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Welcome to Wisley in late summer. As the days gradually shorten there is still an abundance of colour and form in the garden, and much to take inspiration from: fruit, veg, flowers, grasses, trees, and wide open spaces.
Japanese anemones, such as Anemone x hybrida 'Honorine Jobert', are in full glory in September, featuring in the Country Garden, Mixed Borders and Walled Garden East and around the Glasshouse. These lofty plants flower for weeks in shades of pink and white.
In the Fruit Demonstration Gardens and all over the Fruit Field apples, pears and plenty of other fruit is ready for harvest. At Wisley we have nearly 700 different cultivars of apples alone, including Apple 'Red Falstaff'. The Model Veg Garden is also brimming with produce, such as chillies, tomatoes, courgettes and cabbage. We take our harvest of fruit and vegetable to the cafes and restaurants on site so that you really can have a taste of Wisley.
In September we see hints of autumnal tints hit the maple trees. You get a good view of these from the top of the Alpine Meadow, and all the way between Weather Hill Cottage and the Wild Garden.
Under the trees of the Conifer Lawn, Battleston Hill, in the Pinetum and on the Rock Garden, cyclamen create a colourful carpet of pink and white. Cyclamen hederifolium is a beautiful, autumn-flowering plant that is great for dry shade. Colchicums are plentiful too, especially around Seven Acres.
Every year, our dahlia displays, including Dahlia 'Alva's Doris', are breathtaking. The range of colour and form of this flower is amazing, from tiny pompoms to large, spiky flowerheads, some with a daisy-like structure, others fully double. They feature in the Trials Field, but also in bedding displays in the Mixed Borders, Canal Borders and in the new AGM Borders too.
Gentiana paradoxa provides a contrasting colour to the norm at this time of year. Find this one in the Alpine Display House, along with different types of cyclamen, saxifrages and all sorts of delights, including South African bulbous plants. We update the display daily, so that it always looks its very best.
Look out for berries in the trees. Sorbus, or rowan trees, grow all over the garden, from Battleston Hill to the Arboretum, Weather Hill and Seven Acres, with berries in colours of white, cream, yellow, orange, red and pink. Sorbus hupehensis var. obtusa has grey leaves and pink berries, and you can find it on Battleston Hill.
Sternbergia lutea is otherwise known as the autumn daffodil, and looks like a yellow crocus. It stands out, not by stature, but by its colour, outside the Alpine Display House.
As you pass the Laboratory, don't miss the beautiful Vitex agnus-castus var. latifolia. Also known as the chaste tree, this decidous, slightly fragrant member of the verbena family is full of purple flowers at this time of year.
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 2013 RHS Registered Charity № 222879/SC038262