RHS Wisley April 2016

On Thursday 14th April, 35 members of Cumnor Gardening Club visited RHS Wisley Garden in Surrey. The gardens were looking wonderful even though we have had a very mild wet winter followed by a prolonged cold spell in March.  The magnolias and early camellias were coming into flower in the woodland area of Battleston Hill with plenty of hellebores and wood anemones still blooming. We saw flowering cherry trees in the Country Garden – a fleeting moment but always welcome at the beginning of spring.

Throughout the garden there were colourful borders of daffodils, tulips, hyacinths and other spring bedding plants planted in great profusion. As a contrast in the wild garden the snake’s head fritillaries which have naturalised in the damp areas were flowering in great numbers.

In the Bicentenary Tropical Glasshouse the orchid display was particularly worth visiting – seeing them growing in ideal conditions is always impressive.  When the club last visited Wisley the greenhouse had been newly opened and it was very interesting to see the more mature planting.

There is so much we can learn from the expertise of professional RHS gardeners but the scale of Wisley could make it difficult to transfer the ideas to our own gardens. However the area of model gardens designed to show how we can make an interesting garden in a domestic space was full of visitors gaining inspiration.

In contrast to the profusion of spring flowers in other parts of the garden it was peaceful to wander round the Pinetum which is mostly planted with conifer trees including some champion trees and where the National Heather Collection is growing – some of the winter flowering varieties were still going strong.

Even the weather was kind to us with a mild sunny day and the rain showers kept away.

RHS Wisley is a wonderful garden which is worth a visit any time of the year.

2016-04-14 Wisley rock gardenred 2016-04-14 Wisley country gardenred

Rock Garden                                                              Country Garden

2016-04-14 Wisley Canalred 2016-04-14 Wisley Love bronze by Moore

Formal Canal                                            “Love” by Henry Moore

2016-04-14 Wisley polyanthusred 2016-04-14 Wisley hyacinths2

Polyanthus                                                              Hyancinths

2016-04-14 Wisley tulips 2016-04-14 Wisley daffodils2

Tulips                                                              Daffodils

2016-04-14 Wisley Battleston Hill1red 2016-04-14 Wisley Battleston Hill2

View from Battleston Hill                                    Stachyurus praecox 

2016-04-14 Wisley camelias1 2016-04-14 Wisley camelias3

Camellias on Battleston Hill

2016-04-14 Wisley magnolia 2016-04-14 Wisley Glasshouse1

Magnolia                                                   In the Glasshouse

2016-04-14 Wisley orchids3 2016-04-14 Wisley orchids1

Orchids in the Glasshouse

2016-04-14 Wisley orchids5 2016-04-14 Wisley orchids2

Orchids in the Glasshouse

2016-04-14 Wisley Glasshouse3 2016-04-14 Wisley rock garden2red

In the Glasshouse                      Rock Garden

2016-04-14 Wisley gunnera 2016-04-14 Wisley yellow skunk cabbage

Gunnera                          Skunk Cabbage