Surrey

RHS Wisley

The flagship garden of the Royal Horticultural Society, Wisley is one of the UK’s most visited gardens. Spread over 240 acres and filled with inspirational gardens, it’s a must for the green-fingered and amateur alike.

Founded in 1878 by George Fergusson Wilson, Wisley started out as a project to help ‘difficult plants grow successfully’. Wilson, a businessman, scientist, inventor, and keen gardener, soon established the garden as a haven for lilies, gentians, Japanese irises, primulas, and water plants. Today, the area of ‘Oakwood’ is the direct descendant of the original garden.

After Wilson’s death, the next owner bought additional land and then presented it to the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) in 1902. From then on, a small laboratory was formed to help young people become professional gardens and research and trials of new flowers, vegetables and fruit continue to this day.

Today, Wisley attracts over one million visitors each year and employs 75 garden staff, 25 students, four apprentices and 100 volunteers to look after and tend its 240 acres – a huge undertaking!

Rather than a staid museum, Wisley is all about planting inspirationally; continuously updating plants and schemes to ensure there’s always something new to see (and maybe inspire you in your own garden).

There’s plenty to explore, from the elegant mixed borders to the spectacular Glasshouse which covers the area of 10 tennis courts and home to the RHS’s tender plant collection. The Rose Garden is a must for lovers of these scented wonders – with over 4,000 roses, the displays are just jaw-dropping. The Cottage Garden is a splendid, romantic spot which peaks in June and July, whilst the Exotic Garden flourishes mid to late summer. If you like to grow your own, the Vegetable, Fruit and Herb Garden is bound to inspire you (this area is also home to the National Rhubarb Collection!).

The Welcome Building has a large restaurant if you’re in need of refreshments, whilst the Plant Centre is a must for taking a little piece of Wisley home with you.

Please note, due to Covid-19 precautions, visitors are currently required to pre-book a time slot for your visit.

Feeling inspired? Take a look at our luxury cottages in Surrey here.

Wisley Lane, Wisley, Woking GU23 6QB | Website

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