garden design garden photography gardening gardens open to the public hardy perennials ornamental trees and shrubs photography RHS

The Gardens of the RHS Part 1 – A Tour of Wisley


The Royal Horticultural Society is probably the most important, most well known and most influential gardening society in the world. We are lucky to live in the UK where we have access to their own gardens and to their recommended list of gardens open to the public.

Last Year we enjoyed visits to three of their four gardens, Rosemoor in Devon, Harlow Carr in Yorkshire and their main garden Wisley in Surrey. The one we didn’t get around to seeing was Hyde Hall in Essex – maybe later this year.

In this series of posts I shall share our visits with you. We naturally begin with their main garden, Wisley. There is so much of interest to gardeners that I shall post a blog each day this week based on different aspects of Wisley. Hopefully these will provide a little respite from the cold and wet. So please enjoy my Wisley Week.

Perhaps we had better start with one of the classic Wisley views. Then I shall share a few views to give a feeling for this special place.


DSC_0010 DSC_0044

DSC_0186 DSC_0187

DSC_0206 DSC_0208 DSC_0209 DSC_0211 DSC_0213

These huge sloping double borders were designed by the great Piet Oudolf. We saw them first just as they were planted when it was mostly soil dotted with little young plants all raring to go. Every visit we make to Wisley we head for these borders to see how they have developed. Over time they have been altered with some plants replaced with more effective, more appropriate ones. They are now at their peak. See more of Piet Oudolf’s borders in a future post “Meadows and Prairies at Wisley”. DSC_0094

The recently built Centenary Glasshouse is a work of art in itself, one of the finest examples of garden architecture to be seen anywhere at anytime. Look out for the future posts, “Orchids at Wisley” and “The Centenary Glasshouse at Wisley”, to see what is going on under all that glass.DSC_0095 What would a visit to Wisley be without a gallery of plants?


DSC_0008 DSC_0009 DSC_0011 DSC_0019  DSC_0023 DSC_0024 DSC_0026 DSC_0030 DSC_0034

DSC_0036nb  DSC_0039 DSC_0041 DSC_0042 DSC_0046 DSC_0096 DSC_0180 DSC_0184  DSC_0188

In my next Wisley blog I invite you to share a selection of sculpture which was displayed around the grounds at the time of our visit.

By greenbenchramblings

A retired primary school head teacher, I now spend much of my time gardening in our quarter acre plot in rural Shropshire south of Shrewsbury. I share my garden with Jude my wife a newly retired teacher , eight assorted chickens and a plethora of wildlife. Jude does all the heavy work as I have a damaged spine and right leg. We also garden on an allotment nearby. We are interested in all things related to gardens, green issues and wildlife.

8 replies on “The Gardens of the RHS Part 1 – A Tour of Wisley”

This garden is beautiful!! How lucky you are to be able to visit the RHS! It must be so fun to see how the borders have matured on each visit. I look forward to your next post!

Teasels do self-seed but they are easy to weed out of they grow where you do not want them to as the seedlings are so easy to identify – Dark green tongue shaped leaves with small spikes down the central vein.

Gorgeous…you are so lucky to get to visit such gardens…of course, the thing that I’d make a beeline for is the Oudolf planting 🙂

Beautiful – I am ashamed to say I have never yet made it to Wisley! I keep meaning to, and have been to several other RHS gardens including Hyde Hall, which had just started a dry garden then. I also love Piet Oudolf and have seen his garden at Pensthorpe in Norfolk. I like the leaves with water droplets especially.

Comments are closed.