Alongside a new look Wisley Flower Show, starting this coming Friday morning and closing on Sunday afternoon, the RHS Herbaceous Plant Committee is running a series of three Kniphofia Open Days. Kniphofias are dramatic, colourful, sometimes statuesque perennials which are currently enjoying a revival so this is an ideal time to combine a visit to the Wisley Flower Show with finding out more about these essential autumn perennials. There are two parts to the event.
In the loggia at the end of the Wisley Canal, just a short walk from the main entrance to the Wisley Garden, there'll be a series of illustrated display boards giving a thorough and easy-to-follow introduction to kniphofias. Members of the RHS Herbaceous Plant Committee will be on hand each day to provide expert advice so, to mention just three, you'll get the chance to pick the brains of Sarah Cook, former Head Gardener at Sissinghurst, Ivan Dickings former Chief Propagator at Notcutts Nurseries and plant breeder Simon Crawford.
They'll be able to tell you about where kniphofias grow in the wild, how best to grow them in gardens, which varieties did well in the trial and answer your questions about kniphofias, how to grown them and the plants that look good with them.
Also, at 11am and 2pm each day, meet at the loggia for a Guided Walk through the Kniphofia trial where you'll be able to see every one of the one hundred and twenty seven (yes, really - I know, you had no idea there were so many!) entries in the trial and get an insight into why some got high marks in the trial and some did not. There'll be some stupendous varieties at their peak.
So that's Friday 11th, Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th of September - start at the loggia at the end of the Wisley canal: enter the gardens, turn right along the back of the main building and look to your left towards the end of the canal.