Monday, 17 December 2012

Rocking Robin and the Wonders of RHS Wisley


Last Thursday I emerged from my winter hibernation long enough to meet up with the lovely Lazy Trollop and the Highly Organised Helen Reeley at wonderful RHS Wisley in what is becoming an extremely enjoyable December tradition.  The gardens couldn't have looked more festive with a sharp layer of festooning frost making Wizzers more wonderful than Oz.  And accompanying us on our meander not a munchkin but a fat little robin who took a great liking to Helen and her hat.

There is so much at Wisley to see that even when the car parks seem full it is always possible to escape the crowds and find a quiet corner but on frosty Thursday we didn't need to as few had braved the cold.  What a treat they missed!!

Even when cut down and decaying, gunnera still retains its architectural attraction (clic on any picture to enlarge)

We are always drawn to the Piet Oudolf borders, fabulous in summer with their rich tapestry textures in winter they excelled themselves, the beautiful brocade background of lace-leaved eryngiums appliquéd with sparkling beads of ice like the most fabulous couture ball gown.

 Arching grasses piped with slivers of snow,

We were mesmerized by the borders as I still am by my photos, difficult to know which one I love the most.  Zooming in and cropping them turns even the smallest detail into a fabulous picture.

 A bewitching winter bouquet

 A captivating contrast between the dark and dying stems and white frosted foliage

Did Piet design these borders with the knowledge they would be resplendent in summer, agreeable in autumn but totally spellbinding in winter?  The man's a genius! but you all  knew that already.

 Eventually the call of cake is too strong and we drag ourselves away from the borders to the cafe with the robin sat directly outside the window by our table eyeing up my banana cake jealously.

A quick wander around the glass-house

after the festive delights of the borders the Christmas tree looked a little dull until Lazy Trollop and Helen brightened it up!

Inside the unusual 'poncey etta' trees looked more festive!!

Out into the rock garden - another of my favourite haunts and our rocking robin rejoins us, not too happy that we didn't save him any crumbs!

When I was a child I thought that Jenny Wrens were robins' wives.. a notion I didn't question until a few years ago when I suddenly thought "that can't be right." It is too charming not to be right and so I still believe it.

A wintery cobweb that looked unreal like a westward leading 'star of wonder' guiding us into the alpine houses.

We laughed all day as we always do on our meet-ups.  The warmth of friends and the wonders of Wisley - better than any Christmas party!

And of course no party is complete without the inevitable Matthew Wilson tease!



VP said...

Oh what a fab day to go. That picture of Helen and the Robin has to be one of THE photos of the year :)

The only thing I miss about working in an office is the lack of a Christmas get together (not party - they're usually pretty awful). Luckily my GNO buddies agree, so we're having our 'do' in Brizzle tomorrow :)

Anonymous said...

Those borders look stunning highlighted with frost. And I love your friendly robin. Funnily enough, I have pictures of a robin following us round Wisley last summer - I wonder if it's the same one?

Arabella Sock said...

VP - office Xmas parties always dreadful except for the ones I organised which were great fun.

Hillwards - the robin started following us near the main house and continued hopping along behind us until the rock gardens. Whether it was the same one outside the cafe or when we went back to the rock gardens I don't know. Incredibly friendly and let me get very close with the camera - I was trying to get it to perch on my finger when it flew up onto Helen's hat and posed for a while!
They are very territorial I think and this one had clearly benefited from the best territory.

Ms B said...

It was stunning wasn't it; the black & white of the Piet Oudolf borders & the fairyland of the glasshouse borders were inspirational. Thanks to you both for a totally cracking time.

Juliet said...

Happy Christmas!

I love the photo of the robin on Helen's hat :-D