The RHS garden, Wisley. 09.07.13

Wisley is a wonderful place to visit on a sunny afternoon, fuelled by the energy of a light lunch along the way.

The long view from the top of the hill down through the herbaceous borders is quite wonderful, filled with the promise of things to come. It is coloured with the realisation that it will be easier to walk down than it was to get up here. I have always hoped that the RHS might extend this view over the water lily canal and out through the pinetum like a magnificent garden backbone but it woud be a radical change and such things are rare.

Monarda 'Gardenview Scarlet' is the latest of a long line of bergamots to grace the herbaceous border. The bright red flowers have an unexpected impact in the early season.

I do not like Hosta, modern cultivars seem to have rather greasy looking leaves as though they had been fried in lard and allowed to go cold. Gloria dislikes them because they are so prolific it becomes inevitable that they will attract names such as 'Dinky Donna'.

The alpine houses are generally full of wonderful things. We got to the door but the heat kept us moving despite the shady interior.

Beschorneria yuccoides is a wayward thing. The rosettes of blue-grey leaves have a simple discipline about them that gives little warning of the wild scarlet tangle of flower stems that will follow. There are forms with larger and more striking bracts but this was sufficient wonder for me.

The say that when you tire of delphiniums you tire of life, and I have not yet had my fill of either. 'Thamesmead' is a magnificent brute as tall as a man and as blue as a ripe stilton. I would linger but Gloria is off among the sweet peas.

The laboratory building lies at the heart of the garden and gives it a domestic feel. It sits rather low in the landscape which adds to its charm. A new entrance to the garden is planned and I hope the warmth of this welcome can be retained.

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