschorneria in flower brought me right to the entrance of the Alpine House. Given the rain it was crowded but I still managed to find enough space to take a few pictures and these will follow – and following that, a wander down through the Rock Garden and into Seven Acre Wood before calling it a day. All this to come!

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