A snapshot from the RHS Gardens at Wisley

With a friend visiting from Melbourne and cool, cloudy weather, an opportunity to explore RHS Wisley and with 20 Plant Societies – Delphiniums and Cacti, Hostas and Bonsai, Pitcher Plants, Heathers, Vegetables, Dahlias and more – no better excuse to spend three hours in these varied landscapes.

We explored the Cottage Garden – gorgeous planting, rich and varied, with superb roses, abundant Nepeta and big flowering shrubs like that Philadelphus Belle Etoile adding to the drama and fragrant air. And of coourse the adjacent Bowes Lyon Rose Garden which although it needed deadheading, was still a full glamorous show. Mortimer Sackler particularly stood out – as well as the Chinese dogwoods.

Then the Fruit Garden and a spiralling climb up to the top of the Fruit Mount, down the Piet Oudolf double borders and Glasshouse borders surrounding the lake. And the Glasshouse itself, the marquee with the plant societies, the walled gardens by the laboratory lily pond, an inspirational collection of clipped foliage in the Thinking outside the Box knot garden – back through the shaggy EA Bowles borders and up Battleston Hill to a new Mediterranean inspired area – olives and cypress and vines – before pottering through the Trial Fields – a delightful wildflower meadow, stunning Nepetas (must go back and catalogue these as there is such variety) and heading out through the Plant Centre.

Of course I bought a plant – as recommended by Robin Lane Fox – Deutzia setchuenensis var. corymbiflora – in his collection of essays, Thoughtful Gardening.

Since I had company, these are rather more random photos than the more comprehensive catalogue I might have taken were I to have been on my own. You might even make a sigh of relief at that. But I shall return, and soon. There are areas that need to be more closely looked at and plenty of others we didn’t get too.

Andrea Diaz-Castillo, my guest, is an excellent gardener and wrote a fine book on the parks and gardens of Chile – Parques y jardines de Chile – which if you can find it in the UK – has beautiful prose, history and superb photography. Written in Spanish, there is a translation at the back. Here’s a link to an online gallery


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