Get lost in the woods – Piney Woods Native Plant Center

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Plant Center City

The Center City District Foundation has the goal of planting 200 new trees in the central business district during the next two years through its initiative, Plant Center City.

There are approximately 2,300 street trees within the Center City District’s boundary; 700 of those trees were planted in the 1990s by the CCD, which continues to care for them. The goal of the Plant Center City program is to add 200 more and bring Center City’s total to 2,500 trees.

It costs $2,500 per tree – an average of either excavating a new trench and planting a new tree where none exist; or replacing a dead or damaged one; or maintaining CCD’s current inventory of street trees.

Thanks to a generous challenge grant provided by Center City residents Laura and Richard Vague, contributions will be matched dollar-for-dollar and donors can “adopt a tree” for only $1,250. Donations of all sizes are encouraged and will be used to maintain current and newly planted trees through pruning, watering, fertilization and pest management.

Research studies on the effects of urban greening have consistently shown that trees offer many measurable and dramatic improvements to cities. They can decrease urban air temperatures, reducing air conditioning bills for homes and businesses; they absorb carbon dioxide and other pollutants, making the air healthier; they add value to adjacent homes and businesses; they reduce stress levels and improve emotional well-being; and they increase pedestrian safety by calming traffic and reducing speeds. Trees make good business sense, too, by creating attractive, pleasant urban environments that attract shoppers and encourage them to stay longer.

Center City District plants mature, hardy 2.5-inch caliper trees that initially stand 12 to 14 feet tall and can withstand harsh urban environments, both extreme heat and cold. Many of the variety of trees planted by CCD are native and include oak, cypress, sycamore and hornbeam. New trees are planted at the times of year that ensure optimal growth – typically May and October.

More than 300 years after William Penn’s founding vision of Philadelphia as a ‘greene countrie towne’ with streets named after trees, we still take pride in his original plan with vibrant civic squares and walkable tree-lined streets. Donors to the Plant Center City program will enable Center City District to sustain Penn’s vision for generations to come.

Download the program brochure or donate online to contribute to the continued beautification and greening of downtown Philadelphia.

Gardening Keywords

Lush, bountiful gardens put a smile on almost every person’s face, but delivering those smiles requires some heavy lifting, and not just in the soil. No need to fret, use these tips and tricks to give your business the tools it needs to succeed through a comprehensive and engaging marketing strategy.

Keyword utilization is every marketers best friend, so don’t miss the boat! You can use this list to kick start your research, but allocate some more time and energy towards creating a comprehensive list of keywords tailored specifically to the offerings and expertise of your business. If you notice you’re not driving the most worthwhile traffic for your site and converting leads, revisit and update your list and consider adding negative keywords to your repertoire.

Once you’ve mastered the implementation of your keywords into your marketing efforts and gotten to know your target audience, dig a little deeper into what makes those potential leads tick. A great way to do this is to create buyer personas to tailor your marketing efforts more effectively on a customer-to-customer basis.

In an industry like gardening, aesthetics matter to customers. Load up your website with eye-catching media in the form of high-quality photos and videos. Beyond pretty pictures, design your landing page as user-friendly as possible, and ensure its functional on multiple platforms.

Thorough keyword research is great for driving traffic to your site, but converting that traffic into customers is surely the ultimate goal. There are a lot of ways to make this part of your job easier, but building a library of content is a sure fire way to figure out and track what people want most out of their searches.

Look into what types of searches garner the most traffic to your site, and specifically which drive the most conversions. For example, if the search query, “how to grow pumpkins,” is responsible for significant amounts of traffic to your site, write a blog highlighting the best pumpkin growing techniques. It’ll help you improve your relevance on the topic (and keyword), and consequently improve your rank in search engines.

Speaking of improving your relevance, having an up-to-date and active social media presence can do wonders for your brand image. You can use social media to highlight your best work, interact with leads and customers, promote offers/campaigns, and easily track engagement with your brand. Incentivizing your followers to share your posts or posts of their own for a chance to win a prize or discount increases your reach and humanizes your brand to promote customer loyalty. Streamline your marketing campaigns by linking your social media posts to the most appropriately relevant landing pages for each one, and voila; you’ve broadened your reach while simultaneously driving more traffic to pages on your site.

