An Afternoon at RHS Wisley – the Double Herbaceous Borders, Cottage and Jubilee Rose Gardens, a touch of woodland and more …


Another – sigh -trip down memory lane though I have booked our timed visit for mid-July and hope the gardens might look something like this, from a visit a year or three ago. Always something to admire, some combination of plants, a design feature, something new you might not have seen before. And such varied gardens within the gardens. Of course there has been a lot of change in the past year with the creation of the new visitor centre and plant area, and I understand the old shop and plant centre have been taken down in preparation for the new siting of the Trial Fields. On this another post to follow, picking up on the Agapanthus which are just coming into their own about now – and Zantedeschia in such a range of colours. If I can find more from the trial fields – the sunflowers or Echinacea for example, or large late-flowered Clematis, I’ll revisit these too for good measure.

In the meantime enjoy the midsummer tour, even if you can’t get there yourselves

The spectacle of the Double Herbaceous Borders at RHS Wisley at the height of summer! I definitely have Border Envy though I appreciate how much work goes into this long-lasting display. Such healthy happy plants too.

The Country Garden, pictured below is no less of an extravaganza but the effect in many parts is of a beautiful soft gauzy floatiness …  well, you can see for yourself –



Ammi and Hordeum
Ammi and Hordeum
Hordeum jubatum and Cosmos
Hordeum jubatum and Cosmos

The Jubilee Rose Garden, like the Cottage Garden, sits behind the Double Herbaceous Border but is an entirely separate room. Just roses, in wide concentric beds, with wide grass paths, some metalwork for the roses to climb up and over and seats in a central space. There’s a view across to the House and then to the tall trees of Battleston Hill, but otherwise it’s roses all the way. By contrast, the Bowes Lyon Rose Garden by contrast (and not visited on this occasion) has a mix of bold herbaceous planting to compliment the roses.

From the top of the rose garden, the ground rises and you enter the meandering circuit of woodland paths that wind around Battleston Hill – or take the direct route up the grassy strip (to the Rocket, just now) and directly into the Trial Fields. Forgive me for saying, but the hustle and bustle of the gardens elsewhere always recedes into a gentle cool calm, with glades of sunshine and hydrangeas now, as you meander around Battleston Hill. True even in School Holidays.

To finish, a hotch-potch of plants – from the Trial Fields and Plant Centre, mostly, but they mop up the last of the edited ‘Highlights’ of my afternoon at Wisley. Obviously I missed out huge swathes of the gardens – but the supermarket beckoned and I hadn’t thought to spend so long in the Trial Fields. The evolving Glasshouse Borders need to be seen in their High Summer glory and the Alpine House always has new treasures. 7-acre Wood has been delightful in Spring and early Summer and that’ll be on my agenda next time around. The Grass Borders and the cool of the Pinetum … So many gardens in one, so little time …

Another patch of Wildflower meadow
Another patch of Wildflower meadow

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