Bringing the world together at Wisley's Mediterranean Walk

It is so great to be back with a good news update. Buongiorno dear gardeners, friends and colleagues!

This walk is the longest in the country to be divided into regions representing the world’s five Mediterranean climatic areas. Beneath it a splendid Mediterranean flower meadow mixed with olive trees is celebrating an explosion of colours and texture. A must see! The project is covering a vast area but you will be guided by our interpretation boards that will highlight the walk and some of the plant collections.

Our latest entry is the introduction of an almost 200-year-old olive tree kindly donated by our Wisley Plant Centre. It is located in the Mediterranean basin walk. This tree is my favourite of all as when I am around it brings me many memories as I think about the thousand year old olive trees I have seen in southern Italy wandering in olive groves with my grandfather.

The Succulent WalkThe walk, of course, covers Californian and southern African landscapes but just before reaching the Chilean section you will come across one of the finest collection of succulent plants growing outdoors in England. I strongly urge you to explore this area as you will be able to identify its valuable botanical collection - it has a remarkable selection of succulent plants that you could experiment with in your own garden in the right spot and soil condition.

Some of them are great for containers such as Dasylirion acrotrichum or green desert spoon and Yucca rostrata sometimes called beaked yucca. Others, like Lampranthus brownii with orange, daisy-like flowers in summer and Sedum cauticola ‘Coca-Cola’ with blue grey foliage that darkens with age and bright pink flowers, are good for hanging baskets. Just a quick note - this succulent section will be given winter protection to help save it from the harsh winter weather.  

The Mediterranean Flower Meadow

The reason for a section with a flower meadow with drought tolerant plants is to highlight the importance of sustainable horticulture and environmental matters. Building the flower meadow was like a puzzle and is made by essential various elements. A blend of annual and perennial meadow flowers in a very versatile mixture from Bright Seeds; hard wearing, fast establishing that will produce plenty of variety and colour. The mixture contains common legumes and wildflowers and can be used in many different situations - deep-rooted species are excellent for stabilising steep banks, and other plants able to tolerate drought. Olive trees, Eremurus himalaicus, Euryops tysonii, Diascia rigescens are here along with the meadow flowers.

Everything is looking fabulous right now!
Bring your camera and your notebook, there is too much to remember and to see!

Of course, enjoy and I will see you around,
Happy gardening
Sabatino Urzo

PS if you’re really inspired, you might be interested in The Mediterranean Garden Society, a non-profit making association founded in Greece in 1994, which acts as a focus for everyone who has a special interest in the plants and gardens of Mediterranean climate regions.

Get involved

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.