For more gardening marketing tips, tricks, and trends, check out the WordStream blog.

RHS Wisley Plant Centre and Shop

RHS Wisley Plant Centre and Shop is a garden centre you’ll find at Woking, Surrey . You’ll find an excellent range of plants within the garden centre, as well as many other gardening products. For more information on the range please refer to the website. RHS Wisley Plant Centre and Shop is one of the many garden centres in Surrey .

Have questions about this garden centre in Woking? Check the opening times above and you can be sure that when you visit, you won’t be left standing in front of a set of closed doors. Of course, you can also check out the website for more information. Perhaps you like a good old fashioned chat and would prefer to phone? Then dial the number for RHS Wisley Plant Centre and Shop: 01483 211113 and you’ll be greeted by a friendly member of staff.

Reviews

Nowadays, many people look for testimonials and reviews on products and stores before visiting or buying. A positive review is, of course, a great sign that you’re going to have a brilliant experience at a garden centre. On the Garden Centre Guide, thousands of keen gardeners and loyal customers have written reviews about garden centres they’ve visited! RHS Wisley Plant Centre and Shop currently has an average rating of 0. You can read the reviews for this garden centre above, and if you’re feeling opinionated, write one yourself. Have your say so that others can benefit from what your review!

It’s also worth noting that when you write a review on the garden centre guide, you are automatically entered into our prize draw for a chance to win £25 in National Gardening Gift Vouchers! Just scroll back up to get started now.

© Jonathan Buckley/Gap Photos Ensure perfect borders with the services of a personal shopper Wisley Plant Centre is the Harvey Nichols of the gardening world, so it is appropriate that it has a personal shopper service.
You bring in your garden in pictures and notes form, discuss your needs and wants, and then your very own RHS horticultural expert comes up with answers, namely a trolley or two of ideally suited plants.

‘I don’t want to go home with a cartload of colour that will be over by Tuesday teatime’

I am overwhelmed by choice in this plant paradise – there are seven kinds of rosemary alone, including weeping, creeping and prostrate – so it is
thrilling to have the services of personal shopper, Michaela Freed, for an hour or so, to keep me focused.
She says the biggest mistake we make is to be drawn towards what’s flowering right now, regardless. I drag my eyes from the darling but temperamental blue-flowered gentians; I don’t want to go home with a cartload of colour that will all be over by Tuesday teatime.
© S&O/Gap Photos Cornus Midwinter Fire is selected by the Wisley personal shopper because of its colourful bare stems in winter My garden dilemma is a 25ft-long border that is shaded down the far end by next door’s workshop and is sunniest near the house. It has typically London heavy clay soil. I want lots of pale colour, year-round action, a haven for insects and my budget is £500.
Personal shopper Freed, to her credit, does not waver, but steers me to the tree section first. I’ve told her I want to see the seasons change, so she pulls me away from a divine giant cloud-pruned evergreen with a staggering price tag of £3,999 and a label that reads superfluously: “I am a very important plant”, and points to a crabapple dripping with gobstopper-sized fruit for less than £40.
“Blossom in spring, fruits in autumn and leaves turn reddish before they fall,” she says. “This is the best tree for all-round value.” Who am I to argue? We haul it on to a trolley.
The crabapple sets the scene for the shady end of the border. In short order, Freed adds shrubs to the trolley, including white camellias that flower, to my delight, in autumn; three variegated griselinias to lighten up the shade; a red-shooted baby photinia and three Midwinter Fire cornus (left), that have stunning orange stems in winter.
For the sunny end, she picks out a gorgeous new compact choisya called Snow Flurries, a strokable euphorbia, Portuguese Velvet, a blue-flowered caryopteris that will pull in the bees and butterflies, and a flamboyant Cistus ladanifer Pat, which has silky white flowers with maroon blotches and, cautions Freed, will need grit when planting.
© Neil Holmes/Gap Photos Penstemon Pensham Czar is considered a prize purchase We add a bag of grit to a second trolley, along with vine eyes and wires, for Freed is looking for climbers to clothe the fence. Her brilliant suggestion is three fragrant white evergreen jasmine, interspersed with two climbing Nice Day patio roses that have salmon-pink blooms.
Now she picks up perennials, in threes, all long-flowering: white Christmas hellebores, mauve penstemons, useful ground-cover geranium Jolly Bee, gauzy catmint and dainty geums.

