Friday, September 07, 2012

Wisley Flower Show in pictures

Glorious sunshine beckons this weekend for the Wisley Flower Show: for my money, one of the very best small shows there is.

I popped by for the first day on Thursday and accidentally discovered the way to 'do' the show with minimal discomfort. As regulars will know there's a killer of a traffic jam right down the A3 and on to the M25 which builds up gradually until by mid-morning you're waiting well over an hour to get to the front gate.

Because I had a ridiculously over-committed day which involved collecting £200 of wood from a sawmill, visiting Wisley Flower Show and hacking the 2 1/2 hour drive back to Somerset, all by lunchtime, I turned up on the dot of 9am when the show opens. What a revelation.

I swept regally in without so much as a hesitation and was politely waved to my place in Car Park No 1 (right by the entrance) by a small phalanx of attendants. I strolled through the garden, almost alone bar feverishly lawnmowing gardeners, and had the whole show very nearly to myself for the first half-hour.

By the time I was ready to leave it was only 11am and the queues were well on the way back to Junction 9. Once again, I swept out, waving (slightly sadistically) at all the sweating punters on the other side of the A3 still waiting to get in. You couldn't help but feel a bit smug.

Anyway: if you get the chance to go this weekend, don't miss it. Here are a few of the many delights you'll enjoy.

Crocosmia x crocosmiiflora 'Emily Mackenzie', Leonotis leonurus and Astilbe x chinensis taquetii 'Superba' in joyous union on the Best in Show stand by Madrona Nursery

Flower of the show was definitely Rudbeckia laciniata 'Herbstonne': it was everywhere, about 7ft tall and supremely elegant. Probably my favourite of all the rudbeckias and superb in big, in-yer-face planting schemes

Solanum quitoense, a gorgeous sultry big purple leaf with the dew still frosting its upper surfaces, from tropical woodland in central America - one of an extraordinary and inspiring display of exotics from Plantbase Nursery

Aralia cordata flowers catching the sunlight on the Edulis Nursery stand

I rather liked the funky pink frames used to set off the plants on Bean Place Nursery's stand

Dichroa februga, an evergreen hydrangea relative (The Botanic Nursery)

An intriguing heather from Trewidden: don't you just love the way the stems carry on up out of those huge blowsy flowers? It's Erica verticillata - and 70s and boring it ain't

And last but not least: one for all you heuchera lovers out there. Heuchera 'Sashay' from Heucheraholics had the most gorgeous ruched leaves with just the right touch of purple petticoat showing. Exquisite.


Anonymous said...

Very nice pictures.

Blue Shed Thinking said...

Went yesterday.Arrived around 11am and got the penultimate spot in the car park.

I vowed to be sensible with my purchases (i.e. productive or wildlife friendly), but saw some "brown" tulip bulbs, and that was that. Had to find cream late flowering tulips to go with, then some burnt orange - you know how it goes. Finally got some Sternbergia bulbs too.

It was stiflingly hot at midday. To avoid the queues, we'd brought lunch with and found a bench hidden away in the wild garden, shielded from the sun by two layers of tree canopy.

Must get my strength up now for Malvern at the end of the month.

Artist's Garden said...

Fabulous, well done for getting there so early ... the only way to do it.

Love, love, love Rudbeckia Herbstone, and thanks for the timely reminder to get some this Autumn.

Even the heuchera looks rather nice, for a heuchera that is :)

Diana of Elephants Eye said...

Our Erica verticillata is extinct in the wild, was rescued from utter extinction when they found plants cultivated in gardens.

The Constant Gardener said...

Rooko - thank you :D

BST - sounds like you had an excellent day all round. And it is always a futile exercise to even imagine being frugal at flower shows. Just doesn't work. Tried it. Failed. Many times.

Karen - I'm ambivalent at best on the heuchera front myself but just occasionally a really pretty one turns up. This is just such a plant. Possibly because it doesn't look much like a heuchera :D

Diana - really interesting, I wondered where it came from and why I'd never seen it before. It's truly lovely: I wonder if they're trying to return it to its natural habitat again. Hope so.

Janet/Plantaliscious said...

Erica verticillata could almost single handedly (?!) rehabilitate heather, though I still have problems working out how to combine it with other things successfully. What was all that timber for, sounds exciting.

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