The landscape around the Royal Horticultural Society’s Bicentenary Glasshouse at Wisley forms part of the single largest project undertaken by the Society in recent years. The 2 hectare garden provides a coherent setting for the new building and a context for a range of horticultural planting displays, complementing Wisley’s existing plant collections.
Centered on the glasshouse and lake, the garden is designed as a large amphitheatre bounded by a beech hedge. The hedge is irregularly punctuated by openings that connect the garden to other parts of Wisley. The design balances the overwhelming symmetry of the lake, glasshouse and nearby Mount by creating a broad circular movement, instead of a strict hierarchical progression along an axis. Planting changes in character across the site, becoming increasingly complex and intermingled as one moves around to the west. This culminates in two large areas of Prairie vegetation, designed and seeded by Professor James Hitchmough of Sheffield University.
Drawing by Tom Stuart Smith