‘Then she throws in a big bag of fungi for the shrubs: bone-meal is so over’

We move to the bulb area for dwarf daffodils, Snow Bunting crocus, snakes-head fritillaries and alliums for summer colour. Freed throws in a bag of mycorrhizal fungi for planting shrubs – bone-meal is so over – and I add a copper-roofed birdhouse for £25, then hold my breath at the till.
The total is £595.40 – nearly £100 over budget – but at this point, heady from the shopping spree, I am past caring. This, let me tell you, is the only way to shop.
Win £500 to spend at Wisley Plant Centre

Win £500 to spend on plants at Wisley

We have teamed up with RHS Wisley Plant Centre to give away a £500 gift voucher to spend on plants in store, with the guidance of a personal shopper.
You can choose the finest plants for your particular plot and situation, all delivered to your door.

ENTER HERE

before midnight on 28 October 2009. The winner will be notified by email.
To book a personal shopping service at Wisley, call 01483 212414. The cost is £100, redeemable against £500 worth of merchandise.
Usual promotion rules apply

Buy it: the complete fruit book

Whether you want to know how to grow peaches, prune pear trees or preserve gluts of gooseberries, organic gardener and fruit fiend Bob Flowerdew has the answers. In his Complete Fruit Book (Kyle Cathie), Flowerdew gives the horticultural lowdown on more than 100 popular fruits and nuts, providing practical information on planting, pests and propagation as well as fruity seasonal recipes.
Special offer: save £5
Bob Flowerdew’s Complete Fruit Book costs £25, but Homes & Property readers can buy it for £20 (incl p&p) by calling 01903 828503 and quoting code KC CFB/HP.

Visit Hole Park Gardens this Sunday to see spectacular Autumn colour

See it: best Autumn colour

This Sunday Hole Park Gardens, near Benenden, Kent, is holding an open day, from 2pm to 6pm, with plant stalls and afternoon teas. Expect spectacular foliage displays from trees such as liquidambar and acers in the woodland (www.holepark.com).
The Autumn Wood is currently displaying its finest colours at The Savill Garden, Windsor, while the dahlias, cannas, asters and ornamental grasses are still blooming in the borders.
Visit before the end of the month and follow the Hidden History of Trees trail created by the head gardener (www.theroyallandscape.co.uk).

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RHS Garden Wisley Plant Centre summer savings

Summer saving offers and exclusive vouchers inside EVERYTHING YOU NEED FOR A PERFECTSUMMER GARDEN

Summer GardensCreate your perfect garden from our selection of colourful offers all available nowat the RHS Wisley Plant Centre. £3 off 2 for £12Hardy Fuchsias, 3 litre, £10, now £7 Festuca Glauca Intense Blue, 3 litre, £10 each 2 for £5 off 2 for £12 £5Scabiosa Butterfly Blue, Large Rose Bush, 5 litre, Nemesia,1 litre, £4 each3 litre, £10 each £15, now £10 Buy one 4 FREE get one plants worth free £12Summer Patio Plants, 2 litre, £5 each. Choice of varieties Terrarium Garden plus 4 FREE starter plants, £20

2 for Buy one get one £10 free Gazania, 1 litre, £5 each 3 for 2Non Stop Begonia, Jumbo 6 pack, £8 each Erysimum Red Jep, 2 litre, £10 eachSummer StyleEnhance you garden with our great value garden accessories.50%off 50%off 50%offRHS Blue Glazed Apta Pots Eureka Frosted Battery LightPrices from £2.99 Bulb £4.99, now £2.5050%off 25%off selected linesLa Hacienda Fire Pits choice of La Hacienda Squat Chimenea RHS by Kettler Gardencolours available red/blue/purple £64.49, now £32.25 Furniture Prices from £337£79.99, now £40

