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Wisley in spring is delightful - bulbs, blossom and fresh new foliage fill the garden this month. Something new emerges each day making it an exciting time to explore and re-visit.
A bountiful display of bulbs is one of the first things to hit your eyes when you walk into the garden. Daffodils bloom all over the garden, and spring bedding displays look lovely on the Top Terrace and in the Walled Garden East.
Camellias across the garden show off their colourful, luxuriant flowers to great effect, especially on Battleston Hill and in the Wild Garden.
On the Rock Bank, outside the Landscape House, and in the woodland areas Epimedium, or barrenwort, produce dainty dancing orchid-like flowers above heart shaped or elongated leaves in April and May. Erythronium ‘Pagoda’ AGM, a sulphur-yellow dog’s tooth violet, has hat-shaped flowers in the Rock Bank wood, as well as on Battleston Hill.
April bulbs delight in the garden and include the imperial fritillaries, Fritillaria imperialis, in bold and bright orange and yellow, in the Grass Borders and underneath the trees. Along the path leading towards the round pond, spring blossom bedecks shrubs and trees including Exochorda and Prunus. Light and dark blue Muscari (grape hyacinth) look beautiful on Seven Acres, particularly beneath the cherry tree full of pink blossom.
Fruit blossom comes to the fore this month. Over in the fruit field you can see white and pink blossoms on pear and apple trees. There's a succession of blooms depending on the weather and the different cultivars that flower at different times.
Gunnera manicata is starting to send up its large, textured leaves, which will eventually grow up to 1.5m wide, with conical flower spikes. You can find this plant in numerous parts of the garden, including at the bottom of the Rock Garden, in the Arboretum, Pinetum and Battleston Hill.
Twinkling stars and grand goblets are typical of magnolia blossoms in flower around the garden. You can find most of them in the Wild Garden and around Battleston Hill, where the pink, white, cream and occasional yellow flowers stand out vividly before being obscured by emerging leaves. We have magnolias planted throughout the garden – see how many you can spot.
On Seven Acres you can find a continuation of our spring bulb display, with rivers of white daffodils and blue grape hyacinth, Muscari armeniacum. More grape hyacinths flower on Battleston Hill, the Rock Garden and the Wild Garden.
All sorts of other delights are waiting to be discovered in and around the Rock Garden and Alpine Meadow, from large skunk cabbage (Lysichiton) by the ponds to tiny dog’s tooth violets (Erythronium dens-canis) on the meadow. Pulsatilla vulgaris, the pasqueflower, has pretty pink or white flowers with a yellow centre, and the added attraction of fluffy seedheads afterwards.
Want to know more about how you can make your garden a great place for wildlife. Wild About Gardens has a wealth of information.
© The Royal Horticultural Society 2014 RHS Registered Charity № 222879/SC038262