Friday 8 February 2013

A visit to Wisley

Tuesday 22nd Jan
Weather: Still snowy and cold. Again -1 to 2°C.

Our Head Gardener Fergus is part of the RHS plant trials committee and he had a meeting at Wisley, so we went along with him to visit the garden.

Being in an outdoor garden all the time one forgets how this time of year greenhouses can still remain so lush & vibrant, and how great it is to be transported for a moment. Camellias looked great indoors, Bananas stood tall and fruiting, their cactii & succulents were actually flowering away. Their Senecio petasites were towering and filled with big panicles of yellow flowers, unlike ours that are in the hothouse but that is used in a way to store plants instead of to display them. So they don't quite look the same at the moment. Different kinds of Justicia featured with colourful and jazzy flowers.

Plants are so diverse in colours and textures that I feel any textile that has ever been made is just a replica of what already exists within the plant world.

Possibly the Morpho peleides aka the Blue Morpho butterfly

There was a butterfly exhibition and this was held in the hot and steamy section of the glasshouse. There was a display case that had live pupae in different stages. And it was interesting to overhear that some butterflies will only lay its eggs on certain kind of plants.

A rare true powder blue Crocus

My favourite thing always at Wisley is the rock garden and alpine houses. The alpine house without fail was exemplary as always. It smelt of spring and so fresh as soon as you entered. Petite forms of Narcissus in pots, everything so precise and delicate.

Hamamelis x intermedia 'Orange Peel'

One of the highlights were Hamamelis in flower on Battleston Hill. We sampled the delights of these by sight and by smell. We judged that the best smelling one was a yellow one called Hamamelis x intermedia 'Gimbourne's Perfume'. The fruit tree training displays were impressive and what better time to see these then now, when the bare bones of the structure is revealed.

Blackcurrant trained

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