Whilst driving down to Sussex a couple of weeks ago, I decided to take a break from the monotony of traffic on the M25 and make a quick detour for some horticultural therapy at the Royal Horticultural Society’s Wisley garden.
Situated just a few minutes drive from the motorway, the Wisley garden is a perfect place for a whole day out, but as a member of the RHS with free admission, and having visited many times over recent years, I thought that a quick trip to the tea rooms and a look around the greenhouses for a taste of the tropics was the order of the day!
An impressive feat of glasshouse engineering!
Once inside the glasshouses I was transported to a tropical wonderland!
A contrast of colours
Big banana leaves…
and fabulous tree trunks!
Echeveria ‘Afterglow’ a very succulent succulent!
A startlingly red Hibiscus!
More big leaves…
The cannas were at their peak of perfection and I found a couple of varieties that I hadn’t seen before.
Canna Orange Punch
A wonderful whorling cactus
And speaking of wonderland, to celebrate 150 years of the timeless children’s book and a real favourite of mine, Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” the RHS were running workshop activities for children in the glasshouses and throughout the gardens.
The White Rabbit is suspended from the ceiling…
…whilst the Cheshire cat sits grinning in the vegetable bed
Also around the gardens some beautiful bronze sculptures and water features were on loan from Robert James Ltd and creatively sited amongst the flower borders.
The Mad Hatter serves tea!
So too does the Mad March Hare…
onto the head of the unsuspecting dormouse!
Whilst the dapper Dodo looks on sagely!
I took a quick look at the prairie style glasshouse borders which were looking quite good but it was maybe a little to early for their full late summer glory, which I have captured in previous visits…
The grasses give movement to the borders and form a great backdrop
Steely coloured eryngiums add contrast
The full layered effect…a view across the borders from the Fruit Mount
After a coffee stop at the restaurant, I wandered back along the grass borders to make my way out. This area is always changing and each time I visit I see new and exciting planting combinations.
The grass borders
Eucomis and Agapanthus vie for the viewers attention
And “just grasses” very sculptural in their own right
I walked back through the walled garden for a final touch of the tropics before leaving and was not dissapointed!
Backlit Gunnera leaf
Cyperus papyrus planted in the black pond giving wonderful reflections
Pseudopanax ferox or Toothed Lancewood from New Zealand is happy with its fern and hosta neighbours here in Surrey!
Dianella is used in the walled garden as an edging plant…and at just the right time to see its stunning purple berries
After my enjoyable and inspiring detour it was time to head back to the motorway and continue my journey… not before an obligatory visit to the gift shop with its wonderful selection of books and gifts.
Always a satisfying albeit, possibly expensive, end to any of my visits to RHS Wisley!