Herons has been sponsoring the Bonsai Collection at RHS Wisley for the past twenty years.
It was back in 1996 that we were approached to sponsor a bonsai collection at Wisley. The site allocated for the bonsai collection was the former Garden of the Senses. Twenty-four specimen bonsai and some large Japanese garden trees were used. The Bonsai Collection was formally opened by the then President of the RHS Sir Simon Hornby in August 1998.
These pictures show what the Bonsai Garden looked like before the first renovation in 2006.
The collection has been much admired over the years by all who visit Wisley, but by 2006, we felt that the garden was beginning to look a bit tired and dated.
So in 2006, Peter undertook to rebuild the garden completely and used the opportunity to teach the students at Wisley some aspects of garden design and construction.
In February 2007 the Garden of the Senses was demolished. This is what it looked like when we cleared the site.
The new garden was completed in just two months and in April 2007, it was opened to the public on 1st May.
Inauguration by Japanese Ambassador
On the 16 July 2007, the new Bonsai Garden was opened by the Japanese Ambassador Mr. Nogami in the presence of Mr. Peter Buckley, the President of the RHS and other guests.
Improvements in 2012 - The new 'Herons Bonsai Walk'
In December 2011, Colin Crosbie the new Curator of Wisley, suggested that the Bonsai display might look better displayed in the former Monocot border - next to the Vegetable garden and Alpine House. So ih February 2012, we moved the display to its new location.
The new location is where the former Monocot border used to be. It consists of a long paved area - flanked by tall Yew hedges on either side. The large bonsai specimens displayed against the dark green of the Yew hedge makes a most dramatic display and is reminiscent of an art gallery setting. The new display was opened by Elizabeth Banks, President of the RHS on 3 May 2012.
Here is what the new 'Herons Bonsai Walk' looks like.
The Opening of the new 'Herons Bonsai Walk' at Wisley on 3 May 2012.
Peter with some of the new exhibits on display.