Well, here we are halfway through the year already and up until now only seeing summer fleetingly. But as I always end up saying gardeners love rain, just maybe not quite so much of it and who ordered 31 degrees ??? But the mix of rain and sunshine have been perfect for the garden which is looking lovelier than ever.
Approaching the garden you just have to stop and explore the front lawn area. The poppies have been excellent again this year all around the garden, photo 1. The Phlomis russeliana, known as Jerusalem sage, is looking good too. It brings interest to the garden almost all year round. First with its flowers all summer long, photo 2, then its distinctive dome shaped seed heads through autumn and winter. Also in this bed is this iris, photo 3, it's fabulous.
Walking towards the pond I see the Cornus kousa standing proud beside the water. What I call flowers are actually 4 spreading bracts below a cluster of very small flowers but whether they are flowers or bracts I think they are stunning, photos 4 and 5. Nearby is another display of poppies, photo 6.
The bed running along the New River Lawn is full of interest. Here are the Echium pininana, photo 7. These plants are amazing and can reach 4 metres high. I think the big one in the middle is certainly trying to do that. The flowers that cover the plant are very beneficial to the insects in the garden, photo 8. Behind the Rose Garden is the Wisley Corner. It is such a pretty area, photo 9, and the Wisley Rose, Rosa 'Wisley 2008', also known as Rosa Ausbreeze, is very happy here, photo 10.
Retracing my steps back across the New River Lawn, I walked down the steps into the Kitchen Garden. What a wonderful sight it is too, photo 11. This bed is packed with so many interesting varieties that I thought I should name them for you. So left to right there are 2 varieties of potatoes, British Queen and Ratte. Then there is Erbette, which is a cross between spinach and chard. This is growing amongst the Red Orache. Then there are courgettes, Genovese, and Squash, Custard white. Next are 2 varieties of climbing beans, Blauhilde and Barlotta di fuoco. A row of peas, Meteor, and a row of broad beans, Aquadulce, complete that area! Looking at it from the other side you can see the Phacelia tanacetifolia that Steph is growing here as a green manure, photo 12. This is also very beneficial to the insects in the garden, photo 13.
The next beds have been created and added to over the years as a reference to days gone by when the garden was used by The School of Pharmacy. The Kitchen Garden was a place to grow and experiment with these plants and many others. The first bed is a riot of colour and scent, photo 14. It's full of poppies, Acanthus, known as Bear's breech, campanulas and Salvia sclarea, known as Clary sage. The Salvia sclarea has been grown from seed and planted out to cover this area, photo 15. It is so beautiful and used as an essential oil. The next bed is also full of medicinal plants, photo 16. There is Phytolacca, known as Pokeweed. This is extremely toxic and has been used as a dye for centuries and has been cultivated since 1650. Atropa belladonna, known as Deadly Nightshade, which is also highly toxic. Tanacetum parthenium, known as Feverfew, and climbing the trellis in the background is Humulus lupulus 'Aureus', known as Golden Hop, photo 17.
Moving on I walk up to Bowling Green Lawn and the Eremurus Border. This has been renovated recently and is a perfect backdrop to the Ballerina roses growing along either side of the pathway, photo 18. At the end of the border is this pleasing display of alliums, photos 19 and 20.
Finally, when I was taking photos of the Phlomis on the Front Lawn this very obliging Angle shades moth posed for me, photo 21. Then we have the very naughty Ringed-Necked Parakeet, photo 22. Naughty because they only come into the garden to eat all the fruit!!
I hope you have enjoyed this wander around the garden with me.