Paris & London/Chelsea Flower Show
May 17-26, 2008 Tour

May 24, Day 8.

After breakfast, we set off for another day of garden visits outside London.

Wisley is a very beautiful garden with romantic half-timbered Tudor-style buildings. The soil is mainly acid sand which is poor in nutrients and fast draining. There is a canal designed by Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe, a rock garden, formal and walled gardens, mixed borders, a rose garden, rock garden, glasshouses, a fruit field and an arboretum. Then there are the alpine gardens, the model vegetable gardens and a country garden by Penelope Hobhouse. Wisley has the greatest book and gift shop and a brand new addition is the glasshouse – this building is beautiful and houses and excellent collection of plants.

Later, we visited Old Thatch Cottage. This is a 17th century cottage and is situated close to the River Thames on the edge of the Chiltern Hills, between Marlow and Bourne End. Beloved home to the world famous author Enid Blyton from 1929-1938, it was where she was inspired to write over forty books and plays, as well as a series called The Old Thatch. Enid was delighted by the garden and soon set about making it her own until she left in 1938.

Old Thatch is now owned by the garden designer Jacky Hawthorne who has enhanced the spirit of Old Thatch and introduced structure to the garden while at the same time preserved a sense of the past. The lovely grey, sagging wood of the old arbour has been retained, as has the original well, an enticing glimpse of a former way of living. They are also doing some renovations to the gardens as well as adding new gardens.

Here, we ended the afternoon with a traditional Cream Tea before returning to London.



  • New Eden
  • Kids Garden
  • Plant a Row Grow a Row