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Wednesday, 19 June 2013

RHS Wisley

The Royal Horticultural Society's garden at Wisley is located Surrey just to the south of London. It  is one of four gardens run by the RHS, the others being Harlow Carr, Hyde Hall and Rosemoor.

Wisley is the second most visited paid entry garden in the United Kingdom after Kew Gardens. Wisley was founded by Victorian businessman and RHS member George Ferguson Wilson, who had purchased a 60 acre (243,000 m²) site in 1878.He established the "Oakwood Experimental Garden" on part of the site, where he attempted to "make difficult plants grow successfully".

Wilson died in 1902 and Oakwood  was purchased by Sir Thomas Hanbury, the creator of the celebrated garden La Mortola on the Italian Riviera. He gifted both sites to the RHS in 1903. Since then Wisley has developed steadily and it is now is a large and diverse garden covering 240 acres (971,000 m²). In addition to numerous formal and informal decorative gardens, several glasshouses and an extensive arboretum, it includes small scale "model gardens" which are intended to show visitors what they can achieve in their own gardens, and a trials field where new cultivars are assessed.

In 2005 the RHS started work on a large new Glasshouse, which is always a favourite whenever we visit.

Hard to believe that just a few weeks ago we still have lovely warm sunshine!

The glass house is divided into three distinct climatic zones; a temperate tropical section, leading into arids and succulents before entering a more humid tropical section.

As soon as you enter a large Begonia luxurians dominates the planting in front of you. 



Schefflera macrophylla


Throughout the tropical section, orchids have been attached to trees and the greenhouse itself. The one below is Miltonia 'Oscar Kirsch'


Miltonia 'Oscar Kirsch'

The waterfall is starting to age quite nicely now, the main rocks are all artificial and have taken a few years
to mellow down and get a covering of algae on them. Cannas to each side.
 As you approach the arid section the lush plants give way to a fine collection of cycads before drifting into aloes, agaves and cacti.

Macrozamia moorei


Encephalartos villosus
The succulents soon take over and this section of the glasshouse is a real success

Sansevieria trifasciata var. laurentii
Aloe striata
Aloe glauca
Euphorbia trigona frubra


Pachypodium lamerei var. ramosum

Echinopsis aurea 'Leucomalla'
Copiapoa coquimbana

Mammillaria bombycina 
Yucca filifera
Euphorbia pulvinata
Ferocactus viridescens

Echinocactus grusonii
Echinocactus grusonii


Parodia magnifica 
Agave filifera
A last look back at the main arid bed, this area has really settled in well over the last few years. Naturalistic planting of arids, when done well works beautifully. 

From the arid section you walk through some doors and are immediately back into the tropics, with the hot tropical humid part of the house.


Queen of the night

Philodendron sp
A little friend to guard the pool





The unmistakeable flower of hibiscus

Wisley is well situated on the A3 close to the junction with the M25, which makes road the easiest way to get to the garden. If you are travelling a long way then Guildford makes a convenient base, with the well located Holiday Inn Guildford situated on the A3 just 10 miles from Wisley.

Wisley is a great garden and you really need a full day to get the most out of your visit!

1 comment:

  1. a terrific reminder of what I've been missing all these years Hoping to pay a visit before the summer is out. I've shared to my fb page Hope you don't mind?

    Ena Ronayne
    http://www.facebook.com/thegardendesignco

    ReplyDelete

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