£2 off Summer VouchersRHS Jute Bag Pay £1Priced £6.50, £2 off with RHS Plant Mistervoucher Priced £3, £2 off withPay £4.50 with voucher voucher Pay £1 with voucher*see below for full T&C’s *see below for full T&C’sBuy One Buy OneGet One Free Get One FreeDahlia Mystic Series Lavender Hidcote3 litre 17cm potPriced £10 each, Buy One Priced £10 each, Buy OneGet One Free with voucher Get One Free with voucher*see below for full T&C’s *see below for full T&C’sBuy One 2 for £30Get One Free Large LavenderPenstemon Electric Blue Munstead 7.5 litre2 litrePriced £10 each, Buy One Priced £25 each, 2 for £30Get One Free with voucher with voucher*see below for full T&C’s *see below for full T&C’sTwo for One on a A NEW WAYhot drink and cake TO SHOP AT RHS WISLEYBuy a tea or coffee with a cakeand get a second tea or coffeeand a cake freeValid in the Food Hall, Glasshouse Caféor Coffee Shop in RHS Wisley Gardens,subject to availability*see below for full T&C’sRHS Shop & Plant Centre LondonMonday to Saturday: 9am – 6pm, Take slip road off EffinghamSunday: 11am – 5pm A3 and follow signs to Wisley Gardens(browsing from 10.30am)RHS Wisley Plant Centre and Gift Shop Take slip road off Ask one of our team instore for detailsare located at RHS Garden Wisley, A3 and follow signs or call 01483 211113Surrey, GU23 6QB. 01483 211113 to Wisley GardensOn the A3, near junction 10 of the M25. Ripley OckhamAmple free parking and free localdelivery service* GuildfordT&Cs covering all offers: All exclusive vouchers are valid at RHS Wisley only and valid until 30.07.2017. Not valid with any other discount or offer and has no cash value. While stocks last.One voucher per customer and limited to one offer per customer. All product information and details/offers in this leaflet are correct at the time of going to print, but the RHS reserves theright to make changes where necessary. Subject to availability. Images © RHS. *Minimum £150 spend applies to free local delivery. RHS Registered Charity No. 222879/SC038262

The iconic Laboratory viewed from the wisteria-draped loggia on the far end of the canal.

The garden of the Royal Horticultural Society (R.H.S.) at Wisley is the flagship of four public gardens run by the Society. Located south of London in the English county of Surrey, it is one of the three most-visited paid gardens in the United Kingdom and one of the most spectacular gardens in Europe. Wisley was the Society’s first public garden, where the RHS still displays the very best of English gardening technique and practice (“the home of gardening in this land of gardeners”). This must-see garden combines practical information and inspiration, with a world famous collection of plants developed over more than 100 years. It is a lovely and unique place filled with wide mixed borders that change with the seasons, wild and woodland gardens, gentle walks on winding paths, beautiful rose gardens and my favorite, a magnificent rock garden. Visits in the winter or early spring may not be as satisfying as during the warmer months, but there are always extensive collections of colorful ornamental exotics in the glasshouses at any time of the year.

The traditional carpet bed display in front of the Laboratory building. This 14ft square is the most intensely planted part of the garden, with approximately 10,000 plants and the design changed each year – a small but perfectly formed showcase.

The garden was established by George Wilson, a Victorian chemist, businessman and horticulturalist, who was also a former Treasurer of the Society. In 1878 he purchased 60 acres to establish the “Oakwood Experimental Garden” with the intent to “make difficult plants grow successfully.” It became renowned for its collection of lilies, gentians, Japanese irises, primulas and water plants. The present Wild Garden at Wisley is the direct descendant of Oakwood and is still true to the original concept, despite many changes over time. After Wilson died in 1902, Sir Thomas Hanbury purchased Oakwood and adjacent wooded farmland, and the following year presented the estate in trust to the Society for its perpetual use.

