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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

A day in the country at Wisley

Posted by Jim Gardiner on 08 Jun 2010 at 05:56 PM

June is spectacular in many gardens.  June is outstanding here at Wisley.  One of my favourtie areas at this time of year is the Country Garden.  It was orignially desgined by Penelope Hobhouse over three levels (as the site is on a gradient).  Recent changes here have included the planting of new cherry trees along the flanks and honeysuckles up the arches.

The large Nepeta 'Six Hills Giant' that surrounds the central water feature in this garden attracts so many bees that when you stand and stare you need a moment for your eyes to acclimatise the the sheer number of them.  It's great for biodiversity, and as the RHS is supporting the International Year of Biodiversity this year I'm compelled to bring it to your attention.  There are, of course, many other plants that are equally floriferous and attractive to beneficial insects, as well as features and techniques.  To find out more, pick up the latest visitor map from the Garden Entrance or one of the leaflet dispensers in the Garden - this guides you around 10 stopping points where you'll find information on biodiversity.  Or have a look at it here.

Elsewhere, the Herb Garden is a fine place to explore right now.  Have you seen our willow sculpture of a bee in there?  Personally, I think the area of hazardous plants looks particularly appealing right now, with the lupins at their best.

And the teams are busy as ever harvesting the first strawberries, sowing wildflower mixes on the Top Terrace and other borders, and hoeing the sunflower maze.  Seedling sunflowers are about 10cm tall here and should really get growing well now in time for the summer.  Unfortunately the weeds thrive in this warm, wet weather too, hence the hoeing!

I hope you're enjoying these wonderful long evenings.  And maybe we'll see you at the Music Festival this weekend.

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