It really does feel like spring has sprung this week and whilst I have some time on my hand I wanted to get out of the house and soak up as much vitamin D as my body would allow. Living in London, leaving the house isn’t always as much fun as you might like. Looking for refreshing lung fulls of clean spring air, what one tends to find is a multitude of lorries rumbling down the street, a mild dust storm and a not so graceful array of cigarette butts for one to kick their feet through as they stroll towards the tube… Perhaps town wasn’t the best stop for me in my search for a lung cleansing spring clean.
On my list of places to visit for a while now has been RHS Wisley. I had been a few years back with my dear Mama on one of our outings and whilst I cannot claim to having any sort of green fingers and thus most of the time have very little idea of the details behind what I am admiring, it’s a beautiful place for a stroll and as nature has a habit of reinventing itself at least 4 times a year there is always something different to look at. There are also 4 places for tea and cake, all good ‘visiting places’ have tea and cake facilities and this place has 4, need I say more.
There is so much coming into bloom now that from when you very first walk in, through to the furthest corner, you’re not short of something to look at, smell, wander through or take a quick snap shot of. I did make a note to myself whilst there however, not to try and live too much through my phone camera. I love capturing a memory, but I don’t want it to be at the expense of really being, to use a cliche, ‘in the moment’. I found myself a bench in the sun, and sat for a good half an hour and watched the world go by. There was a little stream quietly trickling along in front of me, new mums pushed their babies along the path, toddlers running along beside them. Older couples commented on planting patterns and I sat and watched.
One of the things I enjoyed most about the gardens is how many different water features are incorporated into the designs. The sound of water is incredibly relaxing and you can follow it’s path throughout the gardens. Beautiful open ponds stretch out in front of you which lead into small streams which take you onto the next feature. Wherever you are within Wisley, be it the Rose garden, the Herb garden or even as far to the back as the Orchard, you’re never that far from water.
In the Glasshouse currently is a display of Orchids, some of which are suspended from the ceiling, their roots trailing beneath them, not a pot to be seen. They get all the nutrients they need from a mist of water with a feed incorporated into it. Meaning you get a view of a flower you never normally would, the half that’s normally hidden to the world, hanging down in front of you.
I have no issue with going somewhere like this on my own. I can go at my own pace, stop when I want, choose the largest piece of cake and not have to share it with anyone (I don’t share cake). People watching is a great past time and somewhere like this with so many benches at your disposal gives you amply opportunity to do so. With the beautiful backdrop of a blossom tree or two sway in the breeze whilst a mother berates their child for running as fast as they can towards the babbling brook (no one jumped in, much to my disappointment).