Spread out over 240 acres, the gardens developed steadily as an ornamental garden, but also for educational and scientific purposes. A small laboratory was opened and the School of Horticulture founded to prepare students for careers as professional gardeners. Trials of flowers, vegetables and fruit

The plantings along Long Ponds in spring.

(an important part of the Society’s work since 1860) were expanded and many demonstration areas added to show the public the best kinds of plants to grow. It is now large and diverse, with numerous formal and informal decorative gardens, as well as “model gardens” to show visitors what they can achieve in their own gardens. There are several greenhouses, including a new one completed in 2007. There are over 25,000 taxa of plants in the gardens, with special collections of orchids, hosta, cyclamen, and daffodils. National collections of Crocus, Colchicum, Daboecia, Epimedium, Erica, Daphne, Galanthus, Hosta, Pulmonaria and Rheum (rhubarb) are maintained at Wisley.

But this is much more than just a collection of plants – it is a source of inspiration. It has just about everything a horticulturist could want to see, and almost everything is clearly labeled. About half of Wisley is carefully manicured gardens, borders, water features, and show gardens. The remainder is trial grounds of all sorts of plants and trees. If you are in England, around London, Wisley is not to be missed!

The entrance to RHS Garden Wisley.

Walk through the ornate wrought-iron Wilks Gates and around the corner to the half-timbered Tudor-style building known as the Laboratory. Built in 1914-16 for the Society’s scientific staff, it now houses the administrative and scientific staff. The formal Canal in front of the Laboratory was designed by the distinguished landscape architects Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe and Lanning Roper in the 1960s. The water feature contains one of the largest collections of waterlilies in the UK. The loggia at the other end of the canal was formerly the potting shed and now supports a magnificent wisteria. The south-facing border along the canal is filled with perennials and half-hardy plants. The opposite has shrubby plantings to frame the Conifer Lawn, with it’s large, old trees – remnants of an earlier pinetum and the last survivors of some of Wisley’s earliest plantings.

The Laboratory (L) is at one end of the formal canal, with a wisteria-draped loggia (C) at the other end. The Conifer Garden (R) is to the left of the buildings.

Behind the loggia in the central area are walled gardens and mixed borders. The two Walled Gardens are enclosed by 10-foot high red brick walls to protect the plants from frost. The walls are covered with plants and the outside area is a mixed planting of perennials, vines, and woody plants.

Beautiful red brick walls, covered with plants, enclose the Walled Gardens.

Nearer the canal, the Formal Garden is laid out as a parterre containing a variety of spring and summer bedding schemes that are changed annually.

The Formal Garden is laid out as a parterre, filled with different color schemes of bedding plants.

In the rear of the Walled Garden the microclimate allows tender and subtropical plants to survive. This area shows how to mix hardy and tender plants in a modern setting.

Tender and sub-tropical plants, such as tree ferns (L), bananas and palms are sheltered within the walls of the Walled Garden.

Also in the central area are the Mixed Borders which run either side of the slope leading up to Battleston Hill. The 20 foot wide borders packed with perennials are 420 feet long and are backed by hornbeam hedges. These borders are at their best from July to September. The Late Summer Borders run at right angles to the Mixed Borders and were designed to showcase plants blooming in late summer and autumn.

The Mixed Borders are filled with a variety of herbaceous perennials.

Adjacent to the borders in the central area are the Country Garden and Golden Jubilee Rose Garden. The Country Garden was designed by Penelope Hobhouse in three terraces on different levels, each linked with paths, on the sloping site. An avenue of ‘Professor Sprenger’ crabapple trees flank both sides of the garden, while white and purple wisteria drape the four 10-foot pergolas, and there is a specimen Malus hupenensis in each of the four corners. The central circular pool provides a focal point. The plantings are mainly herbaceous perennials with some shrubs and bulbs. The plantings are color-themed to provide interest over a long period. Each bed is designed as a model for small gardens. The formal rectilinear layout of the hardscaping is softened by the informal plantings.

