This is my most visited garden in the UK. I lived about 25 miles from it for six years and as it was on my way to visit my daughter and grandchildren it became a favourite stopping off place, or even a meeting place as she lives only ten minutes from it. I have visited in all seasons so there are far too many photographs to cram into one post. Maybe in 2014 I will concentrate only on RHS Wisley.
There are four RHS gardens in England. I have been fortunate to visit Rosemoor in North Devon too and I have written about that garden on my other blog, Travel Words. Wisley is the flagship garden though, carrying out trials of various new flowers and plants and trying out and testing new cultivation techniques. Being so close to London it attracts many visitors and holds several exhibitions over the year including Dahlias and Chrysanthemums, Sculptures and even Butterflies in the Glasshouse. Gifted to the Royal Horticultural Society in 1904 it has become a world-class garden. As well as the 60 acre garden there is the Lindley Library containing significant collections on practical gardening, garden history and design, and fruit and veg gardening as well as hundreds of botanical prints and drawings. And the Glasshouse, which has three climatic zones – dry temperate, moist temperate and tropical – contains hundreds of orchids and other tender and rare plants. It is like walking into a jungle.
There are several different areas to explore and it is almost impossible to do all of it in one day – well I have never managed to. Some areas are better at different times of the year such as Battleston Hill East in spring when it is full of rhododendrons, azaleas, magnolias and hellebore. The glasshouse borders are lovely all year round as is the Glasshouse itself, especially in inclement weather. The Mixed Borders and the Bowes-Lyon Rose Garden are best in summer, the Walled Garden is lovely in May when the wisteria is in bloom. In autumn head for Seven Acres, the Wild Garden and the Rock Garden as well as the Arboretum. The Alpine Houses and the Crevice Garden show off a huge number of miniature plants with the displays changing throughout the year. And there are the Trials Fields to see what is being tested, Model Gardens for inspiration in your own smaller patch, Fruit Demonstration Garden and the Vegetable Garden demonstrate the cultivation of edible plants and so much more. If all this walking is making you hungry there are five places to eat within the garden, three picnic spots and two play areas for the kids. And if you don’t want to go into the garden itself there is a plant nursery on site and a shop.
Here are just a few shots of the garden throughout the year.