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Sara Draycott

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  • Ways with willow - A Wisley Trainee's work - Rohanna Heyes.

    Sara Draycott on 20 Nov 2012 at 10:27 PM

    Willow is a common thing, so common often we do not know it when we see it. It makes up a green periphery, growing in unkempt lands, on verges, swamplands, the back of beyo nd where it blends in to the landscape quietly as if it had nothing to say. In the aptly titled book Willows (1972) Warren-Wren says: “willow is the Cinderella of the arboreal and horticultural scene, that has waited over an aeon of time for a fairy godmother to grant her wish to go to the ball”. Certainly willow has lived through the ages, through ice ages, a real pioneer, some 400 species of the genus are spread almost entirely across the globe excepting Antarctica and Australasia (where it has since been introduced). Long it has been used by working hands to fashion useful objects, while more recent applications further allude to this genus’s vast usefulness: land drainage, bio remediation, bio filtration, bio engineering and fuel production.



  • Wisley's castles for the bugs and the bees - Lucie Ponsford

    Sara Draycott on 13 Nov 2012 at 01:23 PM

    Here we are November, with the autumn rain and wind driving in under our waterproofs, reminding us that summer has gone and nature is encouraging the plant kingdom to hunker down for the winter’s big sleep.

    This is my favourite time of year, would you believe it?  On a good day: the light, the temperature, the colours and the relative calm of slow dormancy in the garden reminds me why I became a horticulturalist.  I say calm, the Formal Department, of which I am part of at Wisley, has been working like whirling dervishes - ripping out summer bedding and replacing it with tens of thousands of pansies and bulbs in quick succession! It is quite a process and well worth a visit to see us with a muddy trowel in hand and determined look on our faces as we work through: the Old Bonsai Garden, Top Terrace, Walled Garden East and the Canal Borders – quite a performance.  In fact as a convert to gardening from Costume Design I see bedding schemes as the ultimate theatrical flora show.  With months of prep and growing-on of garish-coloured pansies or pelargoniums and central eye catchers with urns and coiled box the energy and effort for a three month run is on an operatic scale, exhausting but what a crowd pleaser – I love it