Pergolas in the Country Garden drip with wisteria in the spring (L), while the herbaceous perennials soften the hardscaping. The focal point of the garden is a central fountain (R).

Rhododendrons and azaleas along the winding paths on Battleston Hill.

Battleston Hill is off the central area. The woodland garden there suffered extensive storm damage in 1987, and many of the tall trees there were lost. But this provided an opportunity to create a Mediterranean garden in the well-drained soil on the hill, and to re-model other parts of the gardens extensively. The acid soil at Wisley is ideal for rhododendrons, camellias, and azaleas, and vast areas of the hills have been replanted with these shrubs, providing a glorious display each spring and early summer. Numerous winding footpaths make the area more accessible. There are large plantings of magnolias, Pieris, hydrangea, lilies, daylilies and maples for fall color. The hottest part of the garden, on the south side, has a collection of sun-loving plants from the Mediterranean, Australia, California and South Africa.

Beyond Battleston Hill, the finest flowers and vegetables are identified from the countless new introductions in the Trials Field. Here plants are grown specifically for the purpose of comparing quality and performance of the different cultivars and assessing their garden merit. Dahlias, delphiniums, chrysanthemums and sweet peas are evaluated each year, while other annual and biennial flowers, plus some perennials and vegetables are changed each year. The trials are one of the important aspects of the work of the garden.

In another section of the garden is the Fruit Field. The Royal Horticulture Society has always been the holder of an outstanding collection of fruit, now with over 1,300 different cultivars of all types of fruit. A 16-acre fruit orchard has more than 670 different apple cultivars. In season, the fruit of many of these are available for sale and eating. The majority of the apple trees were planted in the 1950’s, arranged according to their season of ripening and divided into eating and cooking apples. Cider apples were added in 1999. There are also strawberries, blackcurrants, quince, grapes, cherries and various hybrid berries and nuts. The Fruit Mount – an artificial hill – was added in 2000 to provide better views. This concept originated in the 14th century and mounts were particular favorites in the 18th century garden landscape. The mount here includes vines, step-over apple trees and blackberries. Model Fruit Gardens demonstrate dwarfing rootstocks, container production, and various forms of training (spindle bushes, cordons, espaliers, fans and more).

Fruit has always been an important focus of the RHS, and Model Fruit Gardens (L), a Fruit Mount (LC) and extensive apple orchards (R) fill a large section.

Running between the Fruit Mount and the new Bicentenary Glasshouse are the Piet Oudolf Borders (designed by the Dutch plantsman and designer Piet Oudolf). These wide borders embrace a modern approach to naturalistic perennial planting inspired by prairies to give the impression of walking in a meadow. Over 16,000 perennials and grasses were planted in 2001 in more than 30 diagonal drifts of three or four cultivars.

The Piet Oudolf Borders run from the Fruit Mount down to the new Bicentenary Glasshouse.

In April 2005 construction began on a major new feature, the Bicentenary Glasshouse, that opened in June 2007. It covers three quarters of an acre and overlooks a new lake built at the same time (which provides a reservoir for periods of drought). The 40 foot tall structure with rippling roof curves and a simple beauty both inside and out is divided into three main planting zones representing desert, tropical and moist temperate climates. A path winds past rocky outcrops, waterfalls and pools, and the tender plant collection, including rare and endangered species and hundreds of varieties of orchids. The plantings combine newly contributed large specimens and relocated collections (including a staghorn fern more than 100 years old). The glasshouse is surrounded by a landscape garden designed by Tom Stuart Smith that incorporates some 60,000 perennials in a series of beds that gradually changing from blocks to drifts and eventually link with the existing Piet Oudolf Borders.

The original display glasshouses were a tropical paradise with plants from around the world. Visitors wandered through landscaped borders and benched displays of hundreds of plants from all areas of the world. The old glasshouses were dismantled and relocated, reused or recycled by January 2008. There is a Maize Maze (made entirely from tall sunflowers, sweet corn and green beans in the shape of a well-known Chinese animal) on the site of the old glasshouse in summer 2008.

