The Welcome building
The new welcome building at Wisley Gardens was opened on June 10th by RHS Director General, Sue Biggs.
I visited a few weeks later when Wisley Gardens hosted one of their Wisley “lates” on the evening of July 26th.
Sadly, the weather was not great on either occasion but it did not spoil my enjoyment and I’m sure it did not deter the crowd that had gathered for the formal opening.
As I arrived early evening the first spots of rain could be felt as I made my way across the beautifully landscaped entrance. Making my way through the avenues of white cherry trees I headed straight for the café to grab a cuppa whilst allowing the rain to pass over.
Here I not only encountered this beautiful airy space with both indoor and outdoor covered seating but I also set eyes on the surrounding retail space.
Divided into various different “rooms” a closer peek was irresistible.
Naturally, Homeware was my first port of call, rapidly followed by the Bookshop which claims to be the largest Horticultural bookshop in this country, possibly in the world.
A vast array of gifts, fragrances, accessories, and original works of art, could also be found in the shop and in the Wisley Gallery.
Once the rain had subsided I ventured into the gardens. Here a string quartet played gently on the lawn to the strangest audience…
Little Girl, Little Girl II, Little Girl III, a sculpture by Lynn Chadwick was just one of the works that made up the exhibition curated by Suzy Bacon which is on display at Wisley Gardens until the end of the year.
Three works by renowned artist Henry Moore were also on display.
The first I encountered was Locking Piece. Gargartuan in size it could not be ignored.
Sheep Piece, was positioned beyond the Glasshouse. Again huge in scale its influence, was apparently, that of a ewe and her lamb.
As I completed the sculpture trail the last Henry Moore work I encountered was Draped Reclining Figure supremely mounted on a stone plinth.
Later works by more contemporary artists were included in the trail but the ones I found most striking were those by Henry Moore.
Walking back to the exit I wandered alongside the lily pond and through the viewing shelter. As I turned I noticed how these tree trunks were framed by its walls and roof and couldn’t help but capture the image.
I’m sure this was no accident but it just struck me how enchanting the gardens at Wisley are and I shall be sure to visit again soon.