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Wisley is one of the world’s great gardens, packed with horticultural inspiration. Wisley is one of the world’s great gardens, packed with horticultural inspiration.
The Winter Walk shows that the colder months can still be filled with colour and scent
Come and enjoy the Winter Walk around Seven Acres, no matter what the weather. Themed planting along hard-surfaced pathways means everyone can enjoy the scents and colours that make winter gardens extra special. From December through to March the scene will change and evolve.
Ornamental cherry Prunus serrula with its shiny, mahogany-coloured bark, and Betula utilis var. jacquemontii with its bright white trunks provide both colour and texture. These plants are repeated throughout this part of the garden to great effect.
Other plants grown for texture include Pinus strobus ‘Tiny Kurls’, with its curious twisted green needles, white-blue Cupressus arizonica var. glabra ‘Blue Ice’, and Thuja plicata ‘Whipcord’, which bears long, drooping narrow foliage. Salix gracilistyla ‘Mount Aso’ is tactile, and grown for its beautiful, soft pink catkins that appear in late winter.
One of the biggest attractions of the Winter Walk are the hits of colour coming from the winter stem bed - bright crimson dogwood Cornus alba Baton Rouge (‘Minbat’) and orange-yellow stemmed Cornus sanguinea ‘Magic Flame’ AGM and green-yellow
stems of C. sericea ‘Flaviramea’ AGM all add vivid colour in the depths of winter.
Juniperus squamata ‘Blue Carpet’ is combined for structure and evergreen interest with Pittosporum tenuifolium ‘Variegatum’ and Erica x darleyensis f. albifloa ‘Snow Surprise’. Meanwhile, white-stemmed Betula utilis var. jacquemontii ‘Doorenbos’, is underplanted with Erica x darleyensis f. albiflora ‘White Spring Surprise’. The stark branches and stems of maroon-barked Prunus serrula contrast with carpets of heathers and blue Iris histrioides ‘Lady Beatrix Stanley’.
Scent adds another attraction to our Winter Walk and it is often possible to enjoy the fragrance on the air long before you get to the plant. Chimonanthus praecox ‘Luteus’, which has tiny waxy yellow flowers, is perfectly located right next to the path. You'll also find Lonicera fragrantissima, which has small white flowers with a sweet scent that can be experienced from a distance. Evergreen Sarcococca confusa AGM is well known for providing scent from its creamy white flowers. There is also a small planting of glossy-leaved and cream-flowered Sarcococca ruscifolia var. chinensis ‘Dragon Gate’.
Drama is created by planting in big drifts, from 90 Hamamelis in one bed to 100 scented, yellow-flowered Edgeworthia chrysantha, which we believe is the biggest group planting in the country. Snowdrops in drifts are a charming attraction too – look for Galanthus ‘Magnet’.
You can also explore other areas at Wisley
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The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.