Courson comes to Surrey

With its pre-opening breakfast tours of the show for special supporters, Gurkhas orchestrating the traffic with panache and an increasing number of exhibitors, the Wisley Flower show is becoming a major feature in the gardeners’ calendar.  So much so that thirty-nine members of the Norfolk PH group made the journey west to visit the show and the gardens.  I arranged to meet up with their programme secretary Kathy Gray to put a face to a name.  Kathy had organised this trip to Wisley and was telling me that she has already arranged 18 group events for next year.

Tony and Kathy Gray

But before that I visited all of the National Collection Holders exhibiting at the show.  Because of the time of year, not all of them are displaying their Collections but starting with those who are:
Christine and Keith Hayward with their Canna.

Steve and Elaine Hickman with their Agapanthus displayed in old musical instruments.

Steve used to play cornet so I guess he still has contacts in the brass band world.

This fascinating unifoliate Streptocarpus wendlandii is on display on the Dibleys stand; a species with a single leaf which grows continually and the flower emerges from the base of the leaf.   I wasn’t the only visitor to think that the leaf had been draped around the base of the plant.

Jane and Toni of Tynings Climbers

with their Passiflora

Passiflora x violacea ‘Victoria’

Tale Valley Nursery (NC Rhodohypoxis) are exhibiting alpines in a specially built alpine house, with educational notices on the requirements of these plants.

The Botanic Nursery (NC Digitalis) have brought along a collection of unusual shrubs all grown at their Wiltshire site, so suitable for chalky Guildford.  It was good to meet Terry Baker for the first time and with his advice I bought an Eleagnus pungens ‘Hosuba-fukurin’  for my garden.

Lockyers, (NC Primula auricula) are showing their exotics with a display of Aeonium and Crassula.

Although forty coaches were booked into the show

Wisley has enough space to get away from the crowds and enjoy the late summer borders

A couple of people I spoke to likened the show to that held at the Domaine de Courson, south of Paris – only better organised.  It runs until Sunday 9th September, 9am to 6 pm (5pm on Sunday) and is well worth a visit.