Tag Archives: RHS Garden Wisley

Settling In

13 Sep

It’s the fifth day since I landed in the UK and the weather has been cool and drizzly much like Seattle in the autumn. (On second thought, it’s really like any season other than summer in Seattle.) Though unlike the Pacific Northwest the UK gets regular summer rain, which is probably why everything is quite green and lush here. What’s also different is that the woodland here is primarily deciduous, whereas we are very coniferous in Seattle. I also learned that Surrey – the county Wisley is located in – is the most wooded county in the UK. Either way it feels like home here.

Speaking of home, I will be living with three other people in the house and they are all trainees working towards a RHS certificate or diploma of professional horticulture. Everyone is very friendly here and frankly I am glad that I am not the only one living in the house anymore. Our ‘Induction Programme’ started yesterday with move-in and a barbecue, and ends today with orientation. Next week I begin my work rotation and I start with the Science Department, which is located in the building here:

The Laboratory was built in 1903, expanded, and the exterior rebuilt after World War II.

The Laboratory was built in 1903, expanded, and the exterior rebuilt after World War II.

For the past couple of days I’ve been visiting the different gardens within Wisley and it’s quite a large space. The 240 acres includes, but is not limited to, a glasshouse, orchards, arboretum, and lots and lots of gardens. Wisley is not a botanic garden, so collections of species, ornamental cultivars, and hybrids are curated and used freely. Here are a few photos I took on my walk over to the offices in the morning.

The wide mixed boarder - I wish I was able to take wider shots.

The wide Mixed Boarder – I wish I was able to take wider shots.

There is the left 'bank' of the boarder so lucsh with life!

There is the left ‘bank’ of the boarder so lush with life!

And there is the right 'bank' also bursting at the seams.

And there is the right ‘bank’ also bursting at the seams.

Here is a path leading through the Bowes-Lyon Rose Garden.

Here is a path leading through the Bowes-Lyon Rose Garden.

The glasshouse was completed in 2005, so some what new, but stuffed with plants.

The Glasshouse was completed in 2005, so some what new, but stuffed with plants.

I took more photos, but I am running out of time to post them. There is more coming, so stayed tuned!


An American in London

9 Sep

So what is all this mysterious UK visa business about? Yes, I know have been secretive about what is happening, but it’s partially because the actual departure seemed so far away and at the time I didn’t want to jinx anything. If we flip back to late February, some of you may remember I mentioned that I was heading off to New York for an interview. This interview was for the Royal Horticultural Society Interchange Fellowship. (It was previously known as the Martin McLaren Horticultural Scholarship, but funding changed and so did the name.)

This fellowship is “a reciprocal exchange…sponsored by The Garden Club of America in the US and the Royal Horticultural Society in the UK” (CGA) and every year both organizations select only one fellow to send overseas. The chosen fellows from the UK are placed at Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania for 12 months. Though if they are graduates, they may choose to attend the first year of a Masters Program at a US university of their choice instead. The US fellow has the ability to pick a variety of garden placements within the UK for their 10 month stay.

This exchange was founded in 1948 with the aim to “foster British-American relations, promote horticultural studies and the exchange of information in this field, and of course to develop the horticultural and educational leaders of the future” (RHS). Since then more than 100 fellows have participated in this Interchange Fellowship and many have gone on to shape and hold important positions in the fields of botany, horticulture, and landscape design.

I’ve always wanted to see the gardens of Britain and I’ve always dreamed of living in the UK for a bit of my life. To be selected as the next RHS Interchange Fellow, all of my dreams (and more) are coming true and many doors are beginning to open. I’ve just arrived yesterday morning to my first placement at RHS Garden Wisley, and I will be working here for the next few months. I can’t believe I am here – it is so exciting!

Come along with me on my grand British adventure right here on this blog!

PS Thank you Annie Jung for the banner!

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