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Stunning glasshouse at RHS Wisley, Surrey (UK)

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UK_Palms

So this glasshouse and garden is located about 10 miles northeast of my location, just on the outskirts of south London. It's a bit of a hidden gem, although not quite on Kew Garden's level...

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A stunning Bismarckia Nobilis that must be at least 20 foot tall...

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Sabal Mexicana...

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Sabal Minor

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Brahea Armata...

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They've got some stuff growing outdoors as well...

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Edited by UK_Palms
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Cindy Adair

Beautiful! Thanks so much for the photo journey!

Despite living now where there is no need for greenhouses, I love to visit them.

It was also fun when it snowed in Virginia and I could walk into my attached greenhouse and pretend to be in the tropics. I will add this place to my list should I travel anywhere close.

 

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D. Morrowii

Very nice! Thanks for posting the photos!

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Kim

Wonderful place to visit! Thanks for posting the photos. Humans are crazy, right? We build huge glass houses to grow exotic plants at great expense and it seems normal to us because we enjoy the plants so much.

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daxin

Spectacular greenhouse from this angle

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Plantasexoticas

Beautiful day to visit there by the looks of things. I was there couple weeks ago, hadn’t visited in years and was nice to be in a glasshouse again. 
 

funnily most of the photos I took were almost identical to yours, though you have captured the palms in much better light and pictures look far better! 
 

the Bismarckia will be hitting the roof soon, it’s grown a lot since I last saw it. 

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UK_Palms
5 hours ago, Plantasexoticas said:

Beautiful day to visit there by the looks of things. I was there couple weeks ago, hadn’t visited in years and was nice to be in a glasshouse again. 
 

funnily most of the photos I took were almost identical to yours, though you have captured the palms in much better light and pictures look far better! 
 

the Bismarckia will be hitting the roof soon, it’s grown a lot since I last saw it. 

I visited on Friday 24th September and the air temperature was around 24-25C. Crystal clear blue skies until about 4pm when the cloud over rolled in, as evidenced by the latter images. Regarding the Bismarckia, it may be the best specimen in the UK. I can't remember whether places like Kew, the Eden Projet or the Barbican have any Bizzies? I reckon it is about 5 years away from growing into the glass, especially on one side. It will have to be removed at some point, and ideally before it gets too big. We saw the big Sabal get cut down at Edinburgh glasshouse recently.

A Bizzie that size, do you think it could make it outdoors in London? Like in one of the warmer areas of central London? Wisley is outside of the suburbs and UHI, plus it is in a bit of a frost pocket. They had -9C in Feb 2018, when places like St. James park and London City Airport only saw -6C.  I think it would have to go to a central London park or somewhere like Chelsea Physic Garden. Possibly even a transfer to RHS Kew, which is further into the UHI, but even they saw -8C in Feb 2018 I think. I would put it next to the Robusta's at St. James Square. 

I think they should move the Sabal Mexicana outdoors as well. They will be bulletproof in our winters and although they require quite a bit of summer heat, a Mexicana of that size should still grow relatively quickly. I noticed quite a few things under glass that will survive outdoors at Wisley and can be moved in the next few years, potentially. Like a big Chamaerops and that other washie. The Bizzie will be a bit more difficult to remove, due to its location/position and also the size of its crown. They moved one of the Washingtonia's outdoors though last year, so they can surely move the Bizzie and Mexicana. 

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Plantasexoticas
1 hour ago, UK_Palms said:

I visited on Friday 24th September and the air temperature was around 24-25C. Crystal clear blue skies until about 4pm when the cloud over rolled in, as evidenced by the latter images. Regarding the Bismarckia, it may be the best specimen in the UK. I can't remember whether places like Kew, the Eden Projet or the Barbican have any Bizzies? I reckon it is about 5 years away from growing into the glass, especially on one side. It will have to be removed at some point, and ideally before it gets too big. We saw the big Sabal get cut down at Edinburgh glasshouse recently.

A Bizzie that size, do you think it could make it outdoors in London? Like in one of the warmer areas of central London? Wisley is outside of the suburbs and UHI, plus it is in a bit of a frost pocket. They had -9C in Feb 2018, when places like St. James park and London City Airport only saw -6C.  I think it would have to go to a central London park or somewhere like Chelsea Physic Garden. Possibly even a transfer to RHS Kew, which is further into the UHI, but even they saw -8C in Feb 2018 I think. I would put it next to the Robusta's at St. James Square. 

I think they should move the Sabal Mexicana outdoors as well. They will be bulletproof in our winters and although they require quite a bit of summer heat, a Mexicana of that size should still grow relatively quickly. I noticed quite a few things under glass that will survive outdoors at Wisley and can be moved in the next few years, potentially. Like a big Chamaerops and that other washie. The Bizzie will be a bit more difficult to remove, due to its location/position and also the size of its crown. They moved one of the Washingtonia's outdoors though last year, so they can surely move the Bizzie and Mexicana. 

I think I recall someone growing a smaller one in a courtyard in London once and it did ok. May never get the growth that you get from them in warmer climates but I’d be interested to see if that one would survive if it was carefully placed someone very sheltered. I believe also they have been tried in the ground in Cornwall where they didn’t necessarily die from cold but slowly declined due to lack of heat to grow 
my view point is if they are going to cut it down then they may as well try it somewhere else. 
 

The sabal is stunning and that too would make for an unusual large palm outdoors in this part of the world. 

Back to the Bismarckia - I’m growing more from seed so am going to test them more outside in my balcony to see how they fair in the little sun trap. I recall being told that it’s important to keep their roots as warm as possible so perhaps lots of insulation around the pot may help and the fact it’s right against the wall too. Time will tell. 

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HtownPalms

Thanks for posting. That place is beautiful! 

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