The old glasshouses (now dismantled and replaced by the Bicentennial Glasshouse) contained beautiful collections of temperate and tropical plants, including the Singapore Orchid House, Traditional Victorian Showhouse, and various outdoor displays.

The Model Gardens were created to offer practical design ideas with the needs of the average home gardener in mind. The 10 gardens were designed by a variety of garden designers or Wisley staff and students in an area typical of a town garden. Both modern and traditional styles are included. Some of the gardens were award-winning Chelsea Flower Show entries re-installed here.

Ten Model Gardens demonstrate practical landscape design ideas on a small scale.

Between the Model Gardens and leading on to Weather Hill are two colorful exotic Subtropical Borders. Bananas, cannas and ginger lilies are prominent components; they are removed when the weather gets cold to overwinter under glass.

The Subtropical Borders are filled with blooming cannas and other tropical plants in late summer.

On gently sloping Weather Hill (named from the meteorological station which once stood at its top) are the Rose Borders filled with hybrid teas and floribundas, graded according to color, with the darker shades at the bottom of the hill.

Atop Weather Hill are the Rose Borders, filled with tea, floribunda and climbing roses.

Also on the slopes of Weather Hill are the Alpine Houses, showcasing true montane plants that are adapted to cope with a harsh existence high on mountainsides, but not necessarily the conditions in England (winter rain followed by frost). The houses attempt to replicate the conditions these special plants need. In the Landscape Alpine House (rebuilt in 1995-96), a simulated dry gully runs between miniature cliffs of several rock types that provide niches for temperamental plants. A system of geo textile membranes, gravel and perforated drainage pipes leading to a sump hidden beneath the rocks provides the drainage essential for the successful growing of these plants.

The Landscape Alpine House has a naturalistic display of plants under glass.

In the Alpine Display House a range of potted plants from mountainous areas all over the world are on show, sunk into beds of sand (which acts as insulation to protect the potting medium from overheating or freezing). The displays are changed throughout the year to ensure year-round color from both flowers and foliage, and to allow plants to rest.

Potted specimens of alpine plants from around the world are brought into the Alpine Display House when they are at their peak.

Surrounding the alpine houses is a range of drystone walls made from Sussex sandstone and Purbeck limestone, as well as tufa wall. Hypertufa sinks and troughs give ideas for growing alpines and other small plants outdoors in limited space.

Outside the Alpine Houses, less demanding plants are exhibited in drystone walled beds and troughs.

Between the Alpine Houses and Model Vegetable Garden are the Monocot Borders. The plants in these borders belong to the division of flowering plants known as Monocotyledons, characterized by the production of only one cotyledon or seed leaf. ‘Monocots’ usually have narrow leaves with parallel veining and the flower parts are in threes or multiples of three. Grasses and members of the Lily and Iris families are well-known examples of Monocotyledons. The majority of the plants in this border, including Crocosmia, Kniphofia, and many ornamental grasses, are at their best in late summer and autumn.

The Monocot Borders feature grasses, Kniphofia (R), and other types of Monocotyledons, including Yucca constricta (LC).

The Model Vegetable Garden is one of Wisley’s main practical demonstration features to show old and new cultivation techniques and methods of vegetable production. Over 50 different types of vegetables are planted in several different, average family-sized plots, as well as in tighter spots to give ideas for growing in a limited space or in containers. All of the waste generated here is recycled in the compost bins.

The Model Vegetable Garden demonstrates how to grow vegetables in both large, family-sized plots, and in small spaces. The composting demonstration recycles all the waste from this garden.

Below the Model Vegetable Garden the ground goes down to Long Ponds. In spring, the grassy part of the slope – the Alpine Meadow – is transformed into a sheet of yellow by thousands of daffodils, dog-tooth violets, snakeshead fritillaries and Crocus tommasinianus. The grass is uncut until the summer, then is closely mown until the autumn-flowering crocus appear.

In spring the grassy Alpine Meadow adjacent to the Rock Garden is a field of yellow flowers.

