RHS Wisley has been on our list of gardens to visit since forever, yet for one reason or another, we’ve never actually managed to go, until yesterday, when we were delighted to visit their Festival of Trees.
Sponsored by those power-tool titans, STIHL, the weekend celebrated all that’s special about trees, and featured wood-carving, walks, crafts as well as Timbersport displays, a discipline we’d never even heard of.
Timbersport is essentially competitive forestry; an extreme sport where athletes test their strength, endurance and technical ability by simulating the practice of felling or managing felled trees. Watching a team of strapping lumberjacks saw through massive logs with the ease of running a hot knife through butter to the stirring strains of AC/DC certainly got Ade excited. I’m not sure he’s quite ready to compete at the STIHL TIMBERSPORTS® World Championship in Lillehammer next month, although he has developed a sudden fascination with chainsaws which is more than a little alarming. (Yes Ade, the MS 880 would be a bit excessive for deadheading the roses.)
Away from the rumbles of the Timbersports arena, we enjoyed a gentle stroll among the trees at Wisley, enjoying the sights, sounds and smells of the beautiful woodlands. There were wooden sculptures to admire…
… and new tree varieties to learn about, including the stunning Euonymus europaeus ‘Red Cascade’ which I’ve now got my eye on for our own garden.
Enjoying the gardens at Wisley certainly brought home the horror of the devastating plans recently announced by Highways England to widen the A3, a move which could potentially destroy 10,000 square metres of woodland in this Grade II listed garden, and we urge you to sign the petition protesting the proposals if you haven’t already done so.
All in all, it was the perfect day out for an autumnal weekend and if you did miss out, we’d highly recommend a visit next year.