Situated near Pyrford just off the A3, the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Garden Wisley was crowned Large Visitor Attraction of the Year 2010. Wisley is the historical home of the RHS and is undoubtedly one of the great gardens of the world – at over 200 acres in size and with over a million visitors to the garden each year, Wisley is a wonderful day-out. With sights to see including the stunning Glasshouse (housing over 5,000 different varieties of tropical plant), Battleston Hill, the Fruit Orchard and dramatic Rock Garden, Wisley is the perfect place to relax or enjoy a stroll with the family. The garden aims to develop growing skills in the beginner, amateur and professional gardener, and a wide variety of inspirational events for people of all ages take place throughout the year, including family activities during school holidays, Craft and Design Fairs, the Wisley Flower Show and A Taste of Autumn.
The Royal Horticultural Society was given Wisley in 1903, although at that time only a small part of the 60-acre estate was actually cultivated as a garden, the remainder being wooded farmland. Today the garden covers over 200 acres and offers a fascinating blend of the beautiful with practical and innovative design and cultivation techniques. For many, it is the beauty and tranquility of the garden that captures the imagination, with its richly planted borders, luscious rose gardens and the exotica of the glasshouses. Wisley is also a leading experimental garden however where many cultivation techniques are tried and tested.
We have been members for almost a year now and visit the gardens more than once a month. The kids love it and there is always something new and exciting on.
Haven't been for a while, so yesterday (23/8/10)it was a real delight to find the Gardens much improved yet again. The grass as you come round the house was a stunning frame for the pond and beds. If you have never been to Wisley make it a day out and enjoy,not only the wonderful garden,but the excellent food and of course the superb glass-house.
I loved this garden...much more than Kew gardens. Lots of diversity. I liked the trials fields where there were row upon row of every possible variety and color of some of my favorite flowers such as sweet peas and delphinium.
it has to be 5 stars an excellent set of gardens and very educational as you'd expect. It almost makes you forgive the mess of a carpark and entrance planting as you enter! but thats its only draw back. There is alot to see for those of us interested in plants and walking although they do need to save the Pinetum from neglect. Its best to go off peak to avoid the hoards of kids towed behind their mums who seem to have little interest in plants and abuse it like a inner city park, but such is the way of ignorant modern society. Well done RHS gardeners keep up the good work.
In recent years Wisley has become an inspiring garden to visit. Even the bedding as you enter was different this summer. It had been formed rather like a sculpture and made from mounds of red bedding shaped as a dragon. How interesting to see new ideas.
The planting around the new glasshouse is fabulous and Tom Stewart Smith has designed a master piece. I love the curves of the beds as they encircle the lake and accentuate the topography of the site. The grasses and soft planting contrasts well with the clipped hornbeam which has been used in the straighter more formal areas.
The Education centre and garden is also very innovative and the teaching staff are happy to try out new things. This summer they have been featuring interactive sound sculptures which local Sculptor Claire Knights made for my Gold medal winning RHS Hampton Court Garden. The small show garden was all about appreciating sound in the garden and the team at RHS wanted to be able to encourage the children to listen to the sounds around them. We are hoping that for half term the percussion screens used in the show garden will also be installed for use during the 'Family Days'. Please see my webb site www.designsforallseasons.co.uk to see my award winning garden and see my particular style of garden design.
Witton Street is an opportunity to see some small show gardens which are permanent exhibits and hopefully there will be more of these or they will change every couple of years. I long to see the small gardens get a makeover and a breath of fresh thinking - I expect this will be next. It feels to me that this is a garden to watch and keep returning to.
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