The Trial Fields are moving from their slightly backwater location, over the brow of Battleston Hill, to where the old plant centre had its home before the new visitor village was built and opened recently. I hope it finds more visitors enjoying the spectacle as well as learning about the RHS’s Award of Garden Merit and the process they go through of examining and growing and comparing a range of old cultivars and potential new stars. Here are the Agapanthus and the Zantedeschia (a display that really surprised me for the variety) – and I’ll look up the sunflowers and Echinacea (featured in a recent The Garden magazine and very good reading it was too.)
So, looking back to 2016 …
The Trial Fields at RHS Wisley where much is being assessed and examined, usually over a three-year period, to determine the best cultivars and those that might be awarded the coveted Award of Garden Merit (AGM). Rosemary and Alliums, Corn, Viburnum, Penstemons, Petunias, Begonias and Cabbage, Cosmos, Calla Lily, Echinacea – and much more – are all set out in serried rows across this wide, gently sloping expanse.
I photographed the Agapanthus last year – and more completely though I recall it was a fiercely hot day – but the four long rows of Agapanthus in shades of blue, purple and white – was calling to me again and much happier I’m sure for having had a dry streak in the weather.
Almost at the bottom of the Trial Field, just before the Cosmos, was a superb display of Zantedeschia – elegant flutes white, yellow, orange, red, black and all shades in between with fresh green, spotted foliage – and this must be the start of a new trial. I’m quite certain it wasn’t there last year …
Having seen this magnificent display and noting that some of them are clearly loving their new home, I might track down one or two for the summer borders and container displays next year. I love the whites but my heart is taken with the tropical tones – and such a variety of black too.
Quite a lot, eh?
Quite exhausted now – I’ll leave you all to work through these images and pick your favourite. Have a look if you like at the 2015 Agapanthus gallery, have a cup of tea (or if it is past 5 O’Clock in your neck of the woods, another tipple). I’ll certainly view Zantesdeschias rather differently now and will search out some of these varieties in future, for a vibrant summer touch to the summer display and a lovely houseplant for the remainder of the year.