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Jim Gardiner

Jim Gardiner Director of Horticulture RHS Garden Wisley

Jim Gardiner is the recently appointed Director of Horticulture for the Royal Horticultural Society and has previously been Curator and Chief Curator based at Wisley for over twenty years. Before that he was Curator at the Hillier Gardens and Arboretum. His primary interest is in woody plants, in particular Magnolias on which he has written two books, “Magnolias, their Care and Cultivation” and “Magnolias, A Gardener’s Guide”.

  • Date Joined: 12 Jul 2007

Perfect peacock; Wisley's summer carpet bed is ready

Posted by Jim Gardiner on 22 Jun 2009 at 03:21 PM

One of our traditional annual attractions is the carpet bed in front of the Laboratory building in garden. Approximately 10,000 plants go into this 14ft square, which is the most intensely planted part of the garden. This year’s design is inspired by a late 19th Century fan, of a peacock.


Carpet bedding was a favourite of Victorian gardeners, when labour was comparatively cheap so the rich could indulge their taste for intensive horticulture.


We chose dwarf plants and low growing succulents, mainly types of Sedum, Alternanthera and Echeveria and plant them up to form intricate patterns and motifs.  We have to have a frequent clipping program to maintain the pattern over the summer season.  Lucinda and her team take great pride in bringing this display to life each year.


We hope you enjoy this feature, and value the hard work and dedication that goes into this small but perfectly formed showcase.


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