Succulents galore, sigh...

I do enjoy a succulent, and that's why almost every visit I've made - and no doubt will continue to make - to Wisley involves a trip to the Alpine House. I've already shared the Spring colours of the irises, narcissus and muscari, the small flowers that pack a big punch and today it's the turn of the succulents. 

It's all too easy to forget these are also alpines, some are outside the greenhouses while others are nestled amongst the flowers I've already shared. My favourites were those outside, so that's where most of my photos come from.

Purple and green succulents in and around the Alpine House at RHS Wisley

It's only recently that I've learnt that succulents can change colour, somehow I think if the ones above were just green, while they'd still look great, they wouldn't look anywhere near as dramatic?

The ones growing out of the hexagonal brick below are densely packed and therefore no doubt highly promiscuous. But in succulents, that's a good thing!

And growing out of a brick by the Alpine House at RHS Wisley

I was intrigued by the leaves on this one - it's inside, and almost has the look of a cyclamen doesn't it?

Cyclamen-like leaves in the Alpine House at RHS Wisley
Plenty of succulents in and around the Alpine House at RHS Wisley

The ones above had an almost water lily-like feel to them don't they, with gravel obviously, not water.  Having scoured the inside of the Alpine house, I was back outside admiring those nestled among upturened slabs and stones, which I'm sure is why these are a rockery favourite.

moss and succulents in and around the Alpine House at RHS Wisley

Even with the weeds and decaying leaves they manage to look interesting don't they?  Maybe I should refer to my plot as "interesting" from now on...

gravel and stones on end providing an ideal home for the succulents outside the Alpine House at RHS Wisley
Proof that they'll grow almost anywhere if the conditions are right

Seeing them nestled amongst the slabs here with the lichen has given me an idea. I'm struggling to find something that will grow in a narrow strip between our patio and fence, so I'm wondering if some succulents may help. While I've got one or two already, perhaps I should add to my collection and introduce some different varieties to try it with... 

Such detail on these succulents in and around the Alpine House at RHS Wisley

I'd be keen to have something like these above too - just look at the detail? I love their spikiness, oh dear I've a feeling a trip to the garden centre could be coming on...

The vegetable garden at RHS Wisley

I do love to look around a vegetable plot, and especially one that's productive at this time of year. Although that makes me feel a little bit flawed as my plot looks nothing like this.  But nonetheless I can still enjoy looking at someone else's hard work. 

I'd have been happy to have picked this purple kale though.

purple kale in the vegetable garden at RHS Wisley

The vegetable garden at Wisley is as you'd expect, ordered and full of produce. The Brussels were netted neatly, but I did wonder who eats the produce from this garden. We eat a lot of brassicas at this time of year, and I really should grow some of our own again this year. I must remember to check the sowing time, as it's always much earlier than I anticipate.

The year that we had plenty of purple sprouting broccoli I planted plug plants out in the June before, so now you can see why I don't remember. The last thing I'm thinking of in June (or before) is winter veg, but perhaps I should.

Brussels sprouts still looking good in the vegetable garden at RHS Wisley

I was quite taken by the chicory, and it was great to see the colour. We're eating more of this, and it's something I'm considering growing. Sadly our soil isn't anywhere near as good as this, and it's another thing to grow neatly in rows - remember my long held ambition to grow lettuces neatly, well I'm adding another to that list...


It was great to see the ruby chard doing so well, especially as this is something much closer to my reach. The downside is that MOH is less keen on chard, but as it's something I can grow that's rarely a consideration.

Ruby chard in the vegetable garden at RHS Wisley

Just look at the soil, not a week in sight. How envious am I?

celery from above in the vegetable garden at RHS Wisley

I know, it comes to something when you look at soil and think where are the weeds?!  The plant in case you're wondering is celery - that's not on my grow list at all, although at some point I will try celeriac again.

The other thing that intrigues me in the gardens we look around is greenhouses, and more importantly, looking inside them.  This one at Wisley was easy to get a glimpse inside of, and once again it was super neat, with the salad leaves growing just as they should.

peering into yet another greenhouse this one's in the vegetable garden at RHS Wisley

As I walked around the greenhouses I was surprised to see a whole pile of pumpkins and gourds, and love this shot of them peering through the crab apples.  And the sun and blue sky were welcome too.

A pile of pumpkins and gourds beyond the crab apples in the vegetable garden at RHS Wisley
salad leaves in a pot in the vegetable garden at RHS Wisley

What I also liked about the Wisley vegetable garden was that they also made use of pots to grow edibles in. For many years growing in pots was our most productive way of growing tomatoes and much more, so it's great to see this in such an established garden too. I also think there's something about showing off your edibles on the patio, although I've yet to convince MOH of that.

And do you know what I left inspired to get growing again. Perhaps not quite to get out there digging just yet, but definitely inspired to check out my seeds and thumb through some seed catalogues!

Have you decided on what your'e growing this year yet?

Enjoying the colours in the Alpine House

This time of year is particularly grey isn't it?

There's hints of colour starting to appear in the garden, even in my garden, but generally its the greyness that starts to pervade our daylight hours. For someone who loves colour, I find this hard, so when I get a chance to absorb colour I take every opportunity. 

Sometimes that's an outfit, last weekend it was an orange skirt and top, with a black lace overtop to tone it down a bit (as I know not everyone does colour) matched with a pair of red sparkly shoes. 

Other times it's a blast of colour wherever I can get it.


After seeing the butterflies in the glass house at Wisley on Sunday, our next stop was the Alpine House, and another blast of colour.  These small flowers - irises, narcissi and muscari - pack a lot of punch.

Narcissi in the Alpine House at RHS Wisley
A daubenya in the Alpine House at RHS Wisley

Spring has a tendency to deliver plenty of blue and yellow flowers so it was great to get an advance shot of all of these colours, especially the grape hyacinth, or muscari.  I'm hoping mine make an appearance soon.

Muscari - or grape hyacinth - in the Alpine House at RHS Wisley

I am starting to spot crocuses around on my way to work and from the office window as there's a patch outside the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich where a yellow carpet of crocuses is starting to appear. I've not seen any quite like the ones below though, they're almost striped aren't they?

a three coloured crocus in the Alpine House at RHS Wisley

I don't have any crocuses or irises in my garden, and when I see them I think it really should.  It's not much use to me remembering when they're in flower though is it?  I'll have to add them to my plant wish list - that doesn't really exist, in an actual list, which is why I rarely actually get the plants I say.  Perhaps I should start a proper list, I think I've probably got some stationery that I could use...

delicate irises in the Alpine House at RHS Wisley

I felt better on Sunday for having seen some colour, and even writing this post after a manic few days at work I feel better all over again for seeing the photos.  I'm sure each of us have mechanisms for coping with the grey, what's yours?