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Visiting RHS Wisley with my father

Posted:27 February 2010

Having been on a visit to RHS Wisley last week with The Garden House I decided it was so amazing that I visited again this week, this time with my father (who is nearly 90) in tow.

RHS Wisley has such a wealth of information and this time – only a week later , there were different things to see and new plants emerging , despite the dreadful weather!

The alpines were certainly one of the stars of the show and they are a group of plants that I for one tend to forget about – an alpine is mainly grown between the tree line and the line of permanent snow and the conditions they have adapted to are many; altitude, cold, wind, free draining soil, poor soil and also a short growing season.

It is because of these conditions that they tend to be low growing and have leaves that have adapted to reduce moisture loss, so consequently the leaves are often small, rolled up, hairy or succulent.  Some are evergreens which reduces the amount of growth they have to make each season.

Alpines are associated with rockeries, this is an attempt to recreate their natural environment but Wisley have them growing in the alpine houses , this is so they keep dry.  They really dislike poorly drained soil and damp conditions.

RHS Wisley also has a wonderful educational value – the labelling is fantastic and seeing so many young children really enjoying themselves in the glasshouse was very hopeful – budding horticulturalists!

Do pay Wisley a visit – anytime of year there is so much to see – whatever your age!

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