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Mid-June, and what beautiful flowers...Lucie Rudnicka in the Alpine department, RHS Garden Wisley

Posted by Sara Draycott on 18 Jun 2013 at 02:30 PM

June 12th 2013

The weather may have forgotten that it’s early/mid June, meaning the sun seems to have disappeared! However, I am currently standing at the bottom of the Alpine Meadow.  All of the hoop petticoat daffodils Narcissus bulbocodium may have passed but I still enjoy a carpet of yellow; buttercups merge with clover which makes a wonderful habitat for our wildlife here at Wisley.

This grass will be cut in August – it gives meadow grasses and a wide range of wild flowers an opportunity to flower and set seed. This also benefits meadow butterflies with grass-feeding caterpillars, such as meadow brown, gatekeeper, skippers, small heath and ringlet. Then in August the grass is cut and kept short until the autumn crocuses appear and the whole cycle is repeated. I can't wait for the sea of Crocus nudiflorus and Crocus speciosus.

Walk along the bottom of the rock garden and enjoy, Astrantia, irises like Iris ensata ‘Nemurijishi’.  Beautiful seed heads of Geum rivale, just one of the many plants that keep up interest after the flowers have passed because they have interesting seed-eads.  I'm always wowed by the massive leaves of the giant rhubarb-like Gunnera manicata. What do you think? As the summer progresses I love to watch the leaves grow.


I think the Primula japonica, candelabra primulas (above), are gorgeous in such beautiful bright cheery colours.

In the ponds are water lilies and lots of amazing fish.  Some of the carp are really big and will come up to gasp air, although today is not really warm enough!
I love the irises, and my favourite at this time of year are the ensatas. Here are my favourites: ‘Kozasa Gawa’, ‘Southern Son’ AGM (pictured below), and Iris x robusta ‘Dark Aura’ AGM. and they contrast beautifully with the Acer palmatum ‘Osakazuki’ AGM leaves.

We have nearly reached the end of the walk from one end of the bottom of the rock garden to the other, just wanted to mention WR3700 Bed Renovations. This area is currently being cleared while we are dealing with perennial weed problems.  We will be putting in some new colourful plantings including a range of Astilbe.

Please come and enjoy Wisley soon, make it a priority in your diary, and just one more thing, bring the sun with you please.


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on 03 Sep 2013 at 12:50 AM