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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

How to spend your time in the Garden this August

Posted by Jim Gardiner on 05 Aug 2009 at 09:44 AM

School holidays are with us again.  At Wisley, this means many things.  For a start, it's time to cut the hedges. We've reduced this annual task by lessening the surface area of hedge at Wisley in a couple of areas, and when they're all cut the place looks so much tidier.


The Mixed Borders, Battleston Hill, Seven Acres and Trials Field are full of colour.  At the bottom of Howard's Field the Buddleja trial is in full bloom too, and is worth going to see.  And in case you're wondering, we've moved the summer flower show to September this year, and for the grown ups, we have Friday night Latin dance nights this month.


It's maze time now.  We have 3 of them, all mentioned on previous blogs and all 3 of them are now open and proving very popular!  Our pirate-themed Maize Maze is 65m wide and deep, bordered at the front with luscious subtropical plants.  Inside, the Fruit and Trials team have done a wonderful job creating a real sea-going scene.  It's your task to find our centre piece, the Moby Duck.


Our second maze is the Snail Trail grass maze in our brand new children's play area, Wild at Wisley, which you can find on the Glasshouse side of the Arboretum.  We ask you to supervise your children as they let their imaginations take hold here, enjoying the natural materials such as the Pinus radiata tree trunks that were victims of the February snowfall, running around the circular patches of wild flowers, playing in the dirty ditch, excavated pits full of wood chips, and playing tag on the wooden logs.  We'll be continuingly updating this area over the forthcoming weeks, and today (Wednesday) we have a wood carver on site, using his skill to create sculptures for the area.  In the corner we have planted 4 oaks, Quercus robur, that came to us after the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show. 


Our third maze is the Victorian turf maze on Seven Acres, which accompanies our August family theme of the Victorian age, which was the era of so many new discoveries and passions in horticulture.  Accordingly, we are serving hummingbird cake in the cafes, a light confection that was a favourite of Queen Victoria herself, apparently.

And it is free entry to all children with our Kids go Free in August offer.  You can bring the family to enjoy our beautiful garden, let the children have fun (and maybe learn a little about flowers, fruit and veg at the same time), grab a picnic from the cafe and enjoy the summertime.



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