Many years ago I trained in Garden Design at Merrist Wood College, Guildford, near to where I lived and also to the incredible RHS Wisley. I spent hours at the latter, chiefly because so many plant species are there to be seen and observed over the seasons and because almost every plant is identified.
You could (and still can) even see their trial beds, from which they base their reputed plant RHS Award of Garden Merit on. Everything from Magnolias to lettuces, sunflowers to hotas – you name it, they have it and trialled it!
It was an invaluable, living, plant library (of course they have a fabulous library too!), particularly for an aspiring garden designer.
So, how wonderful to return to a champagne reception last week with Sir Nicholas Bacon and Christopher Bradley Hole to hear about their new major development plans, including exciting redesigns for the garden entrance and brilliant designs for a Hilltop Science and Learning Centre being developed by WoilkinsonEyre Architects.
A pity I am no longer just down the road – there will be much to savour at Wisley over the coming months and years.
PS My hopeless photo! Tried to capture the setting sun on the Glasshouse as we toured the empty gardens…