A must for dahlia fans, September 5-10
Wisley’s 25th late summer show rounds off the season with a bang, featuring the National Dahlia Society Annual Show, displays, shopping from specialist nurseries and trade stands, National Association of Flower Arrangement Societies (NAFAS) floral exhibits, expert advice and more.
If it’s unusual plants you’re after, a host of RHS Chelsea and Hampton Court Palace Flower Show medal winners are taking part. The National Dahlia Society Annual Show has more than 100 exhibitors taking part, with a special 25th Anniversary Class.
You don’t have to be an expert grower – enter the RHS People’s Dahlia Competition, taking place on September 9-10. On either day, bring along a single stem (with single or multiple flowers) of any type of dahlia you have grown, to the Dahlia Marquee by noon. Flowers will be judged by experts and places announced at 3pm each day. First, second and third prizes will be awarded.
Surrey NAFAS will be exhibiting their floral art creations under the theme Switched On, interpreting favourite TV programmes.
Make a day of it
On Tuesday, September 5, at 7.30am, enjoy a special breakfast and a tour of the show by one of the curatorial team along with premium parking. RHS members £30, non-members £42.
In early September, you can see Wisley’s begonias displayed alongside stroking aquatic Nelumbo flowers (sacred lotus). The begonias include the bamboo-like cane types, exotic foliage plants, and large colourful tuberous varieties.
The Surrey Sculpture Society Trail is open, with pieces from up-and-coming artists. The new Exotic Garden, filled with lush tropical foliage, dahlias and a wide range of hardy palms is also at its best at this time.
World-renowned plantsman, former presenter of BBC Gardeners’ World and a Vice President of the RHS, Roy Lancaster, is holding a talk and book signing in the Plant Centre, Tuesday, September 5, at 1pm.
How to get there by public transport
The show is free for RHS members and a guest. You can buy garden tickets in advance on the RHS website.
A free shuttle bus from Horsley and Woking stations runs every day and are fully accessible for wheelchairs. Horsley Station is not fully wheelchair accessible – take the shuttle bus to and from Woking.
To and from Horsley station: Buses leave every 20 minutes and take 15 minutes each way. (Between 1.30pm and 3.30pm, buses every 30 minutes on the hour and half past the hour.) The first bus departs Horsley at 9.30am, the last bus leaves Wisley at 5.15pm – 45 minutes before the garden (and show) closes. Bus stops are at Horsley station forecourt and at the rear of the Wisley’s Glasshouse near the South African Meadow.
To and from Woking: Buses will leave every 2 hours, the first bus leaves the station forecourt outside Marks & Spencer at 10.30am, the last bus departs Wisley Coach Park at 5pm.
There is a traffic management system in place and extra car parks are located away from the main garden entrance – go in via the Pinetum.
If you have special accessibility needs and need to park closer, ensure your disabled badge is clearly displayed – call 01483 224 234 if you have specific needs.
For more information, visit www.rhs.org.uk/gardens/wisley/RHS-Garden-Wisley-Flower-Show.