RHS Wisley, Part 1

Wisley, I’m told, is the flagship garden  of the Royal Horticultural Society.  There are actually an amalgam of many gardens on its 240 acres.

RHS Wisley
The Mixed Borders at RHS Wisley.

2013-09-13 07.50.34

However, I could have spent the entire day swooning over the two ebullient mixed borders that seemed to go on forever, combining shrubs, perennials, grasses, and vines. Sometimes these borders seemed like a multi-colored patchwork of gentle mounds –  interrupted occasionally by grasses and shrubs emerging with dramatic height. So many combinations of colors, textures, and shapes create an almost ecstatic sense of immersion.

RHS Wisley Mixed Borders

I like the mix of white with pink and purple in this section, along with the contrast of foliage textures.

2013-09-13 07.31.54 Mixed Border RHS Wisley

A clump of orange Dahlias provides a bit of excitement.

2013-09-13 07.39.33 mixed border rhs wisley

I also love the red dahlias next to the blue Agapanthus. Vines added to the imposing verticality of the mixed borders. The white flowers to the left of the Agapanthus is Sweet Autumn Clematis, I think.

2013-09-13 07.40.01 rhs wisley mixed border

Ornamental grasses were mixed in rather sparingly, I thought, though there were certainly some dramatic specimens and some lovely Pennisetum.

2013-09-13 07.44.42 rhs wisley mixed border

Rudbeckia’s orange daisies combine well with the red spikes of the Persicaria.

2013-09-13 07.54.06 rhs wisley mixed borders

2013-09-13 08.01.41 rhs wisley

There were other gardens adjoining the long borders. This one had lots of lavender and a fountain.

2013-09-13 08.09.53 rhs wisley

Loved the Sunflowers with Agastache standing opposite each other.

2013-09-13 08.14.32 rhs wisley rose garden

2013-09-13 08.14.49  rhs wisley rose garden

2013-09-13 08.15.09 rhs wisley rose garden

There was a rose garden, of course.

Helenium - looks like 'Mardi Gras'
Helenium – looks like ‘Mardi Gras’

Tramping through all these gardens took a lot of energy, but fortunately John and Pauline kept us well fed. John in particular took delight in cooking full English breakfasts – bacon (which is more like American country ham), sausage, eggs, toast, tomatoes, mushrooms – all on a single plate. It’s fair to say we did justice to these meals.

2013-09-13 07.47.08 rhs wisley

He also made a point of serving us black pudding one morning, feeling it was an essential part of our English experience. Black pudding is made with pig blood and looks rather menacing, like a glistening black hockey puck. Actually, it is full of oatmeal and has more the consistency of cake. In fact it tastes slightly sweet, with hints of cinnamon and cloves.

I decided I couldn’t do justice to RHS Wisley in a single post, so there will be another post soon on other parts of the garden.

45 Comments on “RHS Wisley, Part 1

  1. I was there just before you on 4th September when it was so hot, I needed a sun hat, I can see from your images that the day was much more grey when you were there (better for photos for you). I have visited Wisely more times than I can count so it was nice to see it through your eyes.

  2. Those borders are fantastic! And I like the sunflowers opposite the agastache too – rebellious non-symmetry! Look forward to more…

  3. I’d love to visit Wesley as well Jason. It’s my dream. Love when the flowers grow all together, different colors mixed and add each other.

  4. The Wisley borders are so brilliantly planned, masses in bloom so much for you to see in September. It looks as if you had a wonderful visit.

  5. Wonderful pictures! I like Wisley a lot for its versatility and remember to have spent ages in their rock garden and alpine house. I was so intrigued by all these tiny, delicate beauties 🙂

  6. A lovely tour round Wisley, one of my favourite gardens. I hope you’ll put some photos of the Alpine house in your next post. It has some amazing plants.
    I love your description of black pudding. It is a weird thing to look at, a weird thing to eat too.

  7. What wonderful pictures. I have never visited any of the famous gardens in Britain. Hopefully I will in the near future. Those mix borders are so full of colour and variety, You can spend hours there, taking hundreds of pictures I guess.

    • Don’t be too jealous, from the pictures you’ve been posting I can see there are many fantastic gardens in your neck of the woods.

  8. Beautiful! Thanks for introducing me to a lovely (and new to me) garden. It’s just what the doctor ordered on a dreary winter day.

  9. Just stunning! When were you there? All those blooms don’t look very January-y. There’s something about these endless borders that seem even richer than deep beds. Wonderful photographs! And bravo for trying the blood pudding. I haven’t had the nerve (“menacing” is the perfect word!).

  10. Jason,

    Feel like I’m getting my money’s worth out of your trip. You guys have seemed to have timed it perfectly — no doubt with the help of your friends. I’d like to think if I had not become paralyzed I would have seen some of these beauties for myselfI but I went to Kew in 1987 with my brother during college but not in prime time — August — and saw a few walled gardens out of castles in the land off fore bearers in Scotland (Grand Dad was a Scot who emigrated to Australia). My life long drew was always to go to Chelsea So you don’t know how dear these beautiful posts have been to me, my friend.

  11. Those borders are absolutely enchanting….oh to have that in my garden….dreams I…..I loved the roses too, what a wonderful day. Glad you were both so well fed ……eeek…..re the black pudding, respect re your courage! Glad you enjoyed it.xxx

    • Had to try the black pudding, not something I would make a daily staple at home. Though a Scottish friend who lives here tells me there are shops where it is available in Chicago.

  12. great pictures, I wouldn’t know where to start! It looks like the threat of rain kept people away, I would have expected it to be more crowded, but I guess it’s big enough to absorb a crowd.
    I’m looking forward to the second part.

  13. Oh yeah, the kids the the hubby had black pudding for breakfast while we were in London, but I said “No thank you!” I’m drooling over the entire garden–especially the Rose garden!

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