The other part of the slope has the fabulous Rock Garden. designed by Edward White in 1911. Beautifully laid out on a the hillside with paths winding throughout the Sussex sandstone blocks, this major engineering feat required construction of a light railway from the nearest road to get the stone to the location. Careful attention was paid to positioning of the rocks to achieve the natural appearance. The bank was renovated in 2004 to include a dramatic waterfall with its Japanese-style landscape designed and constructed by Professor Masao Fukuhara.

The steep upper portion of the Rock Garden and the waterfall.

The slope faces north and suits many plants that prefer a cool shady spot, while sun-loving plants are positioned on the more exposed outcrops.

There is tremendous diversity of plants growing in the Rock Garden, including many conifers, Japanese maples and herbaceous perennials.

Numerous paths lead down and around the rocky outcroppings and small pools that are linked by streams and cascades, eventually flowing into Long Ponds below. This is one of the most spectacular and memorable parts of the gardens – especially when viewed from below.

The water moving down the slopes of the Rock Garden eventually end up in Long Ponds.

The most historic part of Wisley is the Wild Garden. Although the original ‘Oakwood’ has been much altered it remains true to his intent of “growing difficult plants successfully” in a naturalistic style. The peaty soil is ideal for growing woodland plants, and the area contains a wide variety of hostas, primulas, trilliums and other woodland plants. Lower-growing trees and shrubs fill the middle layer, with magnolias and rhododendrons providing spring color and other trees displaying rich shades of red and orange autumn color.

Parts of the Wild Garden in spring.

Seven Acres was originally rough pastureland, thought to be unsuitable for cultivation, until an iron pan lying just below the surface of the soil was discovered and broken up in the 1920’s. Two ponds are separated by a grass causeway. The smaller of the two, known as the Round Pond, began as a source of gravel for the garden paths and has remained a water feature ever since, although both bodies of water were redesigned in 2000. The planting around the ponds focuses on four seasonal themes, with summer at the eastern end, spring to the west, and autumn and winter drifting throughout.

Seven Acres has a wide selection of trees, shelters, and two ponds, with dancing crane sculptures in one.

Leading from the ponds along the edge of Seven Acres to the restaurant is the Grass Border. Herbaceous perennials and annuals add color and contrast. The grasses range from large scale plantings to collections suitable for a home garden.

Both large and small-scale grasses are displayed in the Grass Border on the way to the restaurant.

Beyond the Grass Border, restaurant, and edge of Seven Acres is the Pinetum and Howard’s Field. The Pinetum takes its name from the towering pines first planted by George Wilson around 1989. A number of these original trees are now champion trees. Beyond the Pinetum is the quiet Howard’s Field with it’s huge, cushion-like beds that house the National Heather Collection, collections of ornamental trees (birch, red oak, cherry), and a Clematis trial.

In addition to the permanent displays, there are also special programs throughout the year, such as garden walks, plant society shows and contests, a wide range of short courses and more.

Special attractions include flower shows and other events.

The Wisley Plant Centre.

The Wisley Shop offers the world’s finest collection of horticultural books as well as other gifts , while there are over 10,000 varieties of plants for sale in the Wisley Plant Centre. Even if you can’t take a plant home, you can still ask questions of the center’s gardening experts seven days a week. There are also five different places to purchase food, including the Conservatory Cafe and Terrace Restaurant.

RHW Wisley Garden is located in Woking, Surrey, England. The gardens are open all year, except Christmas Day from 9:00 (M-F) or 10 a.m. (weekends) to 6:00 p.m. (to 4:30 p.m. November to February), although the gardens are closed to non-members of the RHS on summer Sundays. Admission is £8 for adults in 2008 (check the website for current prices). There is access to all parts of the garden for non-walkers, but some of the paths are quite rough.

Wisley is 20 miles southwest of London and can be reached by car on the A3. Public transportation to the gardens is limited, but not too difficult. You can get there by train (from London Waterloo Station to West Byfleet or Woking, with a short taxi ride from the station or on weekdays during the summer months, by special bus service from Woking Station) or by bus (hourly buses, every day, from Surbiton train station and Guildford bus stations).

– Susan Mahr, University of Wisconsin – Madison


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