Camellias, mostly – a beautifully colourful tour through the woodland landscapes at RHS Wisley – another stroll down memory lane


Another stroll down memory lane given that these gardens, like most across the country, are closed while Covid-19 runs amok. This time, almost exactly two years ago. Definitely no ‘crowds upon crowds’ now or any time soon.

I promise to limit my re-posts, though with cherry blossom time really just around the corner, and tulips of course, Wisteria, probably roses but please let’s be open for business by the time dahlias come around. But presently, having more time on my hands than usual, well I’ll  just see what I can do. If you are having withdrawal symptoms while Kew  Gardens, RHS Wisley, the whole of the National Trust network or (insert any garden name here) are closed, please have a stroll through these pages. They go back a few years now, there are over 1300 blog pages and a gazillion photos and might just help you pass the time too. Thank you for dropping in.

So, March 2018 …

Such a beautifully sunny, warm and fragrant afternoon at RHS Wisley. Crowds upon crowds filling the car parks but amongst the meandering paths of Battleston Hill, just a few folk pottering through the woodland paths, admiring the camellias. An amazingly colourful display pretty much at their peak, or just a little over, filling the wooded hillside with rich shades of crimson, pink, cream and white.

The magnolias were still tightly budded, save a very few, and the woodland floor was studded with Hellebores, Narcissus, the earliest of perennials (Pulmonaria, Corydalis). The fading Daphne bholua cultivars are still pumping out an amazing cloud of rich perfume, likewise the stand of Edgworthia chrysantha, with warm spicy clove married perfectly with the lemon yellow Rhododendron next door.

A non-camellia highlight was the flowering cherry, Prunus campanulata Felix Jury, in one of the small hillside show gardens – a pure delight in rich, deep/dark purple, jewel-like flowers on ascending bare stems. There were other early cherries in flower  – Euridice at the top of Battleston Hill, set off against Camellia x williamsii Donation – but Felix was a star!

Rain, sunshine and more rain will transform these winding paths and woodland into an even richer tapestry of fresh green and spring colour. Enjoy …

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