Tuesday 25 August 2015
From December, the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Garden Wisley in Surrey is aglow with winter colour: a perfect setting for peaceful winter walks and an inspiring season of sights and events.
New Christmas activities herald the festive season, from yuletide-inspired gardening workshops to light displays and winter trails. Exotic butterflies return to the Glasshouse in early 2016, with family activities about the secret lives of insects set to run over the February half term.
There will be events and activities to delight and inspire every garden lover this winter, and here are a few highlights. For full details, please visit rhs.org.uk/wisleywhatson
Explore our newly created winter walk bursting with winter scents, colours and textures. With architectural outlines softened by modern mass plantings and new views to enjoy, this is a must-see attraction of the season. The walk is on fully-accessible pathways around Seven Acres and, for those that wish, you can enjoy a longer walk with the adjoining Bark Trail.
Winter is the ideal season to explore Wisley’s wonderful collection of trees from all over the world. Pick up a trail guide, enjoy the intricate textures and discover more about bark as you explore.
25 Oct – 24 Dec The Wisley Christmas Shop
From decorations and wreaths to poinsettias – and of course a Christmas tree – your Christmas look starts at Wisley. Gifts for all the family and some treats for you, too.
3 and 4 Dec Christmas Wreath Course, 10.30am – 1.30pm either day
Have you ever wanted to create your own Christmas door wreath? Well, now you can. Never mind if you’re a complete beginner, you’ll be guided through the process of how to create a traditional mossed base covered in seasonal foliage by Georgia of The Sussex Flower School. Get creative using the wide selection of decorations provided to make your wreath unique. We promise you fun, expert tuition and a fabulous wreath to go home with. £75 RHS members, £88 non-members (includes tea and coffee). Book by calling 020 3176 5830 (line open weekdays 9am–5pm)
2 Dec Christmas Glow light switch-on at Wisley, 5pm
Watch RHS Ambassador and author Mary Berry switch on the Wisley Christmas lights at 5pm, and then enjoy a late-night Christmas shopping evening until 8.30pm. There will be sparkling seasonal decorations, and unrivalled RHS gifts, plants and books for sale to make Christmas shopping a pleasure. The Wisley Christmas Shop will be open until 24 December.
3 Dec – 3 Jan Christmas Glow at Wisley, RHS Garden Wisley
Enjoy the atmosphere of the festive season with the Jigantics light installations dotted around the garden in the shape of magical, giant illuminated flowers. Look out for the natural Christmas decorations around the garden, from holly wreaths to carpets of ivy. Visit at dusk as the garden opens until 5pm (last entry 4pm).
5 Dec – 4 Jan Christmas display in the Glasshouse
In the Glasshouse, Christmas is a chance to transform the display into something magical. Hundreds of plants are specially grown by the team including poinsettias for a large Christmas tree, Fittonia and Anthurium. The Tropical Zone is transformed by vibrant colours and pillars are adorned with Calanthe and miniature Phalaenopsis. Look for exciting pond displays, and don’t miss the ropes made of soft Tillandsia moss, hanging like tinsel.
5 – 20 Dec (Weekends) & 23 – 24 Dec Making Gingerbread and Storytelling with Santa
Each weekend of December, come and make festive gingerbread and listen to stories with Santa. Book online at rhs.org.uk/wisleywhatson. For 6+ years, accompanied by a responsible adult. Price: £5 per child for RHS members and non-members.
1 – 24 Dec Festive Lunches and Afternoon Teas
The Restaurant’s tempting seasonal menu will ease you into the festivities. There is nothing like something warming and spiced after an invigorating walk to see the winter colour. Gift vouchers for an afternoon tea make wonderful presents, too. £14 per person for a two-course menu. Book online at rhs.org.uk/wisley or call 01483 225329.
16 Jan – 6 Mar Butterflies in the Glasshouse
See exotic butterflies among tree ferns, tall palms, lush-leaved creepers and dazzling flowers in the tropical paradise of the Glasshouse. Marvel at the colours and sizes of the butterflies in Wisley’s ‘jungle’… if you’re lucky, one might even land on you.
Beat the queues and pre-book a time slot for weekends and half term (booking is open from 1 December). Round off your trip with one of the butterfly-decorated cookies and cupcakes from the Taste of Wisley bakers.
1 – 29 Feb Fabulous Frugal February
Enjoy Wisley at its most peaceful with a frosty walk. Join us in the Restaurant for a two-course lunch or afternoon tea for just £12 per person. Booking is essential, visit rhs.org.uk/wisley or call 01483 225329.
7 Feb Cyclamen Society Early Spring Show
The Cyclamen Society Early Spring show offers exhibits and displays of spring flowering cyclamen. There will be experts available to give advice on care, propagation and companion planting and a range of interesting and unusual plants will be available for sale.
13 – 21 Feb The Secret Lives of Insects, February Half Term
Learn about the secret life of pollinating insects, whether it is an unexpected ant, a beautiful butterfly or those busy bees. Find out how they move, eat, and taste with planting activities and crafts. Activities vary daily.
Notes to editors
All events are subject to normal garden admission, RHS members admission is free unless otherwise stated. If you would like to attend or cover events, and for images, please contact Emma Pike on 01483 479798 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Photographs are available to download at www.rhs.photoshelter.com. Registration is a simple process and free of charge. Please contact email@example.com to gain access.
About RHS Garden Wisley
RHS Garden Wisley, Woking, Surrey GU23 6QB
0845 260 9000 www.rhs.org.uk/wisley
(Calls to RHS ‘08’ numbers cost 5p per minute, plus your telephone service provider`s access charge.)
Opening times and ticket prices may vary by event. Full details can be found at www.rhs.org.uk
RHS members enjoy free entry with a guest (entitlements may vary according to membership type).
Adults £12.00 (£13.20 Including Gift Aid)
Children (5 – 16yrs) £ 6.00 (£6.60 Including Gift Aid)
Children under 5yrs Free
Family (2 + 2) £29.75 (£32.75 Including Gift Aid)
Groups of more than 10 people £10.80 per person
Green travel by bus or bicycle £9.90 per person
Group visits must be booked in advance.
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 secure a healthy future for gardening. For more information call: 020 3176 5820, or visit www.rhs.org.uk/join
RHS Registered Charity No. 222879/SC038262