After the glorious Easter weekend weather it was a shame that the following Saturday (29th April) started cold, windy and wet as we drove to RHS Wisley. The rain had stopped by the time we arrived and we were surprised to see so many cars in the car park, considering the weather.
A reasonable £13.05 admission and we then queued for ages at the inadequate Coffee Shop by the entrance area. The coffee was poor as well as the service. Going into the gardens, we noticed that a lot of money is being spent, with a large extension being due for completion shortly after our visit. We headed up through the Cottage Garden and the Exotic Garden, passing by a nice moulding of a female swimmer as we walked on to Battleston Hill, where among the glorious planting was a wooden dinosaur sited next to a Brazilian Giant Rhubarb, otherwise known as “dinosaur food”. A picnic lunch was taken on the Trials Field, but it was a shame that a notice there warned that plants should not be stolen. On to the Herb and Fruit Gardens, then down to Bowles’ Corner, a little celebration in plants of his work. Up to the new-looking Glasshouse, which was most impressive, with a temperate section, complete with a waterfall, and a very hot section, so hot that some members felt quite uncomfortable. There were some impressive plants in the Glasshouse, including one - a great spear lily - that had flowered for the first time in 18 years!
A drink break in the pleasant Glasshouse café and we went for a walk through the Pinetum, following the River Wey. We stopped in the bird hide but only Blue and Great Tits could be seen. We then walked back to the main area and our cars. Would we go back again? Yes, we were there more than five hours, covering nearly four miles, and still missed things. The car park looked busy but the place is so large that we were often the only people in sight. And of course, the garden will change with the seasons. A lovely day.
Brian U., 28th April 2019