A shameless plug for RHS Garden Wisley

Whatever the weather throws at us in February, be assured that The Royal Horticultural Society Garden at Wisley will always provide beauty and uplifting inspiration. I visited on 2 consecutive days in early January and, as ever, enjoyed being bombarded with colourful stems, buds, beauty and ideas. Yes, there are plenty of plants which are now dormant, but that is the excitement of gardening: a constantly evolving canvas.

When the sun shines, there are many walks where, however busy, you can escape for a solitary stroll. If the rain appears, as well as the chance to warm up and explore the vast glasshouse, there is the new Hilltop – “the home of Gardening Science” to explore. The most encouraging sign for me was the enthusiasm of children excited by horticulture. Inside the buzz of the hands-on displays- don’t miss the far-reaching views from the sky terrace. Outside the new building the well-spaced and varied gardens with plenty of benches for rest and contemplation. The emphasis is on health and wellbeing, but there is also a “world kitchen” garden and a wildlife area surrounding the building. Of course, the gardens will only improve as they spring into life and colour in the coming months.

The former garden centre has been transformed into the new trials area. Personally, I am looking forward to seeing the results of the Hebe trials to find out which are the most prolific and resilient. It’s a space to watch, especially as some trials are duplicated at other RHS gardens to allow for varying conditions. If you can spare the time, a monthly visit as a member will not only be good value but also promise new surprises every season.

David Hogg

Buckland Nurseries

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