After an extended break from blog writing (Six months to be precise, but who’s counting!!). We have decided to get back into posting. Jacob has been taking up almost every second of our time being a bundle of endless energy, and this left us with very little time for…anything else really. Anyway things are ‘starting’ to settle down a bit now and we figured we are documenting every week through photography, so why not accompany this with some blog posts.

Recently on a somewhat grey autumnal day when we desperately needed to get out of the house we decided to head up to RHS Wisley Gardens, which is near Woking in Surrey. We joined the RHS earlier this year for discounted entry to the Hampton Court Flower show, and meant to use our membership entry at Wisley ever since, but summer seemed to disappear in the blink of an eye. Thankfully Wisley is renowned for being stunning in all seasons so we hopped in the car and cruised round a surprisingly clear M25.

The entrance to Wisley Gardens is fairly unassuming and doesn’t give away much of what lies inside. It’s only when you’ve picked up your map of the site that you start to appreciate the scale of the gardens. They seem to have included pretty much every category of plant and flower that you can imagine. Before starting our visit properly we stopped off at one of the garden’s restaurants and had a very pleasant lunch. Whenever we visit this type of property we always seem to end up in the cafe or restaurant. Nothing gets you in the mood for a leisurely stroll round some beautiful gardens like a cream tea or a slice of cake.

Jacob happy after some lunch

Jacob happy after some lunch

With full stomachs we got the map out again, but struggled to know where to start. Do we start with a walk through the fruit orchards? Perhaps explore the huge glasshouse? Or maybe feel like Mr Miyagi whilst being impressed by the bonsai collection? For a pair of complete horticultural novices we were completely overwhelmed! In the end we settled on a walking loop that would take in most of the main areas. For our first visit this seemed like a decent introduction.

Lovely purple colours

Lovely purple colours

Not sure what these are but they were really unusual!

Not sure what these are but they were really unusual!

It’s a shame we didn’t know the names of most of the plants we saw. Where is Monty Don when you need him! Despite our lack of knowledge it was a pleasure seeing all the different colours, shapes and varieties. Jacob was either really fascinated, or completely nonchalant depending on the plant or flower in front of him, but on the whole seemed to be enjoying himself. He definitely liked the bright colours though.

Autumn colours at Wisley

Autumn colours at Wisley

One of our favourite parts of the garden was the huge glasshouse, containing all sorts of exotic plants that require humid, moist or dry environments to thrive. We loved all the cacti and gigantic palms, but the humidity in some of the areas proved too much for Jacob and he completely lost it a couple of times.

Jacob enjoying the cacti from the safety of his pram

Jacob enjoying the cacti from the safety of his pram

Brushing past the soft grasses

Brushing past the soft grasses

After leaving the glasshouse you can climb a small hill (AKA mountain when pushing heavy pushchair through wet grass!)  to get a fantastic view back down to the glasshouse. After soaking in this view we descended and spent the rest of our visit getting lost in the apple orchards.

View of the Wisley glasshouse

View of the Wisley glasshouse

Even though we spent several hours at Wisley it feels like we have only just scratched the surface. We are already planning to go back at some point before Christmas to enjoy their winter display. Nichola and I both agreed that Wisley was by far the best gardens we had visited in the UK. If you find yourself nearby we would highly recommend a visit. It’s worth mentioning it’s very baby friendly with good changing facilities and lots of smooth paths for buggies. For more information visit their website here.

Until next time!

James