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April - May 2009
Wonderful World of Wisley Garden
The Wisley Garden (www.rhs.org.uk/wisley and Tel: 01483 211113) is one of the most visited Gardens in the United Kingdom. It is ideally situated just off the M25 at Junction 10. It is one of the four gardens of the Royal Horticultural Society. The other three gardens are Harlow Carr – North Yorkshire, Hyde Hall – Essex and Rosemoor – Devon.
The popular Wisley Garden extends to some 240 acres of Surrey’s countryside. The site is partly hilly and partly flat. The Garden shows an astonishing range of trees and plants, some are native species and others are imported from various parts of the world. It has been planned and developed over many years and it is laid out informally but also, in parts, in a formal fashion with a sequence of defined, pleasant spaces. In turn these small and large spaces are carefully designed to include hard and soft landscaping, water features, sculptures, etc.
At the heart of the Garden is a Grade II Listed Building which is used as a Laboratory and Offices. It is constructed in Arts and Crafts style and design. Leading the eye away from this imposing building are formal gardens with a large rectangular pool containing a fountain and aquatic plants, in particular water lilies. Grass terraces and wide pavements run along the pool up to the picturesque open loggia which is covered with Wisterias. Through this loggia there are two very intimate walled gardens and a wild garden.
A huge Glass House with a large lake has recently been build. The glass house covers some three quarters of an acre and is divided in three Zones displaying species of plants grown in desert, tropical and temperate climates. In addition there is a cavern where roots of various species are on display to show how the roots provide nourishment to keep the plants healthy.
The south-easterly part of the Garden is occupied by the Battleston Hill. A walk through this stunning area is a great experience, especially in spring time, to witness the glory of blooming Azaleas, Rhododendrons and Magnolias. This woodland is the perfect setting and a very good natural backdrop for the show of border plants and shrubs whose leaves are in various shades of green, and of flowers in full blaze of vibrant colours.
High quality gardening products such as plants, seeds, tools, and books on gardening and horticulture are on sale in the Shop and Plant Centre. The plant centre also holds ‘Learn to Garden’ events throughout the year. These events include talks, workshops, walks and short courses on flower arranging, art of flower painting and photography etc. The staff at the centre are very helpful and at hand to answer any queries on gardening issues.
There are other fascinating features at Wisley e.g. Rock Garden, Alpine Houses, Model Gardens, Herb and Fruit Gardens, Arboretum, Pinetum and Bog Garden, etc.
So, there is a lot to see, admire and appreciate in Wisley Garden. A proper feast of contrasting and complimentary colours of the natural and built environment of Wisley makes for a good day’s outing.