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.


  1. Very inspiring stuff Emily. Do keep the photos in a prominent position, Now that winter is on its way it is easy to forget planting like that - you need a constant reminder for next spring.

  2. Emily, what wonderful pictures! I can get some ideas for my garden. I love the first image, too!

  3. Clearly a great day we nearly met up as I was there with my daughter Tuesday.

    Lovely photos

  4. How fabulous. I've wanted to go to Wisley for years.

  5. OH, those borders make your heart throb, don't they?


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