Speaker: Richard Thornton
Date: 27th April
Richard told us that he visited Wisley frequently with his camera as he only lived half a mile away and it was not just a garden and place for education but provided information on how to grow plants and the best ones to grow where. The Garden was given to the RHS by Sir Thomas Hanbury, a wealthy Quaker who had founded the celebrated garden of La Mortola, on the Italian Riviera. Sir Thomas presented the Wisley estate in trust to the Society in 1903 for its perpetual use. It now has 750,00 visitors a year. There are lots of areas to explore and there are always many things to interest visitors whatever the season.
The trials of flowers, vegetables and fruit, an important part of the Society’s work since 1860 ‘epitomise…the Society’s endeavour to show to the public the best kinds of plants to grow’ and remain one of the principal objects of the garden. That combination of learning with pleasure is the essence of Wisley.
Richard’s slide show took us through Wisley at all the seasons from the marvellous displays of spring bulbs to autumn colour at its finest and winter with its serenity and beauty.
Not forgetting the new world class glasshouse built to celebrate the bicentenary of the RHS and it’s three separate climatic areas. We found the slides inspirational and determined to visit Wisley soon.