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Autumn view at Wisley

October 24, 2011

My favourite part of RHS Wisley gardens these days is the planting around the new(ish) glasshouse designed by Tom Stuart-Smith. The last few times I’ve been to visit I’ve made a beeline straight for this area and spent almost my whole time just around there. It’s easy to lose yourself, and time, as you meander around the sweeping planting with the glasshouse, lake and sky making such a beautiful backdrop to the shimmering, waving grasses and other perennials. The planting is really settling in now. When I saw it earlier this summer it looked stunning and although it might now be seen as past its ‘best’ it is still captivating in its faded autumn glory. The beds become looser and the paths wend more intimately with the planting by the time you reach the gravel prairie steppe area round the back of the glasshouse. Go and disappear for a while amongst the plants if you haven’t already had a chance to visit!

 Me, wandering in the prairie meadow (designed and seeded by Professor James Hitchmough) by the back of the glasshouse:

For more photos visit the GirlAboutGarden Flickr stream.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. October 24, 2011 1:41 pm

    Makes me think it’s time Chelsea was in late summer.

    Let’s expand the range and type of planting like this (they do tend to have a samieness however yummy)? and Late Summer Chelsea would be great driver…


    • October 24, 2011 2:04 pm

      I suppose it can look a bit same-y but I guess you could say similar about any particular style of planting? I adore this kind of planting (in the right place). There’s something dreamy and soulful, real and natural about it. Whatever it is it really speaks to me! Although, strangely, I’ve never thought that the Oudolf borders running up the hill to the mount have worked quite so well.

      Never thought about a late summer Chelsea but it sounds like a great idea!

  2. October 27, 2011 2:33 pm

    I couldn’t agree more about these borders – I was there on Tuesday – and they looked amazing in the autumn sunshine. They have been getting better every year since they were planted, and provide a long season of interest. I spend more time than I should, just wandering around there. And I love watching the dabchicks diving in the lake.

    The Piet Oudolf borders used to look very strange when they only led downhill to an empty field with a dead tree in it. The glasshouse, with lake and borders, is a great improvement :-).

    • October 27, 2011 10:14 pm

      Hello. Yes, agree the Oudolf borders work better now than they did. They feel more connected. I think it’s a shame that the original paths intended to cross through the beds and into the planting are never visible/accessible…

      • October 28, 2011 1:20 am

        Are the cross paths supposed to be a feature? I assumed they were just for maintenance, although I have sneaked in for the occasional photo. They don’t really “lead” anywhere.

      • October 28, 2011 11:48 am

        I’m pretty sure that was the original intention – to have paths into the planting – although where I originally read or saw this I can’t for the life of me remember!

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