New Exotic Garden for RHS Garden Wisley

Friday 7 April 2017

• Exotic plants to bring a tropical summer to Wisley • New garden will showcase a range of exuberant plants from around the world

It’s National Gardening Week and RHS Garden Wisley is preparing for a tropical summer this year as it plants up its very first Exotic Garden. Bringing together a cornucopia of intriguing species and cultivars to the flagship RHS Garden, the brand new feature will create an immersive experience, whisking visitors away to a paradise bursting with exuberant plants, gigantic leaves and brightly coloured flowers.

To be opened in July 2017, the garden will showcase a diverse range of plants, from palms and bananas to vibrant flowers such as dahlias, cannas and gazanias. Providing an alluring contrast from the nearby Bowes-Lyon Rose Garden and Cottage Garden, the oasis will feature more than 100 species originating from tropical areas as far as Brazil and South Africa in an array of bold shapes and textures.

RHS Garden Wisley Curator Matthew Pottage says: “With the recent revival of vibrant palm prints, indoor exotics and succulents, we are delighted to reveal our plans for the new Exotic Garden which will bring a tropical touch to Surrey. The garden will demonstrate the range of plants that can thrive in English gardens and we hope that it will inspire others to be bold and more adventurous with their choice of plants.”

A mixture of circular and angular stone pathways will weave through the garden towards a beautiful bespoke double lotus fountain, adorned with pineapple and passion flowers. Individual stone benches also decorated with passion flower detail will be dotted around for visitors to sit and admire this tropical hideaway.

With the ability to cope with a range of conditions, the hardy nature of the palms and other plants will ensure the garden endures all of Surrey’s seasons and provide an oasis-like setting for guests to spot the different plants while demonstrating the myriad of tropical design possibilities.

Alongside this year’s National Gardening Week theme (10 – 16 April) ‘Help New Gardeners Grow’, the garden aims to inspire and encourage new gardeners to engage with horticulture in fresh and exciting ways.

For those looking to transform their gardens and re-create exotica at home, budding gardeners can consider these three plants, as recommended by the RHS Chief Horticulturist Guy Barter:

1. With lopsided leaves and abundant flowers, begonias are a must-have for a tropical look. Begonia ‘Glowing Embers’ AGM is typical of the newer cultivars featuring purplish leaves and an array of individual orange flowers.
2. Eucomis look like ginger or pineapple plants with tufts of leaves on top of their massed starry flowers. Choose Eucomis bicolor AGM for their purple stems and green flowers for a fresh twist.
3. For blooming red flowers of a dazzling nature that almost hurt to look at, introduce striking lobelias such as Lobelia cardinalis AGM and L. tupa.


Notes to editors

All events are subject to normal garden admission; for RHS members admission is free unless otherwise stated. For further information, images and press enquiries contact Alice McDermott in the Press Office at / 020 7821 3696

About RHS Garden Wisley
RHS Garden Wisley, Woking, Surrey, GU23 6QB
01483 224234

Opening times and ticket prices may vary by event. Full details can be found at

Opening times
Wisley is open every day except for Christmas Day

Monday – Friday from 10am – 6pm (to 8pm throughout December 2016)
Saturday – Sunday (including Bank Holidays) from 9am – 6pm
(Closes 4:30pm 30 October 2016 – 12 March 2017). Last admission is one hour before closing time

Glasshouse opening times
Winter: 30 October 2016 – 5 March 2017: 10am – 3:45pm. Last admission 15 minutes before closing.

2017 Admission prices – 10% off with all online ticket purchases (except groups)
RHS members enjoy free entry with a family guest (entitlements may vary according to membership type
Non-members (excluding Gift Aid)
Adult £14.00
Family (2 plus 2) £36.00
Children 5 – 16yrs £7.00
Children under 5 years Free
Groups (10+ adults) £11.70 per person

About the RHS
The Royal Horticultural Society was founded in 1804 by Sir Joseph Banks and John Wedgwood to inspire passion and excellence in the science, art and practice of horticulture. Our vision is to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener, healthier, happier and more beautiful place. We believe everyone in every village, town and city should benefit from growing plants to enhance lives, build stronger, healthier, happier communities and create better places to live.

We held our first flower shows in 1820, were granted a Royal Charter in 1861 and acquired RHS Garden Wisley, our flagship garden, in 1903. From our first meetings in a small room off London’s Piccadilly, we have grown to become the world’s largest gardening charity. At our gardens and shows and through our scientific research, publications, libraries and our education and community programmes we inspire a passion for gardening and growing plants, promote the value of gardens, demonstrate how gardening is good for us and explain the vital roles that plants undertake.

The RHS is committed to bring the joy of gardening to millions more people, inspire the next generation of gardeners and invest in the future to safeguard a £10.4 billion industry employing more than 300,000 people. We are entirely funded by our members, visitors and supporters. RHS membership is for anyone with an interest in gardening. Support the RHS and help us secure a healthy future for gardening. For more information call: 020 3176 5820, or visit

RHS Registered Charity No. 222879/SC038262

Latest press releases

About the RHS

The RHS believes that gardening improves the quality of life and that everyone should have access to great garden experiences. As a charity we help to bring gardening into people's lives and support gardeners of all levels and abilities; whether they are expert horticulturists or children who are planting seeds for the very first time.

RHS membership is for anyone with an interest in gardening. Support the RHS and secure a healthy future for gardening. For more information call: 0845 130 4646, or visit

RHS Registered Charity No. 222879/SC038262