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The Gardens of the RHS Part 3 – Prairies and Meadows at Wisley.


When we first visited Wisley a few decades ago the grass was cut short and neatly edged. There certainly were no wildflowers allowed to grow amongst the neat blades of grass, and there certainly were no meadows.

But now differential grass cutting is favoured with some areas cut short, others allowed to grow longer and wildflowers are establishing as they enjoy this new habitat of longer grasses. The trend towards planted meadows and prairie-style plantings are well represented, which is good for us because these styles are a real favourite with us both.

Piet Oudolf has designed and planted magnificent double borders – very different to traditional English double herbaceous borders such as those at Arley House.

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Carefully chosen herbaceous plants are planted in large groups to create swathes of colour and texture. In early autumn, when we looked at Piet Oudolf’s borders, grasses featured strongly alongside drying stalks and seed heads of herbaceous perennials. There were still flowers to be seen and they were enhanced by the background of stems.

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To enjoy a look at the plants of Piet Oudolf’s Wisley Borders click a photo in the gallery below and follow the arrow.

But Oudolf is not the only garden designer to create meadows at Wisley, as a newer and equally beautiful planting area has been created by Professor James Hitchmough. It is described as a steppe-prairie meadow. See the next post ………..

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.

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