Winter seems to be firmly setting in now. The Garden Teams have been hard at work and this week it was time to put the warm coats on the subtropical plants.
Bananas always play a key role in our subtropical planting displays and over the last few years we have started to leave them in situ but well protected over winter. This saves time in moving and storing them, and means they get off to a quicker start the following year because the roots are already established.
First, the foliage is trimmed away and a wire cylinder placed around the stem. We stabilise this with a stake that's cable-tied on, before the straw is fluffed up and placed inside. Finally, the rain-proof cap is tied on top and tucked into the top layer of the wire cylinder to keep it in place.
Meanwhile, Christmas is getting underway here at Wisley. The Women's Institute have been decorating their trees, the Lumiere lights are being installed and the Glasshouse is coming alive with glorious displays. And the Craft Fair in the car park is being set up as we speak. I'm hoping that December will be a great month, and remember to keep your eyes peeled for horticultural gems in the Alpine Houses, as well as the fragrant daphnes and camellias, coloured stems and bark, berries and birds. These are all highlighted in our new visitor map and garden guide due out this weekend. Hope to see you soon...