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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

Sunshine and flowers at Wisley

Posted by Jim Gardiner on 19 May 2010 at 04:09 PM

Let there be warmth, let there be light.  Let there be glorious flowers. What a wonderful week.  You really must come during this warm spell.  The garden is looking simply amazing.

On the hot beds on the outer side of the Walled Garden (above), overlooking the Conifer Lawn, you cannot fail to be mesmerised by the outstanding blooms on the peonies there.  Paeonia rockii is such a treat to see, with its silky blooms bigger than your hand, the palest pinky-white colour.  We have wisterias nearby, growing up posts, clothing the wall, and so on.  I particularly like the darkest one - Wisteria floribunda 'Yae-kokuryu', that you can see in the background in the photo.

Flashes of vivid colour come from the rhododendrons still performing their hearts out on Battleston Hill and in the Wild Garden, as well as smaller scale plants in more intimate settings, such as the oriental poppies in the Country Garden.

On the wall above the Garden Library on Seven Acres (not far from the Conservatory Cafe) is a Schisandra sphenanthera flowering more profusely than I have ever seen it.  Weather Hill is full of pale and darker blue North American bulbs - Camassia leichtlinii subsp. suksdorfii Caerulea Group and C. cusickii - and they look jaw dropping just now. 

The fruit and veg are coming along beautifully, and certainly inspire me to grow my own, although we did get some set backs with the late frosts last week - we suffered damage in many places, not least of all on the vineyard. Ornamentals like the stately giant rhubarb Gunnera manicata took a bit of a knock too.

There is so much to see here at this time of year.  It's busy, to say the least, and with the Chelsea Flower Show next week, plus the launch of our new garden visitor map and guide (based on biodiversity) at the weekend, there is plenty to enjoy in the sun.




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on 20 May 2010 at 05:50 AM