Imagine my delight when an email arrived with an invitation to enter the RHS’s first gardening blogging competition. They’re looking for posts about all things garden including days out at gardens and flower shows, gardening activities for kids and what’s happening in your own garden.
Many garden related posts have been written over these past months. But it seemed appropriate to reflect on what we’ve been up to at RHS Wisley given we’ve spent so much time there recently. Based in Surrey, it’s renowned as a world class garden that captures the imagination with richly planted borders and luscious rose gardens.
Our first visit this year was to see the butterflies in their state-of-the-art Glasshouse. As a keen photographer I was delighted to capture The Owl species even if it meant hovering my lens over someone’s shoulder! POD absolutely loved seeing them too and saying hello to the ducks afterwards was almost as exciting!
What’s amazing about RHS Wisley is that it changes every time you visit. A pond we’ve previously seen encircled by ducks for example was filled with Waterlilies and surrounded by fabulously lush scenery last time we visited. It’s funny how somewhere can ooze such peace and tranquility even with a toddler in tow!
We’ve wandered to the Arboretum and Fruit Field to see ripening grapes and an orchard with apples, pears and berries. At the broadwalk on Battleston Hill we’ve found Hydrangeas with large pointy heads not to mention award-winning Dahlias, Blackberries and Clematis.
The huge cathedral-like Glasshouse showcases a mind-blowing collection of plants across three climatic zones. It’s a bit like walking into a jungle with all the palms and creepers everywhere. I love it in there.
We’ve also had a peek at the Garden Photographer of the Year exhibition there and an impressive Fuchsia display. The waterfall is always a beautiful sight – amazing how falling water instills a sense of calm.
RHS Wisley has varying events on throughout the year – one of which is The Scarecrow Trail. Designed by local Women’s Institute members, 100 uniquely designed scarecrows are dotted around seven acres.
With the theme ‘Strictly Scarecrows’, mostly were based on the TV programme although there were a couple made of straws and bubble wrap. There was even a crow created from bin bags, cut into strips like feathers. Our favourite scarecrow was Mary Poppins although POD insisted on introducing “Rabbit” to nearly all of them.
Finally, my love for close-up photography took us to our first Wisley Flower Show which is described as a spectacular yet informal late summer show. You can browse, buy and obtain advice from around 50 nurseries and garden trade stands including RHS Chelsea and Hampton Court Palace Flower Show medal winners. There’s also an Expert Zone offering advice and demonstrations from nursery owners and Wisley garden staff.
The most amazing explosion of colour greeted us when we arrived. There were wonderful displays with everything from Canna, Lillies and Clematis to Bonsai trees, Hostas and airplants. Not forgetting an array of unusual house plants and rare tropical varieties. We also saw the The National Dahlia Society Show which was pretty special.
I’ve taken hundreds of photographs at RHS Wisley recently – the slideshow showcases just some of my favourites. It really is somewhere that captures the imagination, whatever the time of year, and it’s a great family day out. It’s for that reason I’m entering PODcast grappling with a box of frogs into the RHS Gardening Blogs 2013 competition.
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