Garden Portrait: RHS Wisley part 1

Visiting RHS Wisley, the flagship garden of the Royal Horticultural Society, is always a delight. No matter what month. So when an opportunity arose that would enable me to revisit my favourite garden I jumped at it. My last visit was on a cold December morning in 2013 so it was a real pleasure to return on a hot summers day in August when not one, not two, but three events were running simultaneously. Celebrating 150 years since the novel Alice in Wonderland was published the garden was buzzing with excited children hunting down Alice and the Queen of Hearts, or maybe it was the mums because I doubt that many of the small children I saw even knew who Alice was. The second event was a sculpture trail to which I paid scant attention and then there was the fuchsia event. I suspect that was in the Glasshouse, but I never even got that far as I was more interested in looking at and photographing all the wonderful plant-life in the garden.

Not so much a walk, rather a sedentary stroll through some of the 60 acre site on a very warm, late summer’s day.

Full of colour and texture, the famous Mixed Borders are a 128m-long horticultural wonder.

The Long Borders

The Long Borders

In summer these borders are at their absolute peak. Colour, shape, form all designed to stun and wow the visitor. The cool and pastel-inspired perennials contrast with the hotter sections intermingled with tall grasses, salvias and dahlias. It can take a while to simply peruse this part of the garden.

True blue and beautiful, agapanthus feature across the garden.

Agapanthus ‘Northern Star’

The Bowes-Lyon Rose Garden and Mixed Borders.

Bowes-Lyon Rose Garden

There is an older rose garden too called the Jubilee Rose Garden where you will find older varieties  planted in the traditional pattern of rose-beds with a modern twist provided by the new wrought-iron obelisks and fencing for the climbers to wrap themselves around.

Rosa Pride of England ‘Harencore’

And do pop into the Country Garden where you are sure to find a bench on which to ponder the visual delights surrounding you.

The Country Garden

More lovely walks can be found over at my friend Jo’s place.


33 Comments Add yours

  1. Anabel Marsh says:

    All lovely, but the stand out for me is your gorgeous header picture.

    1. Heyjude says:

      That was a particularly colourful spot in the Country garden where most of the flowers have gone over already. Thanks Anabel 🙂

  2. What an absolute delight to walk with you on your exploration of this wonderful garden.. Loved every photo.. Beautiful post.. And many thanks for sharing such beauty of Natures Blooms..
    Enjoy your weekend.. Sue 🙂

    1. Heyjude says:

      It’s always a delight. And so much has changed since my last visit. The new rose garden looks fab.

  3. You went round some of my favourite summer areas 🙂 The borders and the country garden always look sublime! Love the shot of the whirligig osteospermums 😀

    1. Heyjude says:

      The Country Garden was almost over, but I was pleasantly surprised by the Bowes-Lyon Rose Garden, that has matured gloriously, looks as though it was always there!

      1. It’s wonderful landscaping! I love the companion planting amongst the roses too 🙂

  4. Sue says:

    Lovely! Looks like you had a marvellous walk around…. And I love the Echinops bannaticus, as much for the name as the image! 🙂

    1. Heyjude says:

      Haha… I love echinops but usually think of them as blue, this was a tad unusual. I often photograph the name not just for the blog but also in case I fancy growing the plant at some point!

  5. Sammy D. says:

    Wow, Jude, you are really mastering the art of the closeup with your new camera. I love them all (no surprise). I admire your mastery of names – I should be able to name most (thinking “oh yes, monarda”) as I read your labels) but alas I’ve not retained many of them.

    1. Heyjude says:

      I didn’t use the macro lens as I wanted to capture the whole garden and thought I might go back with the macro, but then had the ankle injury 😦

      I do photograph the names of the plants if they are available, my memory is not that good!

  6. Love your header pic, Jude! What a stunningly beautiful garden. I would have taken my time too. I presume by “sedentary stroll” you are telling us that you sat down on every bench you came to. 🙂

    1. Heyjude says:

      One or two perhaps 😀

  7. Lucid Gypsy says:

    They know their stuff don’t they? I’ve never been but I see similarities with Rosemoor. I absolutely love that bench, such beautiful curves and lines, a modern classic. It’s a good year for Japanese Anemones, I have loads more then usual 🙂

    1. Heyjude says:

      It’s much bigger than Rosemoor and the glasshouse is magnificent. Saying that I did like Rosemoor too. And yes, I have seen loads of Japanese Anemones this year in tip top condition, there were loads in Polesden Lacey. Must be they like the damp conditions!

