A little peak inside the Alpine House which sits atop the Rock Garden in the RHS gardens at Wisley (the rose garden is behind, an allée of Bonsai trees to one side and the vegetable garden too, if you need to get your bearings.
This is a traditional glasshouse where the plants are mostly displayed in terracotta pots sunk into a brick-sided sand-filled bench, keeping their roots cool and so that these diminutive plants are brought up close, for that much-needed detailed inspection. The collection changes regularly and there is always something new and fresh to admire.
Backtracking just a little, on the way to this first stop, at the Alpine House, just one or two beauties caught my attention, my eye (and nose – that winter honeysuckle is incredibly fragrant).
And now after leaving the Alpine House – to look down across the Rock Garden and heading to lower ground and the Seven Acre Wood beyond …
The substantial Daphne bholua Limpsfield which overlooks the Rock Garden at the edge of a wide terrace has to be one of the wonders of Wisley – such a size and so much flower and fragrance. Breathtaking. Daphne bholua Jacqueline Postill claimed the prize within Seven Acre Wood and once again, its rich perfume ambushed every visitor as they passed nearby.
The Rock Garden and woodland margins contain many clumps of snowdrops, but most didn’t have a label, so my apologies for leaving them unclassified. I bagged a few Camellias as you can see, though the Witch Hazels, as you may have seen, are the undoubted stars of the woodland landscape at the moment. They have a blog all to themselves naturally.
I’ll mop up a few last pictures – from the Plant Centre where I photographed the bench labels for the Sarcococca on offer – and then a peak inside the shop at some rather fine orchids and houseplants including the very bite-sized new cultivar of Monstera, the Swiss Cheese Plant. These are true miniatures though if I had the room, I would still go for the Daddy.
and so, finally,