The Garden Guide

RHS Garden, Wisley

A garden at Wisley was established by G F Wilson, a chemist and horticulturist, and was bought along with other land by Sir Thomas Hanbury and gifted to the Royal Horticultural Society on its centenary (1903). It has been developed and added to over the years with the whole area covering some 240 acres with 135 acres open to the public. Lanning Roper designed a planting scheme for the new walled garden designed by Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe in 1969 according to The Lanning Roper Papers which can be found at RHS Lindley Library. The second century of the Society has seen the Garden develop and grow into a world class garden.

Head Gardener's Comment

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.

Photograph ©
Photograph ©
Photograph © RHS Garden Wisley/Allan Pollock-Morris
Photograph © Marcile Fowler
Photograph © Marcile Fowler
Photograph © Marcile Fowler
Photograph © Marcile Fowler


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.

Wisley, nr Woking, Surrey, England, GU23 6QB

All year. Daily except Christmas. See RHS Garden Wisley website for opening times.

Visit the RHS Garden, Wisley website

Nearby gardens

Nearby hotels

Nearby nurseries

Designers and Influences