Friday, August 28, 2009

Spotted at Wisley

This was my favourite dahlia at Wisley, and this is where I saw it (worth clicking on to enlarge:

The trial fields. I'm sorry that my hand shook as I took the picture of the other side:

I don't normally like these but I think they look amazing en masse:

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Today I went to Wisley. I had such a good day... It was a bit of a bonus really. My husband is currently working near there and for practical reasons I needed to drop him off by car today, so the opportunity just arose.

I got there early so I had a little drive through the narrow lanes around there. I went over a couple of very picturesque canal bridges, round many windy corners, saw a ruined church... it was all very lovely, reminded me a bit of Constable's pictures. I hadn't realised from the main road route that there was as much countryside just there.

I will show you some of my pictures. I got terribly excited and just snapped away at whatever caught my eye, so they're not great and they don't include many of the major features, just the things I liked most on this visit. I've decided to do it over a few days because there are rather a lot.

First off: from the car park (as you can tell) this is the back of The Laboratory: I think the slightly ricketty-looking greenhouse at first floor level caught my eye, considering how many sophisticated and extensive greenhouses there are further into the garden... [Edit - actually I don't think it's ricketty, but it still looks amusingly out of place amongst the mock tudor chimneys]

Then I paid my entrance fee (£8:50, the best value attraction I've been to for as long as I can remember). My first sight was then these glorious agapanthuses:

In the last year or so I have been strongly attracted to very simply plantings like this.

Every time I go to Wisley I follow much the same route. It's a bit of a ritual to me. I look at nearly everything, even though I know certain things will be more in season than others. I find that as well as seasonality, my taste and interest will have shifted a bit too.

So the next thing I see after this is the huge double borders. This was the first visit in which I managed to see any appeal in them. Previously they have been either in early growth, or even if full-grown, have seemed just a great lumpy mess to me. To me, the secret is to look along them, even squinting slightly. I find they appeal at the level of a picture, mainly through colours. So if you walk right up to them and peer at them, it's just like dots on a screen.

This was my favourite plant in them, clematis kaiu:

And these were my favourite parts of the borders:

(I'm afraid I have shrunk them so you can't see much detail - you will do as you're told, reader!)

Tomorrow, the trial fields and other adventures.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

and another one -

Mowed and cleared the bits of lawn today. Picked up quite a few apples; I'm putting them straight on the compost at the moment because when I get to them they're usually pretty manky. I did find one ripe on one of the trees though - the tree that is always our earliest, and ate it. It's a red letter day each year when the first apple is ready.

This was the second mowing of the lawns in this week, and the second of the far end in a month. There was far less grass to come off, and I will lower the blades a bit next time. Surprisingly, the grass is looking very good - to me, perhaps it helps to have "realistic" standards!

I've got the chance now also to assess some of the growing season. The star flowers have been sweet peas and snapdragons. The morning glories have been excellent - indoors, oddly enough; not much good outdoors. The little lantana I bought was a great move, along with the foliage plant - forget which but nothing unusual. As Bob said somewhere, it's been rather wet for petunias. The echiums have done well though. The veg hasn't been terribly good but then neither has the vegetable gardener! The pond is running beautifully, water clear as a bell, and to my eyes the garden is looking good. As I say though, it pays to squint a bit...

Thursday, August 6, 2009