My favourite this year was the golden-leaved ash, Fraxinus excelsior 'Aurea'. It was absolutley splendid. On the trials field the dahlias succumbed to the first frost November 23 but up until then they were looking spectacular. The sunflower trial is over but the late sowing (July 14) gave a superb display up until late October. The RHS People’s Choice went to sunflowers 'Rio Carnival' in containers and 'Happy Face' in the garden border.
The Nerine trial has been establishing and has progressed really well. There are some surprising varieties that have bulked up well and are flowering profusely this autumn, including 'Lord Grenfell' and an experimental cultivar from Gary Dunlop.
Amazingly, our penstemon trial still looked wonderful right up until the end of November. Now in its second year we are seeing how breeding has improved the flowering form, and length of flowering season and general garden performance in being much neater and sturdier in habit. We will be holding a Penstemon Study Day in 2016 - details to follow
Something new that catches the eye is the new primrose 'Everlast' which is planted en masse at the top of the Wisley trials field and in containers placed in the container garden alongside the Hilltop borders. We look forward to seeing how it flowers through the winter and into spring
As you go up Battleston Hill to the trials field on the brow of the hill can be see an amazing planting of amarines (× Amarine cultivars). This is a new plant on the market and is a cross between the nerine and amaryllis. We are sure they will become very popular in the garden over the next few years.
Over the winter the trials office will be busy arranging the new assessment to take place in 2016 and the trial list for 2016 can be found on the web.