Days out at RHS Wisley

September 26, 2013

PODcast Owl butterfly at WisleyImagine 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.

PODcast IMG_3988Our 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!

The canal and Loggia always looks rather splendid but even more so on a sunny day. The adjacent walled PODcast IMG_3996garden provides the perfect place to stop and take it in amid a sea of purple and white.

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.

PODcast IMG_4123We’ve seen beautiful and exotic plants including difficult to grow, rare and endangered species.

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.

PODcast IMG_3868With 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 PODcast IMG_5917garden 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.

We’re linking this post up with How Does Your Garden Grow? at Mammasaurus. If you’d like to join in, just click on badge below.

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  • Nichola Fabfortymum September 26, 2013 at 12:41 am

    oh I remember some of these stunning pictures Charly and it’s a delight to see them again. Good luck with the competition, your fabulous flora photography and wonderful write ups are definitely winners to me x

    • Charly Dove September 26, 2013 at 1:43 pm

      Thank you very much Nichola, what a lovely thing to say 🙂

  • Claudia September 26, 2013 at 1:29 am

    it sounds like such an amazing place and your beautiful pictures capture it so well. i am waiting for the weather to cool off and then it is fairchild botanical time

    • Charly Dove September 26, 2013 at 1:54 pm

      Thank you Claudia, went a bit overboard with the photos! Bet you can’t wait to go to the fairchild botanical 🙂

  • Notmyyearoff September 26, 2013 at 6:32 am

    These photos are beautiful. I’ve just realised I don’t think Zs ever seen an owl yet. You’ve got me thinking about where I could now find one 🙂

    • Charly Dove September 26, 2013 at 8:48 pm

      Thanks Tas – must go back to check I said Owl butterfly and not just an Owl. Good point, POD’s not seen an owl yet either. She does like to see if I can turn my head right round though 🙂

  • Mammasaurus September 26, 2013 at 8:59 am

    Beatiful photos as ever, such colours are welcomed greatly by my eyes on what is a grey and drizzly morning in The New Forest.

    All the best for the competition, your photos are amazing!

    Thanks for joining in again x

    • Charly Dove September 26, 2013 at 8:49 pm

      Thank you Annie – I do love all the colours. Went a bit overboard with the number of photos but they’re so pretty! All the best to you too, good luck chicken 🙂

  • Jocelyn (@IHaveCards) September 26, 2013 at 9:02 am

    A wonderful place to visit then, judging by those stunning photos!

    • Charly Dove September 26, 2013 at 8:54 pm

      Thank you Jocelyn, it’s fabulous at Wisley. Amazing too how different it looks every time we visit 🙂

  • Katie September 26, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    Gorgeous! Love that butterfly- it looks like an eye on the wings, watching you. Best of Luck in the competiton!

    • Charly Dove September 26, 2013 at 8:59 pm

      Thank you Katie. Love that butterfly shot, was really lucky to get it I think *crosses fingers for competition*

  • Pinkoddy September 26, 2013 at 3:56 pm

    Best of luck with the competition – that is a truly stunning slide show. It is great that things are still so special each time you visit.

    • Charly Dove September 26, 2013 at 9:08 pm

      Thank you Joy – very kind words. It’s a special place, I guess because there always something different going on and its beautiful 🙂

  • Sara (@mumturnedmom) September 26, 2013 at 6:07 pm

    Lots and lots of luck in the competition! Your photos are stunning – and I always love your posts about your visits 🙂

    • Charly Dove September 26, 2013 at 9:20 pm

      Thank you so much Sara, really kind of you. Lovely words 🙂

  • Gemma Garner September 26, 2013 at 9:04 pm

    Good luck for the competition. Your photos are always so lovely, I’m sure they will love them too!

    • Charly Dove September 26, 2013 at 9:36 pm

      Thank you so much Gemma 🙂

  • Helen Sims The good life mum September 26, 2013 at 10:58 pm

    ph my word every time i visit your blog its like opening a magazine so wonderful to feast the eye on your sure to do exceedingly well in the competition

    • Charly Dove September 28, 2013 at 12:54 am

      Thank you so much Helen that’s a wonderful thing to say *crosses fingers*

  • suzanne September 27, 2013 at 4:27 pm

    And so you should – amazing photos as I’ve said many times before! Your posts and pics just bring this place alive – one of my favourite (and local) gardens too 🙂

    • Charly Dove September 28, 2013 at 1:00 am

      Thank you Suzanne, it’s helped there is so much at Wisley to photograph. I’ve lost count how many pictures I’ve taken there. Love it, just as much as you do 🙂

  • older mum in a muddle September 27, 2013 at 7:52 pm

    I love the sound of those scarecrows, I’ll bet they were brilliant. It sounds a wonderful place – so much seasonal variety. Beautiful photographs as ever, and the very best of luck for the competition. X.

    • Charly Dove September 28, 2013 at 1:05 am

      The scarecrows were great. I had to take them out of the slideshow though as I went slightly overboard with the photos! It really is lovely there, amazing how it changes from season to season. Thank you x

  • Faded Seaside Mama October 4, 2013 at 5:33 pm

    You really should be an ambassador for RHS Wisley! We loved it when we visited, but you go almost every week! It is brilliant and impossible to sum up in one post though!

    • Charly Dove October 4, 2013 at 9:40 pm

      Thanks Sally! We’ve been a few times, it’s wonderful there. Several posts written so a challenge doing an overview in one post 🙂

  • Nurture My Baby October 4, 2013 at 10:33 pm

    Lovely pics 🙂 this competition sounds cool. Good luck with it 🙂 My favourite photo is the one of the building with the pond in the foreground I think.

    • Charly Dove October 5, 2013 at 9:21 am

      Thank you – I love the photo you’re referring to. It instills a sense of calm even though I had a two year old with me 🙂

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