RHS Wisley is hands down one of my favourite gardens in the UK, purely for the fact that it offers something for everyone- whether your interest is alpines, cacti, bedding, conifers, roses or carnivorous plants!
With so much to choose from, I’ve picked out my favourite TEN for you guys!
ONE. Tropaeolum speciosum. The ‘Flame Creeper’ is a spectacular plant which drapes itself through trees and shrubs, much in the same way that you throw your dirty laundry across your chaise longue at home (or not!) The rich scarlet red of this Nasturtium relative is ever so sexy, and really punctuates the lush green of the shrubs that it whores itself through! Tropaeolum speciosum needs an acidic soil, and moist conditions, and the most preferable support for them is the cool mass of a Yew tree!
TWO. Brillantaisia owariensis. Even if this plant had just half the beauty it has, you’d fall for it thanks to the rather amazing name instead! Looking totally exotic against the waterfall in the Wisley glasshouse today, the cheeky flowers offer the very best denim blue shade that horticulture can bring! Native to Madagascar, and a relative of the Acanthus family, you’ll need a little warmth for this one to flourish.
THREE. Auricula ‘un-named’ Hiding away in the glasshouse was this tiny Auricula, with more petals that it can deal with, causing a gorgeous tight rosebud flower! Auricula are so utterly collectable, and dare we say, ‘stealable’, so let’s hope Wisley lock their alpine houses at night!
FOUR. Lily regale. This Lily is said to repel lily beetle, which is one top reason to grow it, regardless of its beauty! Sat by the pond at Wisley today, they just looked so glossy and lovely, despite the recent down pouring of rain that meant the pollen had stained the pristine white petals. The red backs to the petals add to the burlesque effect as well. A garden classic, my Nana grew them, and we enjoyed the glorious scent every July.
FIVE. Diascia rigescens. This Diascia is very, very different, with a height akin to a Lupin! It looked as if it was misbehaving itself in the border at Wisley today, as it traversed a Phormium, but who cares, it looked damn good! I love the flower spikes, which are clothed in the little bubble flowers for months on end. It’s hardy too!
SIX. Thunbergia mysorensis. Some of you might find this plant a little cheeky, but if you don’t, maybe take a moment to appreciate it anyway! Thunbergia mysorensis has to be one of the most spectacular climbers EVER, but is also one of the trickiest to grow in the UK and needs the most space!
SEVEN. Strophanthus preussii. How wonderfully gothic this plant is, but I couldn’t find the label, so my twitter audience has helped me out with an identification! It looks like a small Campsis with tassels! Upon looking it up, I now find this Strophanthus has fragrance! Wonderfully tropical, it isn’t one you can easily grow at home though, sorry! The plant is also known as poison arrow, and has been used to that effect in it’s homelands of Africa.
EIGHT. Abelia floribunda. I’ve caused controversy on twitter by calling this a ‘handsome shitbag’, but damn, it made me emotional! A little-known Abelia, with the gregarious personality of an episode of Ab Fab! The plant lends itself to being wall-trained in a sunny corner of the garden. Grow some and it’ll make YOU swear too!
NINE. Anguloa virginalis. Known as a Tulip Orchid, the Anguloa family also includes the ‘babies in a cradle’ comedy-srtyle orchid! I’d seen these orchids so much on social media that I actually squealed when I saw this in real life for the first time today! Naturally occurring in the wet rainforests of South America, so one for a rather warm bathroom!
TEN. Dierama ‘un-named’ The Angel’s Fishing Rod was looking super sleek and sexy in the garden today! Surprisingly part of the Iris family, this plant resembles a grass… UNTIL those fancy blooms appear each summer., waving seductively in the wind! This Dierama seen today was brand new and un-named!