The sun finally arrived this weekend, so plans were hastily made to pay a visit to Wisley with friends. I knew it was close to us, but had no idea by quite how much.
Wisley is just a little further down the A3 from Painshill Park, close to the A3/M25 junction. To get the most out of Wisley, a RHS membership is essential. I’ve spotted a 20% cashback deal via Quidco, or if you collect Tesco Clubcard points then you only need £17 which are pretty good deals. Otherwise it’s around £45 a year for one person, you are able to take a guest for free and children under 5 go free. A RHS membership also gets you into a few other gardens around the country, though the guest rule doesn’t apply.
After spending the best part of a day at Wisley I’m pretty sure it would take a minimum of four trips to get to know it better.
There is a lot of parking, a good thing as it was pretty busy. There are good garden shops too, something Shaun made the most of, getting a Burgon & Ball Verti-Plant which will make our back yard look lovely and is an ideal solution for us – we have no garden here, just pots and plants.
It was a glorious day – we started out with layers and ended up with just t-shirts it was so warm. For some reason I had visions of Wisley being like a large garden centre – I was wrong – it’s a huge garden with many areas and plenty to do for everyone.
There’s water, flowers, sculptures, walks, mud, hills, more hills, plenty of food areas, a great outdoor play area and so much more. Areas to sit and take it all in, and areas to wander around watching the world go by. We spent a while on top of the Fruit Mound – a hill with two spiral pathways to get up to the top (check it on Google Maps, it’s pretty cool), where there are seats and fresh air aplenty.
Then there’s the butterflies – so many of them in the hot and humid Glasshouse – we queued for around five minutes to get in though had to keep escaping outside to breathe! The butterflies were amazing, many different kinds (with a handy leaflet to help you identify them – good when you don’t retain information easily like me) – though the exhibition ‘Butterflies in the Glasshouse’ finished today.
If you like National Trust gardens then Wisley will appeal. It gave H and her friend a freedom she hasn’t had for a few weeks, where they could play together in the dens, run around the grounds, spot fish, admire the butterflies and so much more. The daffodils and snowdrops were out, and Wisley was such a lovely bright colourful wonderfully floral smelling kind of place. That and there was also a giant apple to study – part of a sculpture exhibition in the grounds running until the end of March 2014.
H was pretty tired after all the walking around, but enjoyed it. We ate in the Glasshouse Cafe and found the food to be reasonable, a decent vegetarian choice and good strong coffee. They do kids meals in a box with plenty of healthy choice on offer as well.
Linking in to Country Kids, Wisley’s site is over here. Huge thanks to Lianna for allowing me to be her guest!