Have you ever just walked into a garden and thought to yourself ‘Yes, this is the one, my dream garden…’ That’s exactly what was running through my head when I visited the Kitchen garden at RHS Wisley, that and my crazy idea of how I could move in with no one noticing!
It felt odd to be out adventuring on a Wednesday, however there was a very good reason why me and my Dad were gallivanting about gardens during a work day. This week the RHS Wisley garden show is on and we decided to head down there to have a look around to see if we would want to be selling there next year. It’s what we called a research trip but of course you can’t go to an RHS garden and not have a look around can you? It would be rude not too!
The show is a little bit on the small side when you compare it to shows like Hampton Court, but good things come in small packages don’t they say? It was jam packed with plant stalls selling all manner of things from Hydrangeas to air plants, fuchsias to succulents and banana plants to allium bulbs! There were a few tradestands with garden tools, furniture and decorative items as well as a flower display marquee. We had a peep inside the National Dahlia Society’s tent and marveled at all the varieties on show including the huge dinner plate blooms and the architectural pom pom beauties. There were plenty of places to stop for a cup of tea and we settled down for lunch in the restaurant before making our plans to explore the gardens…
We actually visited RHS Wisley a few years ago now on a rather wet and rainy day so we didn’t get round to seeing it all, in fact I’m pretty sure we just hid in the glass house that year! Therefore we set off to find the parts that took our fancy the most which involved mostly vegetables, herbs and fruit. We looked around the herb garden and fell in love with a lemon balm tree before heading to the fruit garden which showed all the different ways of training your fruit trees and bushes. After the fruit garden was the orchard and we could’t quite believe our eyes… it was gigantic! I’ve never seen so many fruit trees in one area before and it took my breath away. Every cultivar that you could think of was probably nestled somewhere in the orchard and I loved the fact that they were in fact preserving those varieties for the future, it was rather exciting actually! Just past the orchard was the small allotment site for RHS students and small community organisations. Each student or organisation had their own plot and it was so interesting seeing how different they were, each one had it’s own purpose and personality and I fell in love with one in particular which mixed an array of flowers in amongst the vegetables.
After making our way back out the orchard forest we made a direct route to the part we were looking forward to the most and it didn’t disappoint. The Vegetable garden was everything you dreamed it would be and I wanted to move in straight away. Everything about it was perfect; the overall size of the space, the greenhouses, the weedless beds, the healthy crops and the bursts of floral colour dotted around… it really was my dream garden!
There was no obvious plan to the beds and no sign of a crop rotation scheme which I kind of really liked… The mixing of crops and flowers really inspired me and I adored the rows of flowers in between the rows of vegetables. Hazel archways and small netted hoops were dotted around with a willow wigwam for the kids and herbs growing in the same bed for a sensory feast. I loved the little paved areas by the greenhouses with spaces to put containers full of chilli’s and aubergines, or just a place to sit down with a cup of tea and relax for a few minutes.
I can’t really explain how this garden made me feel but something inside of me burst open and I suddenly felt my gardening mojo come back. Both me and my Dad left feeling so inspired and overwhelmed with all these new ideas which we wanted to inject into our own allotments and now I’m feeling super excited for the next growing year!
I’d love to know which gardens you’ve visited that have inspired you?