Warm, grey and drizzly – in all honesty much better conditions for observing and taking photographs of plants and gardens than the strong, harsh direct sunlight we’ve been enjoying lately. With the blanket of clouds acting as a giant softbox, flowers and foliage had ample opportunity to reflect the full vibrancy of their colours back into the camera lens – wonderful diffuse light in which to experience the summer garden, bettered only by those golden hours at each end of the day. I wandered up through the mixed borders, into the country garden, through the AGM border and into the rose gardens; a tiny fraction of the site, but sufficient to provide a fix of garden goodness that should see me through the next few grey days.
Visiting a garden tended by an army of students, staff and volunteers can be a dispiriting if you’re ever daft enough, as I can be, to berate yourself for failing to maintain the same high standards. So today’s visit was a tonic, burgeoning borders and fabulous plants, yes, but also edges in need of a trim, wafty hedges, fresh growth on vigorous climbers crying out to be tied in and – gloriously – weeds and dry leaves everywhere – a proper garden.
The whole thing made me feel much better about the seemingly endless list of jobs clamouring for my attention in the gardens I tend. Wisley is not always perfect, and not being perfect, as any fule kno, is precisely how a garden should be.