I was lucky enough this summer to be included in a day trip out with the local Garden Committee (you heard me) in my village, for a whole £14 return trip, plus entry to the gorgeous RHS Wisely.
For anyone not familiar with the ‘RHS’, it stands for The Royal Horticultural Society, and their aims are as follows:
“The activities of the RHS are focused on delivering a real benefit to all those involved and interested in horticulture and gardening in the UK” – RHS About Us
That’s a very tiny summary, but this includes ensuring all of our greatest areas of horticultural interest are maintained and accessible, with staging fun events (think Chelsea Flower Show), education for schools, community campaigns (like regional “In Bloom” campaigns), horticultural science and advice, shops, and so much more.
You can become a member for an annual fee of £42.75 per individual, or £62.25 for a joint membership, which offers you a range of benefits like event discounts, unlimited access to all RHS gardens for your annual subscription, access to partner gardens, and a nice magazine in the post too. You can read up more on the deal here (I’m not sponsored, I just genuinely have so much respect for organisations like this).
So Wisely is an RHS Garden and costs non members £14.50 to get in as an adult, and £7.25 as a child (free for members, as I say). It just so happened that this particular weekend, Wisely was hosting an Arts event, where there were many craft stalls, musicians, dancers, actors, you name it. Anything of the Arts!
Here’s a visual snapshot of my trip.
Throughout the gardens you’ll find some amazing little places to eat. One main establishment is the on site restaurant which offers hot and cold sesonal “sit down meals”, with yummy desserts and drinks.
The portions are almost “fine dining” in size, however very pleasant and filling. My choice was the mozzerella salad with red pepper and tomato. Utterly divine, and so very, very fresh. My friend, Trina, had the same.
Tastes similar in main, yet differed in dessert. Trina opted for a loaded chocolate cheesecake, and I went for the good old British Strawberries and Cream in a glass.
Both puddings were light, again fresh, and very generous in portion size. The entire meal, plus drinks (a diet coke, and a raspberry lemonade with 2 teas) came to around £27.00.
The Arts Festival.
As I mentioned earlier, this weekend hosted an arts festival. Here you can see some of the fun on offer, which most you could even get stuck in with, like pottery and knitting.
As expected, the gardens themselves were immaculate. Perfectly cut lawns, with not a weed in sight. Gorgeous little streams and ponds throughout, with all flowers bordered into their own little families. The rose gardens were some of my favourites, along with the Bonsai Trees.
There are also areas mapped out for senory gardens, so the really smelly stuff like honeysuckles and again, roses, with even sections simply for fruit and veg enthusiasts, with raised veg borders, fruit under netting, and an orchard. Everything covered.
Another lovely experience is the wildflower meadow, and the great glass house with some of the more unusual species of plant and foliage on offer.
As well as the main restaurant, there are very conveniently spaced out cafes and even BBQ stands throughout the gardens, with one of my favourites named “The Honest Sausage”.
These places stocked your drinks (cold, tea, and coffee), with little snacks like ice cream, cakes, sausage sandwiches, and other BBQ treats for example. Just the kind of thing to keep you going as you move, as oppose to sitting down properly at the restaurant.
They basically made excellent “tea pit stops” for Trina and I.
You’ll find Wisely at the following address.
RHS Garden Wisley
RHS Garden Wisley is open all year except Christmas Day
Monday – Friday 10am – 6pm Sat – Sun & Bank Hols9am – 6pm
Last entry one hour before closing.
10am – 5.15pm (last entry 15 minutes before closing).
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