    2. Heyjude says:

      Oh, yes, the bench. They have several new benches around the garden and these delicious curved ones are in the new rose garden, they are absolutely stunning; silvered grey natural wood, bent into gentle curves and so comfortable to sit on. I mean I really had to test these ones out. I would adore one of them in my future garden. So natural, so beautiful. So William Morris.

  8. What a stunning garden this is. Your summer weather must agree with these blooms because they are gorgeous.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Our summer has been wet! And warm down here in the south I believe. But Wisley is always spectacular. No matter what the weather or season.

  9. pommepal says:

    Superb gallery of photos Jude. Your new camera is doing a great job. When ever I wander round these beautiful English gardens with you I get a pang of home sickness, (some thing I have never felt before).

    1. Heyjude says:

      Oh, PP, I don’t want to make you homesick. But I do want to make you happy to see our gorgeous flowers, such a difference to your superb tropical ones. You’d hate the weather over here now and I’m not sure I could stand your heat and humidity, so we have the best of both worlds. 😀

      1. pommepal says:

        The perfect solution would be 6 months in each country, but age, lack of surplus finance and the huge time sitting in a plane puts paid to that idea…I’ll just keep enjoying your glorious posts…

        1. Heyjude says:

          I agree! The flight alone puts me off 😦

        2. pommepal says:

          btw I always have problems deciding which to delete, thinking I might be able to use them all sometime!!!!

  10. I’m beginning to sound obsessed by headers! I’m on vsi at the weekend (very slow internet) and it produced an amazing array of wide bright stripes from your far more spectacular header, and wouldn’t take me further. I’m home now, and I see where the colours came from. The whole post is a beauty, a lovely mix of closeups and tantalising paths. Colour, shape and form do indeed wow.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Sorry to cause you visual disturbances. This theme does have large headers, but the files are still quite small so should load quickly. I managed a few gardens this week. Not as many as I had intended due to the rain and the pain! Need to be down this way in June time when the gardens are at their best and the children are at school!
      Still, more gardens, and paths and macros to come. Going home just now, be good to have my own bed to sleep in. And no rebellious rabbits to round-up 😉

  11. It must take an army of gardeners to tend to this beautiful place. What a delight to stroll through here (without all the work) 🙂

    1. Heyjude says:

      One reason why I love it so much is that I don’t have to take care of it!

  12. I’ve just realised that I wasn’t following this blog! Shame on me. I wandered over from your “every angle” post via a comment about your new camera and macro shots. The macros in this post are great.
    Are you happy with swapping a bridge for a DSLR? The thought of carrying all that kit around, and thinking about lenses, puts me off. 😦

    1. Heyjude says:

      Happy you found the ‘flower’ me!
      The new camera is mirrorless so not heavy at all. In fact even with the 40mm – 150mm lens it is lighter than my Fuji bridge. I can’t carry heavy stuff so avoided the DSLRs. Getting used to swapping lenses is the main drawback, but I am coming to realise that you either stop and swap, or you compose images to suit the lens. I think it may actually benefit me as it stops me simply snapping everything. Now I think about what I can do with the lens and if it doesn’t work I don’t shoot.

      1. Ah, that’s interesting. I’ve heard of mirrorless cameras but didn’t realise that meant they weighed less. I shall follow your progress with interest. How long have you had the new one? And what persuaded you to get this particular make and model?

        1. Heyjude says:

          Only had it a month. Took me three years to decide on which camera to buy! Finally decided between the Olympus or the Panasonic (they share lenses) and the Olympus won purely on price offer at the time, plus excellent reviews.

  13. restlessjo says:

    Totally glorious, Jude! How did you drag yourself away? That header photo positively vibrates colour. 🙂

    1. Heyjude says:

      They close at 6 pm.

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